Tag Archives: sammy hagar

Van Halen’s “5150” Celebrates Its Thirtieth Anniversary (1986-2016)

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In 1984, Van Halen had released an album of the same name and while this release brought their fans blockbuster hits such as “Jump”, “Panama”, “I’ll Wait and “Hot For Teacher”, the dramas going on behind the scenes were at an all-time high and creative dissonance was causing too many rifts when it came to both Eddie Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth. Roth would split from the lineup in 1985 and after some considerable searching a new voice was decided upon in Sammy Hagar and their first music together would come to us with “5150”. Today, the 7th album in the Van Halen catalog reaches its thirtieth anniversary and I’m here to share some personal reflections on this milestone.
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Chickenfoot @ Webster Hall (11/8/2011)

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Artist: Chickenfoot
Venue: Webster Hall (New York, NY)
Opener: Ponderosa
Date: 11/8/2011
Label: E1 Entertainment

I’m sure that you all know a little bit about Chickenfoot by now because the band has been active for a couple of years and its super group roster of members are Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar, Michael Anthony and Chad Smith. The guys had just released their second album, which was actually entitled “Chickenfoot III” and while drummer Chad Smith was on the recording, he would be unable to tour due to commitments with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and in his place is longtime session and live drumming powerhouse Kenny Aronoff. Tonight the guys would be breaking it down at the Webster Hall for a sold out show and since this was my first time ever seeing them in action I was rather excited. I really enjoyed the first album and was still getting used to the latest output and while friends had raved about this band in concert to me on occasion, I like to be the judge of this myself from time to time before I nod in agreement. Of course it’s hard to not have a solid band with Satch on guitar and Sammy on vocals. Having grown up on old school Van Halen I knew full well what to expect from Anthony and that left Aronoff as the only denominator I had yet to see in a live situation. Opening the show would be Ponderosa and I arrived on the late side to what they were doing and felt that while they sounded good were not really my thing. It happens.
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“The Best Of Both Worlds” by Van Halen

Artist: Van Halen
Title: “The Best Of Both Worlds”
Label: Warner Brothers
Release Date: 7/20/2004
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

“Best Of Both Worlds” is more of a proper retrospective for the mighty Van Halen than their initial offering of “Greatest Hits Volume 1” which we found being released in 1996 was and that is based on more than twice the amount of tracks being offered to the fans. The interesting thing is how while the band did have three singers over the course of their history with David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar and Gary Cherone, that nothing from the Extreme singer is here to enjoy or be exposed to for the first time. Clearly the “Best Of Both Worlds” means Dave and Sammy while the world that featured Cherone must have been in some alternate reality. Oh well, it’s a shame in some sense but his work with the band is something that most of the Van Halen fans would rather forget. Spread across the span of two ceedees the collection is delivered in a very interesting manner as we get a Roth track and then a Hagar one, and then the process repeats for most of the album until they begin to present some of the live stuff which Roth was not a part of. If you own the original collection I will tell you that you will not be making space in your shelf by tossing it because the new songs that were presented on that collection do NOT appear on this new one. I was glad to see this being the case because it would have been cheap and cheating the fans by adding them. With “BOBW” we finally get tunes from “Diver Down”, an album that was overlooked on the earlier issue.
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“The Best Of Van Halen” Volume 1 by Van Halen

Artist: Van Halen
Title: “The Best Of Van Halen” Volume 1
Label: Warner Brothers Music
Release Date: 10/22/1996
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 4/5

Musically speaking, Van Halen is probably number two in my list of three favorite Hard Rock and Heavy Metal band and finds themselves bookended by KISS and Judas Priest. That being said, I decided to toss out some thoughts on the bands first ever compilation release which hit the markets way back in 1996. It might surprise some of the newer fans of the bands work that this compilation was something like 20 years in the making and not only spanned about eight of their releases. With this being the case the argument about why this was not a double disc collection was something that definitely came up in conversation. As a collection I felt this was “okay at best” even though it featured a number of my favorite tunes and the reason I make a statement like that is based on it being a sole CD. Too many powerful moments in the bands history are avoided and instead the release comes off as a step-by-step walk through the bands history until the listener reached where we were at the time this was released. We start off with “Eruption” and the tune does NOT lead us into “You Really Got Me” which was the song that made everyone an instant fan of Van Halen even though it was originally penned by The Kinks. I know it was my own introduction to the band and the day after I heard it, I walked the two miles to the local record store to buy a copy of this on vinyl. I’m sure I am not alone here. So we end up with three tunes from the debut which is an album that does no wrong at all and only the “single” from “Van Halen II” with “Dance The Night Away”. The same applies for “WACF” with “And The Cradle Will Rock”. I liked so much more from this album and was sad to find all the rest omitted but again, one CD means limited time to get the point across. The radio classics are paid attention to for the most part from here on out from the Roth era and then we wander into the Sammy Hagar territory which would historically get a lot more mainstream support than most of the early stuff did. I liked some of what Sammy brought to the table in the band but I would have traded him away in a second if Roth could come back.
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“Chickenfoot” by Chickenfoot

Artist: Chickenfoot
Title: “Chickenfoot”
Label: Redline Entertainment
Release Date: 6/9/2009
Genre: Rock
Rating: 4/5

Chickenfoot you say? Chickenfoot? Yeah I admit that it sounds a little bit weird but what’s in a name when it comes to Rock & Roll anyway these days when in the end all that matters is the music that gets put out there. If you haven’t been paying attention to what this actually is well let me update you for a moment. Chickenfoot is the latest super group to hit the music scene and its comprised of Joe Satriani (guitar), Sammy Hagar (vocals), Michael Anthony (bass) and Chad Smith (drums) and based on all of these players previous efforts being so high on the musical food chain one can only imagine what was expected of their opting to work together in this band. So what did we get? Was it a cluster of cacophonous notes and frenzied melodies that went every which way imaginable or was it something greater? Well I am happy to report that what came of this project was an absolutely kick ass Rock album that showcased everyone’s abilities par excellence and showed that they are so good at what they do that when one listens to the self titled debut it sounds as if they had been working together for a lot longer than they had.
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