SAMMY HAGAR – Live 1980 [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.4 series] (2022) HQ

SAMMY HAGAR - Live 1980 [Japan HR/HM 1000 Vol.4 series] (2022) HQ full

Universal Music Japan has started this year another campaign of their ‘HR/HM 1000‘ series, that meaning the reissue of long time out of print albums from their Hard Rock / Heavy Metal catalog at the price of 1000 Yen = about 9 USD.
As part of the 2022 HR-HM 1000 Vol.4 series there’s the pretty hard to find on CD SAMMY HAGAR album “Live 1980“. A killer recording at the Hammersmith Odeon in London during the tour promoting Hagar’s then-newest album, Danger Zone.
This is an album that almost never was. Captured in 1980, the LP wan’t released until 1983 by Capitol Records after the success of Hagar’s Geffen-era releases, ‘Standing Hampton’ and ‘Three Lock Box’. The Red Rocker and his band sounds raw and pure rocking here, and if live records aren’t your thing you gotta listen to this to appreciate how heavy n’ wild Hagar was on stage in that era.

‘Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)’ is a great opening number with the intro (you can hear a motor revving) and the MC introducing the “Red Rocker Sammy Hagar”, and bam, the curly-haired dude is singing about his car? That’s pure rock n’ roll.
So as soon as Sam gets off the Highway Wonderland it’s into another gem of a tune called ‘Love Or Money’. “I may be crazy but I ain’t no fool!” Sammy hollers and boom were off. Nice shuffle of the drums by Chuck Ruff as well as backing vocals. Sammy 1980 is a serious Hard Rocker!

‘Plain Jane’ has a nice vibe packing a real good oomph. Super cool verses with a fat bass line that follows the lead vocals. Big rock riffs lead the way and that song is called ’20th Century Man’. No radio fodder her on this tune as Sammy and Gary Pihl weave the guitars in and out while flexing some serious muscle live. Another standout track on the album.

‘This World Is On Fire’ is a kick ass boogie woggie riff-a-roo and even more live. People tend to forget what a great Lead/Rhythm picker Sammy is. One of the best lyrically Hagar songs about selling your soul to the music business.
‘In the Night’ continues into the next track ‘The Danger Zone’, which in fact it’s a Gary Pihl keyboard solo, and I love it. Then they end with the Montrose classic ‘Space Station #5′ which is a rip snorting rocker as the band is on an all out rock attack. More huge guitars and this is Hard Rock done to perfection with a chorus that is gold.

Sammy and his band were some rocking beasts on these recordings. The performances on here are top-notch, hot, rock n’ rolling, a showcase for their raw live set before Hagar shifted his musical chops somewhat with a more commercial hard rock sound.
Highly Recommended

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H R / H M 1000 SERIES

01 – Trans Am (Highway Wonderland)
02 – Love Or Money
03 – Plain Jane
04 – 20th Century Man
05 – This Planet’s On Fire (Burn In Hell)
06 – In The Night (Entering The Danger Zone)
07 – The Danger Zone
08 – Space Station #5

Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Gary Pihl – lead guitar, keyboards, backing vocals
Bill Church – bass, backing vocals
Chuck Ruff – drums, backing vocals



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