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Rock - Released May 10, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Rock - Released January 1, 1981 | Geffen

After releasing several competent but more or less undistinguished albums on Capitol, Sammy Hagar switched to Geffen in 1981 and released Standing Hampton, a polished but tough record that showed a surprising amount of pop songcraft. The added production gloss and improved melodic sense proved commercially successful -- the album was his first million-seller and it cracked the Top 30 -- and artistically successful as well; the record was the most consistent and memorable album he had recorded to date, featuring the singles "I'll Fall in Love Again," "Baby's on Fire," and "There's Only One Way to Rock." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 1982 | Geffen Records

Continuing the sleek, driving pop-oriented sound of Hagar's breakthrough, Standing Hampton, Three Lock Box equals its predecessor, featuring such highlights as the double entendres of the title track and the hit single "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy." ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 2001 | Capitol Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 1992 | Capitol Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 1994 | Geffen

In between his days with hard-rocking Montrose in the early '70s and his takeover of lead singing duties from David Lee Roth in Van Halen, Sammy Hagar had a moderately successful solo career. Many of his singles didn't receive the recognition they deserved, which were either staid guitar-driven party anthems or infectious AOR tunes with punchy choruses. Unboxed is a hits collection that takes Hagar's best work from Standing Hampton, I Never Said Goodbye, VOA, and Three Lock Box, plus two other fiery singles, and puts them all on one disc, which is both convenient and entertaining. Hagar did crack Billboard's Top 40 with three of the songs on this hits set, including the friendly six-string pounce of "Two Sides of Love," which hit number 38 in 1984. His most popular solo effort, the speed inducing raucous of "I Can't Drive 55," highlights the album, proving that the vocal abilities of Hagar are anything but limited. His semi-slower material is equally justified, especially the surprising sincerity found within "Give to Live," which broke the Top 30 in 1987. The thunderous chorus of "Heavy Metal," which is twice as fast as the rest of the song, spotlights Hagar at his most fervent and is outlined with raw chord-crunching power. Surprisingly, Sammy Hagar's highest-charting single up to the release of Unboxed, the radio-friendly "Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy," is missing from this collection. Nonetheless, this greatest hits presents Hagar in a light that many have either sidestepped or completely disregarded, but with all his best material in one place, his musicianship is better appreciated. ~ Mike DeGagne
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Voa

Rock - Released January 1, 1984 | Geffen

VOA was the last album Sammy Hagar recorded before he became the lead singer of Van Halen, and this effort shows why he was invited to join the band. With songs like "I Can't Drive 55," he adds a simple melody to the song which never distracts from the all-important, hard-driving riff. On "Two Sides of Love," he shows that he has the ability to pull off a power ballad, wrenching every bit of feeling out of the song. Like Hagar himself, VOA is never subtle, but in hard rock, that's a positive attribute. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 28, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Rock - Released January 1, 1980 | Capitol Records

An early studio recording featuring perhaps the best, or at least most popular, backing band lineup, Danger Zone is not up to the standard of Sammy Hagar's best material: be it the earliest, hardest rocking music (most notably, the debut Montrose effort) or his very successful early '80s MOR rock. "The red rocker" does put together a couple nice moments, displaying the deft songwriting that would keep him on top of the hard rock sales and radio charts for well over 20 years. Songs like "20th Century Man" and "Love or Money" definitely drive this relatively heavy Hagar offering, and the Bay Area musician slows things down nicely on "Run for Your Life." There are a couple soft spots on the Danger Zone's track list, and when that is coupled with that fact that no real essential Hagar anthems or radio hits exist on this release, it can only be recommended to serious fans of the artist. ~ Vincent Jeffries
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Rock - Released January 1, 1999 | Track Factory

When Sammy Hagar's 11 years with Van Halen came to an end, he delivered some of the best solo albums of his career. The rocker's post-Van Halen albums weren't much different from his pre-Van Halen albums of the late '70s and early to mid-'80s -- Hagar was still playing the type of commercial hard rock and arena rock that put him on the map, and he was doing so with a lot of conviction. The Californian was in his early fifties when Red Voodoo came out in 1999, but it hardly sounds like the work of someone who was mellowing with age. Ballsy, in-your-face rockers like "Mas Tequila" (which incorporates Gary Glitter's "Rock and Roll, Part 2"), "Don't Fight It (Feel it)," "Shag," and the AC/DC-ish "High and Dry Again" and are oozing with confidence -- -in fact, it's almost as though Hagar is shaking his fist at theVan Halen brothers and letting them know that he can do quite well without them, thank you. To some proponents of '90s alternative rock, Hagar and other arena rock veterans were anachronistic -- and, to be sure, this CD won't win any awards for being innovative or groundbreaking. Nonetheless, Red Voodoo is among the most passionate, focused, and inspired albums of Hagar's career. ~ Alex Henderson
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Rock - Released January 1, 1977 | Capitol Records

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Rock - Released January 1, 1977 | Capitol Records

One of Sammy Hagar's rawest recordings, Musical Chairs features some guitars that are a treat for listeners fond of the much tougher, uncompromising music that Hagar used throughout the '70s to build one of the largest followings for an American hard rock solo artist. With a strong backing lineup that included former Montrose alum Denny Carmassi (drums), Bill Church (bass), and Alan Fitzgerald (keys), Hagar's music comes off lean and mean. Thanks especially to Hagar himself and longtime musical associate Gary Pihl, the riffing on Musical Chairs separates the recording from many hard rock issues of the day. Aggressive numbers like "Turn up the Music" and "Straight From the Hip Kid" do the most sonic damage on this classic red-rocker offering. When Hagar tries to deal with broader lyrical material, as on "Crack in the World," he exposes what would later become a bit of an Achilles heal. While not as bad as the occasionally awkward, jingo-istic, or just plain goofy quasi-political commentary featured most prominently on some of the singer's '80s recordings, "Crack in the World" demonstrates Hagar's tendency to reach for lyrical concepts that extend beyond his good-time rock specialty. Fortunately, Hagar sticks to the formula during most of Musical Chairs, making it an early career highlight for the singer/guitarist. ~ Vincent Jeffries
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Rock - Released January 1, 1978 | Capitol Records

All Night Long is better than most hard rock live albums not only because Sammy Hagar is at his best when he's on stage, but because the set list includes only his best songs, eliminating the filler that tends to clutter his albums. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released May 6, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Rock - Released November 14, 2008 | Roadrunner Records - Loud & Proud

Sammy Hagar took it easy on 2006's Livin' It Up! -- maybe a bit too easy, styling himself after Jimmy Buffett's beach bongo, keeping things at a slow-rolling boil. It was a strangely appealing switch-up but it's not a big surprise that the Red Rocker returns to roaring guitars on its 2008 follow-up, Cosmic Universal Fashion. What is a bit of a surprise is just how straight-up stoopid so much of Cosmic Universal Fashion is, how Sammy desperately chases after his faded adolescence through the rose-tinted "Loud" and a staggeringly misguided cover of the Beastie Boys' "Fight for Your Right to Party," while bitching about fuddy-duddy fathers on "Switch on the Light." These fumbling stabs at rebellion all reveal his 61 years in a way that not even the electronic bluster of the opening title track does; with "Cosmic Universal Fashion," Sammy is at least trying to live in the moment instead of leaning on the past, the way he does with that teenage trilogy. Not that Sammy is any less clownish when he's partying like it's 2008: the slick "I'm on a Roll" threatens to boogie right off the tracks -- although it's a smidge better than the club-footed funk of "24365" -- but at least it feels more age-appropriate. This is all relative, of course, as this is the guy who's still churning out grunge songs like "Peephole" when he wants to seem modern, which helps make the lazy Little Feat-flavored blues "When the Sun Don't Shine" easily the standout here...but that happens to be the song closest to Livin' It Up!, and the whole idea of Cosmic Universal Fashion is to get Hagar back to his basics. But "When the Sun Don't Shine" is so effortlessly charming, it suggests that this is the road Sammy should travel these days. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released April 9, 2019 | BMG Rights Management (US) LLC

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Rock - Released January 1, 1987 | Capitol Records

As Sammy Hagar's career was at its height in the early '80s, Capitol, his '70s record label, released Rematch, a compilation of highlights from his six albums with the label. Like All Night Long before it, Rematch cuts away all the fat from Hagar's '70s catalog, leaving only his best rockers, including the scorching "I've Done Everything for You," "Plain Jane," "Turn Up the Music," and "Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)." Even though the track listing is well chosen, his Capitol records weren't as impressive as his albums for Geffen, meaning Rematch is only the best of a specific era of Hagar's career, not his entire career. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 1979 | Capitol Records

Released in 1979, Street Machine is Sammy Hagar's fifth solo studio release for Capitol records, and like many of his previous offerings, the record has more than a few highlights, but fails to fulfill on the musician's songwriting and performing promise. The recording is tighter than prior efforts, thanks to essential backup members Bill Church (bass), Chuck Ruff (drums), and, last but certainly not least, Gary Pihl on guitar, but there isn't enough strong material on Street Machine, leaving it mired in the same mediocrity that limits other Capitol-era Hagar albums like Musical Chairs and Nine on a Ten Scale. Of all the '70s releases, "The Red Album" stands out the most, especially with regard to material, which is not to say that Street Machine doesn't manage a little momentum of its own. There are a couple highlights, like "Growing Pains" and "This Planet's on Fire (Burn in Hell)," but for the most part, Street Machine can only be recommended to the staunchest Hagar supporters. ~ Vincent Jeffries
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Rock - Released January 1, 1993 | Capitol Records

Turn up the Music is an odd collection of ten tracks from Sammy Hagar's Capitol output, containing familiar items -- "Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)," "I've Done Everything for You," "Love or Money," "Reckless" -- as well as lesser-known album cuts like "Urban Guerrilla." The result is a listenable but unsatisfying hodgepodge that won't satisfy either fanatics or casual fans. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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Rock - Released January 1, 1983 | Capitol Records