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Despite the flack he takes, there’s more great Sammy Hagar songs than you might think, even if you subtract his amazingly fruitful decade as the second lead singer of Van Halen. The following list focuses on his solo work, with one notable exception, and reveals an earnest, positive thinking, fun loving guy who just wants to rock. Oh, and drive really fast. Here is Ultimate Classic Rock’s list of the Top 10 Sammy Hagar Songs:
10) ‘Little White Lie’
‘Marching to Mars,’ 1997
After 11 years together, Sammy Hagar was understandably shocked to find his Van Halen bandmates recording with their former lead singer David Lee Roth. He went back to being a solo artist and spent his next album, 1997’s ‘Marching to Mars,’ telling his former friends just where to stick it, especially on this textured, steadily escalating blast of righteous anger.
‘Sammy Hagar,’ 1977
Ever wonder why Sammy Hagar, a blonde, is known as the “Red Rocker?” Well, much like Jack White of the White Stripes decades later, Sammy decided early his his career that he just plain likes the color. So much so that he wrote a song about it for 1977’s ‘Sammy Hagar,’ and used a picture of a city block painted entirely in crimson as the cover for the album.
8 ‘Bad Motor Scooter’
Before he was a solo artist, Sammy was the lead singer for the band Montrose, whose 1973 debut album, featuring this, the first song Hagar ever wrote, is considered an influential hard-rock masterpiece. Five years later, Van Halen chose the same producer and engineer who worked on ‘Montrose’ to produce their debut album (with Roth) because they loved the sound of this album.
7) ‘Your Love is Driving Me Crazy’
‘Three Lock Box,’ 1982
After spending nearly a decade climbing to the top of the rock heap, The Red Rocker scored his first and so far only Top 20 hit, this poppy, radio-friendly lovey-dovey Sammy Hagar song from 1983’s ‘Three Lock Box.’ The catchy tune also showed he wasn’t afraid of keyboards, which would come in handy a few years later when he joined up with Van Halen.
6) ‘Heavy Metal’
‘Standing Hampton,’ 1981
Truth be told, this song from 1981’s ‘Standing Hampton,’ which, yes, is British slang for an erection, is more hard rock than heavy metal. However, it does feature some kick-ass riffs, and Sammy shows that maybe he doesn’t need to lean on all those famous guitarists, turning in a more than suitable solo as the song builds to its shout-along climax.