“5150” achieved what “1984” couldn’t.
The Billboard Number 1 spot.
Actually all of the Sammy Hagar albums achieved what the David Lee Roth albums couldn’t.
Then again DLR needed to contend with Michael Jackson and “Thriller” and Adele with “21”. Two genre skipping albums that became cultural must haves.
And songs like “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “Best of Both Worlds”, “Dreams” and “Summer Nights” take up most of the press and listens but it’s tracks like “Good Enough” and “Get Up” which get me really interested.
And they are the least played live while “Inside” has never been performed live.
Check out the head banging riff on “Good Enough” after Sammy screams “Hello Baby” and then go to the speed rock of “Get Up”.
Coming into “OU812”, I wasn’t sold on “When It’s Love” and “Finish What Ya Started” but tracks like “Mine All Mine”, “Source Of Infection” and “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)” definitely got me.
Especially “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)”.
A.F.U kicks off with a groove funk beat while EVH does some guitar arpeggios. And then it really kicks in, with EVH playing a chromatic bluesy riff which then has some passing notes chucked in so EVH can transition to those verses.
And how good are those verses?
It’s like two different songs in a song as the Chorus riff and Verse riff are not meant to be together. But EVH makes em work.
Then there’s that metal riff in the section before the solo which makes me pick up the guitar to learn it.
And the solo, no overdubs or backing guitars, just drums, bass and EVH wailing away.
Then came “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge” and a return to more distortion and an acoustic drum kit for AVH after his previous two albums electronic drum kit experiment.
“Right Now” was a song that EVH felt strongly about to finish on his own as the band members didn’t like it. “Top of the World” is a song that EVH dislikes but finished off because the band members liked it. And these two songs have appeared the most in their concert setlists with Hagar.
“Runaround” and “Poundcake” had radio and TV play as singles.
But it’s tracks like “Judgement Day” that got me head banging.
Just listen to that verse riff?
And that bluesy like solo!!
“The Dream Is Over” is another song with some good EVH riffage (and Sammy Hagar sings a catchy pop chorus) along with the funky “Spanked”.
And there was a break for a few years before “Balance” came out, which Sammy Hagar said was a difficult record to do but to me it has some bone crushing EVH riffs.
“The Seventh Seal” and “Don’t Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” crunch away, while “Amsterdam” and “Big Fat Money” bring the fun and “Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” brings the pop with “Feelin” and “Not Enough” rounding out the ballads.
But it’s “Aftershock” that got me really interested from the first listen. It has so much guitar in it, every section is inspiring to play but my favourite part of the song is the Bridge part.
Just listen to it.
And the Bad Company/Zeppelin III/Beatles influenced “Take Me Back” also got me interested.
For an album that both Hagar and EVH found difficult to do, the songs don’t show it.
The Cherone album, the songs on the Best off albums and the DLR return album are coming up next.