If you’re a child of the 80s, then chances are you can’t resist the tune of ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ or ‘Heavy Metal’ on those crowded highways. Or maybe it was ‘Red’ or ‘Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy’. No matter what your favorite Sammy Hagar song might be, we think everyone will agree on this list of 10 to jog their memory.
1. Marching To Mars
This track first appeared on the Marching to Mars album in 1997, the album was Hagar’s first post Van Halen recording which featured Hagar on vocals and guitar. The song features a thundering bassline from Haden and the track features a cool guitar melody from Hagar. The track features some very effective guitar chords from Hagar which are understated but effective, his vocals sound extraordinarily strong on the track and this sounds like a classic Sammy Hagar rocker.
This song was written and produced by Sammy Hagar. It appears on his album ‘VOA’, released in 1977. The album is also known as “The Red Album” on account of this track and gives rise to Hagar’s nickname “The Red Rocker”. It starts with a heavy drum beat which is accompanied by an acoustic guitar and then progresses to become a heavy rock song. The main theme of the song is about not being able to forget your past experiences, even though they might be bad memories. He says that he will make those experiences good through music. In the chorus, he proclaims that he will give his life to live. This is a really cool song that gets your head nodding from the beginning! The lyrics are clever and well-written. With a classic 80’s vibe, it also captures the energy of a live performance. The lyrics are great; it is truly a great song that has catchy hooks and a memorable chorus.
3. I Can’t Drive 55
This song was written by Sammy Hagar, Mike Fraser, and Mike Clink. It was originally recorded on Sammy Hagar’s first album ‘VOA’. It appears on the album ‘Sammy Hagar’. It is a powerful song of protest against drinking and driving. The goal of this protest is to get the attention of people who drink and drive. In the first verse, he asks what he can offer to those who are about to die if they all get hit by a drunk driver in a car accident. In the chorus, he says that he can’t drive 55. The phrase is a common American expression, referring to the speed limit of many highways in the United States. It means that you drive too fast to be safe or responsible. ‘I Can’t Drive 55’ was Sammy Hagar’s first big hit, reaching #5 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1984.
4. Heavy Metal
This song was written by Sammy Hagar. It appears on his 1984 album ‘VOA’. It is a song about being a heavy metal fan, an homage to the music genre and the people who love it. The lyrics contain many references to rock musicians like David Bowie, Elton John, Paul McCartney, and Rod Stewart. Also, he mentions different bands like AC/DC and Led Zeppelin. It’s a fun song with great guitar riffs, a fine performance by Sammy Hagar, and memorable lyrics. There are also hilarious moments like when he sings, “I’m a heavy metal midget”. The song reached #8 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Tracks in 1984.
5. Little White Lie
This title track from the Marching to Mars album (1997) was written by Sammy Hagar. It was the 3rd single released from the album, holding the #1 spot on Billboard’s Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks in May 97′ for some 5 weeks. It is a song about the trappings of Hollywood, the entertainment industry, and fame. In this song, Sammy Hagar admits to his own mistakes in life by telling us that he is lying about his life. He lies about anything which would make him appear better than he really is. In the chorus, he says that he will never be what he wants to be when he wants to be it. He knows that his life is not perfect and that he is full of disappointments. He asks us to pity him because he is being a fool and makes poor choices. This song has a strong intro and fun chorus. It’s a catchy 80s-style. The song has a memorable melody and awesome lyrics.
6. Your Love is Driving Me Crazy
This song was written by Sammy Hagar, It appears on the 1983 album ‘Three Lock Box”. It’s a song about being obsessed over someone. In the chorus, he tells us that he is obsessed with you and, your love just “takes me away”. The video is classic early MTV era which has to be seen! This song is a real rocker! The lyrics are well-written, and the music is a key reminder of the early 80’s soft-rock genre. The track is Hagar’s only top 20 solo hit on the Billboard Hot 100 where he peaked at #13.
7. There’s Only One Way To Rock
From his 1982 album “Standing Hampton”, and reappearing in 2004 on “The essential red collection”, “There’s only one way to rock’ is a real headbanger of a track. The song contains some nice hard rock riffs. Throughout the track, the heavy guitar riffs can be heard which gives the song a catchy rock rhythm. The lyrics appear to be about Hagar struggling with his career as a performer, rock star, or musician, with lots of exclamation marks for emphasis. He is on the path to becoming a giant rock star.
8. Bad Motor Scooter
Before Hagar’s solo career blossomed, Hagar leads the band “Montrose” and this track from the album of the same name was perhaps one of the best known from the band. You can really hear the undertones of the heavy metal with the double bass, loud distorted guitar licks, and pounding drums and vocals that later defined Hagar’s immortal sound.
9. Three Lock Box
Straight back to the 80’s now with this 1982 release and the title track from the album with the same name. Three Lock Box is another Hagar classic. It has a real edge to it with the fast tempo and catchy hooks which make it another serious rocker. Three Lock Box was not a hit single but went on to become a concert favorite for Hagar fans and so makes this list as a magnificent example of his work.
10. Rock ‘N’ Roll Weekend
And so, full circle, back to the “Red” album, this track features one of the best titles in Hagar’s library and is a testament to his ability for canny quirkiness. It charts the ups and downs of a hedonistic weekend in a rock star’s life and makes that bad behavior look really entertaining. The whole album was a huge success, but if you’re going to pick just one track from “Red” that will give you an idea of the wider sound still to come from Hagar then this is your best bet.
Sammy Hagar, Perhaps a Legend in the Making
There are many other tracks from Hagar’s library that could be included here, the list could go on and on. When it comes to the music of this awesome performer, there’s no such thing as too much. He has made a huge contribution to rock music and helped define this genre for years to come.