It’s easy to argue that getting fired from Van Halen may have been the best thing to happen to Sammy Hagar. Since then, he’s been a successful businessman, best-selling author, philanthropist…and he’s put out a ton of music! He’s recorded solo, with the Waboritas, with Chickenfoot or The Circle. His latest CD is This is Sammy Hagar: When the Party Started, Volume One.
Hagar handpicked these songs that focus on his releases with the Waboritas because he feels these songs are who he is now. They represent his transformation to a lifestyle artist. I don’t know that I’d call it a greatest hits CD, maybe more of an anthology.
Because Hagar made so much news outside of the music world in the last 17 years, it’s easy to look past the CDs he released with the Waboritas:
- Red Voodoo
- Not 4 Sale
- Livin’ It Up
The biggest surprise is that an alternate mix of “Shag” is the only song from Red Voodoo. In my opinion, this is his best CD with the Waboritas. I’m not sure why he left out “Mas Tequila”. He may not own Cabo Wabo Tequila anymore, but that’s still a signature Sammy Hagar song. “Returning of the Wish” and “High and Dry Again” should be here too.
“Stand Up” kicks off the CD. I just learned that Sammy wrote this for the Rock Star soundtrack (the movie based on Tim “Ripper” Owens). They changed it up a bit, but Sammy recorded his version for the Not 4 Sale CD. Sammy’s version rocks a bit harder.
“Serious Juju”, “The Real Deal”, “Halfway to Memphis” and “Sam I Am” are my highlights, along with one of the new songs, “No Worries”. It fits in with the CD’s theme. The other new song, “Never Said Goodbye”, is a good throw-in.
The rest of the songs are good, but not necessarily the best from the CDs they represent. Songs like “Shaka Doobie”, “Let Sally Drive” and “Deeper Kind of Love” are missing. But this is Volume 1, so maybe he’s saving those for Volume 2.
This CD is a fun listen. As the title says, this is Sammy Hagar. But, if you missed out on this era, go back and check out the full CDs. He was at the point where he could write and release what he wanted without worrying if it would become a #1 hit. There’s an authenticity that shines through. And that is what truly represents Sammy Hagar…even beyond the beaches and parties.