Friday, March 09, 2007

The 11 Best Van Halen Songs (Sammy Hagar)

When I first heard the news that David Lee Roth was leaving Van Halen and Sammy Hagar was taking over the vocal duties, I was crushed. It was like finding out my parents were getting divorced and my mother was marrying the guy who mowed our lawn. Not that I had anything against the guy who mowed my lawn…but he was the FREAKIN’ GUY WHO MOWED OUR LAWN?!?! How could they do this to me? We were so happy together. Everything was going great! We were planning to go to Disneyland that summer. Are we still going? Is the Lawn Guy going to be coming with us now? Am I going to have to ride the Matterhorn with Lawn Guy? That’s just creepy.

I’m not sure where any of this is coming from, my parents are still married. But you can understand how upset I was. There was no way the Sammy Hagar version of Van Halen would in anyway match the exciting Rock N Roll that David, Eddie, Alex, and Michael had given us. Well, I was wrong. Sorta.

Hagar’s Van Halen was nowhere near the bombastic energized craziness from Lee Roth’s Van Halen. But Van Hagar had heart and soul. And, to the world’s surprise, the guys managed to make some very excellent rock songs. Twenty years later, I’m shocked to hear myself saying this. But at the same time, I’m also very satisfied to say it, too.

Here are the 11 Best Van Halen Songs (Sammy Hagar):

1. Summer Nights (5150) – maybe the best guitar playing of the past 20 years. Eddie masters the Trans-Trem system, allowing his guitar to change keys without changing its sound. No one has matched this to this day.
2. Dreams (5150)
3. Feels So Good (OU812)
4. Can’t Stop Loving You (Balance)
5. Right Now (F.U.C.K.)
6. Why Can’t This Be Love (5150)
7. Humans Being (Greatest Hits 1)
8. Love Walks In (5150)
9. Dream Is Over (F.U.C.K.)
10. When It’s Love(OU812)
11. Aftershock (Balance)

I still haven't figured out a place to store MP3s. All the places seem rather expensive...any suggestions? Until then, the links will take to a place to hear the songs.


Broncostar4444 said...

Dreams is an absolutely stunning song. At times, I almost cry just listening to it.

Anonymous said...

It's good to hear someone who grew up on the Roth era saying something nice about Van Hagar. I grew up on the Hagar era so for me Sam's version of Van Halen is much better hands down, sure I took my time to discover DLR's VH which had some pretty cool things to offer.
Here's my top 11 Van Halen/Sammy Songs
1) "5150": the solo, the feel, the lyrics... it just clicks on from the beginning
2)Humans Being: The darker side of the Sam era, wicked song
3)Not enough: IMO the best ballad ever, pure heartfelt emotion, corny is nowhere to be found
4)Poundcake: The whole band is just playing rough, Eddy kicks some major ass in this one.
5)Finish what ya started: Alternate sound for Van Halen, but it just sounded great... sex oriented song... and a great one indeed.
6)Right now: Awesome lyrics, piano tune is now a classic
7)Black and blue: In the same vein of Finish what ya started but different in it's over all feel, very overlooked song
8)When it's love: One of those Sam ballads that tend to feel a bit syrupy but still a classic
9)Cabo wabo: Long song, overlooked probably because people think it's a Sammy publicity stunt. It stands tall on it's own merits.
10)Summer nights: Awesome guitar work, and has that frat-rock feel which old VH fans hate but new VH fans love.
11)Take me back: Under rated song, acoustic closure for Balance and for a whole era

The yankee said...

Hmmmmmmm.........then I can't imagine how creepy you felt when your 'dad' & your 'Gardner' agreed to go out on tour together & alternate the bedroom (headlining)
I grew up on Van Halen....hard/edgy but enjoyed Van Hagar more. Michael Anthony was the calming influence on both sides
aha keri

Jeff Burton said...

Hagar had twice the tone, range and balls to his voice. Roth relied on squeals and attitude, which produced a quality all of its own, but they really don't compare.