Don't try to spell it, but Hallelujah from Sammy Hagar & The Wabos has arrived! Well, at least in part, anyway. Hagar, affectionately known as The Red Rocker, is one of those rare musicians and vocalists who has enjoyed success both as a solo artist and with headline bands.
His resume is rather diverse ranging from Montrose to HSAS (featuring Journey guitarist Neal Schon) blues artist Roy Rogers to Van Halen (Van Hagar as some disgusted fans have coined) to offering songs, production, vocals and/or guitar work for Heart, Alice Cooper and even, yes it's true: Hank Williams Jr. (Lone Wolf). Not to mention appearing on numerous movie soundtracks like: Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Over The Top (that underwhelming Stallone wrestling movie), Footloose, Up the Academy, plus the classic adult animated movie Heavy Metal.
Sammy was a prominent popular rock artist in the 80's gliding between hard rock and pop rock with such memorable songs as There's Only One Way To Rock and I Can't Drive 55 (both available on Hallelujah). The story goes that one day he got a call to replace Diamond David Lee Roth in Van Halen, of which he accepted and then went on to record several platinum VH albums. He helped usher in a new and somewhat unexpected VH sans Roth era only to leave the band in somewhat torrential times in the late 90's and return to his almost forgotten solo career some 13 years later.
In Hagar's absence Van Halen popularity waned; not helped by releasing their worst studio offering to date with singer Gary Sherone behind the mic, then firing him after the sales went south, and then they descended into sort of an unofficial retirement. Unfortunately, the world hasn't seen or heard from Van Halen — no new album or live show-- in 1,758+ days and counting. Ok, I guess you can hear a quick and somewhat recent soundclip of Eddie playing Joy to the World for 40 seconds here.
The good news is that Sammy Hagar is still out there recording, touring and playing loud and proud rock and roll. This man has a lot of fun playing and you can hear it on this live CD.
So what does Sammy say about Hallelujah inside the CD insert? Trying to put a live CD together was not as easy as I thought it would be. Clearly with his large catalog of songs he should have gone for the double CD set, but fans can't tell by his limited and vexing explanation if this was a financial decision or a personal decision. Come on, Sammy.
Somehow in the space of a single CD he still manages to squeeze in a cross selection of songs, kicking the set list off with Shaka Doobie. Not the best nor well known song to start a live Sammy Hagar CD, but he bounces back by jumping right into the second song in the setlist with the familiar: suckers walk, money talks, but it can't touch my three lock box.