Posts Tagged ‘Sammy Hagar’

Here we go…..another late post…..another late update on my continuing quest for new additions to my collection…..

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PlanetHelix.com

Metal On Ice
Helix – A Heavy Mental Xmas (2008)
Helix – All I Want For Christmas…is the Leafs to Win The Cup! (7″ vinyl) - $35 bundle

Ebay

W.A.S.P. – Inside The Electric Circus (1986) – $8 used
W.A.S.P. – Live…In The Raw (1987) – $11 used
W.A.S.P. – The Crimson Idol (1989) – $8 used
Rhett Forrester – Gone With The Wind (1984/2001 reissue) – $9 used

Sammy Hagar & Friends (2013) – $7.25
King Kobra – II (2013) – $7.25
Coney Hatch – Four (2013) – $7.25
Little River Band – Cuts Like A Diamond (2013) – $7.25
Nightwish – Oceanborn (1998) – $10 used
MSG – Nightmare: The Acoustic MSG (1992) – $10 used
Great White – s/t (1984) – $5.50 used vinyl
Great White – Out Of The Night E.P. (1983) – $5.50 used vinyl

Amazon

Kill Devil Hill – Revolution Rise (2013) – $12
Tyr – Valkyrja (2013) – $10
Benedictum – Obey (2013) – $15
KISS – Best of Vol. 3 (The Millenium Collection) (2006) – $7

Newbury Comics

MSG – Bridge The Gap (Ltd. Ed.) (2014) – $24
Scorpions – MTV Unplugged: Live In Athens (CD/DVD) (2014) – $12
Iced Earth – Plagues Of Babylon (Dlx. Ed.) (2014) – $16
Nashville Pussy – Up The Dosage (Ltd. Ed.) (2014) – $16
Michael Monroe – Horns & Halos (2013) – $14
Lita Ford – The Bitch Is Back…Live (2013) – $0
Dream Theater – s/t (2013) – $14
Phil Anselmo & The Illegals – Walk Through Exits Only (2013) – $10 used
Trouble – Distortion Field (2013) – $0 used
Circle II Circle – All That Remains E.P. (2005) – $4 used
Andersen/Laine/Readman – Three (2006) – $4 used
Sinner – There Will Be Execution (2003) – $0 used
Royal Hunt – A Life To Die For (2013) – $18
Helker – Somewhere In The Circle (2013) – $10 used
Firewind – Few Against Many (2012) – $0 used

I started off the year with a major bang by scoring a lot of older releases and many 2013 releases that I received digital promos for from the labels. One of my resolutions for 2014 was to acquire more older catalog releases…..albums that have been missing from my collection for a long time.

My first purchase was from PlanetHelix.com, the official website of Brian Vollmer and Helix. The had a holiday bundle that included the Metal On Ice album, the Helix holiday CD and a bonus 7 inch vinyl single of the new Helix holiday song for a cool $35. I bought the deluxe package with the Helix t-shirt and baseball cap for $75.

Ebay was awesome for great buys early this year! I scored original Capitol Records pressing of the three W.A.S.P. albums that are missing from my collection. I’ve always had the entire W.A.S.P. discography be it on cassette back in the ’80s, the original pressing CDs and then the reissues with bonus tracks in the late ’90s. I sold my original pressings of all the W.A.S.P. albums about ten years ago when my wife and I were strapped for cash when our second daughter was born, and I sold them for decent bucks, but I’ve regretted it ever since. It’s been an on again/off again search for these original pressings but I finally decided to acquire them all once I found a seller that had them all up at once. Same thing happened with the Sammy Hagar, King Kobra, Coney Hatch and Little River Band CDs, these were all one lot at a great price from a reputable seller. I had all the digital promos but I wanted the first three albums in my collection, would have passed on the Little River Band if it was alone but it was a great price for the 4 CD lot. The other CDs I grabbed of Ebay were ones I stumbled on when I was searching some of my favorite sellers but my favorites were the two Great White vinyls I won for $5.50 each…..both original pressing in near mint condition.

I had to kill an Amazon gift card that I received for a Xmas present so I picked up some 2013 releases: Kill Devil Hill, Tyr and Benedictum. All were cheaper than actually buying them from the record store and, to round out my gift card, I added the KISS – Millenium Collection 3 compilation for completist purposes.

I did actually go to the record store three times to start the year! I stopped by the North Attleboro, MA Newbury Comics to pick up the new Michael Schenker Group album and I dropped $24 on the limited edition digibook with the bonus track featuring Don Dokken on vocals. I know that’s a lot of money but Michael Schenker is one of those artists that I will spend the extra money on. Luckily, I caught the sale because regular price on that bad boy was $30! While I was in store I added the new Scorpions MTV Unplugged CD/DVD and the new Iced Earth to the MSG album, both were on sale and I saved $5 and $8 respectively. The Scorpions release was cheaper on sale than on Amazon and it’s the CD/DVD version, same with the new Iced Earth which was also a CD/DVD combo.

My second trip out to the stores was to catch a Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on all CDs. I made it up to the the big Newbury Comics in Norwood, MA (nice vinyl section there!) and scored mostly 2013 releases that I never bothered to pick up. I’ve been a Nashville Pussy fan since their first record so I needed Up The Dosage and I saved $3 buying the deluxe edition (2 bonus tracks) for $16 on sale. I paired it with Michael Monroe’s latest (also on sale for $14, saving $3) to get the Lita Ford live album free (also on sale for $14, regular $17). I paired the latest Dream Theater (also on sale for $14 from $17) with a used copy of the Phil Anselmo CD ($10 used instead of $16 regular) to get the latest Trouble album free $10 used instead of $16 regular). My last bundle was a few older releases that were all $4 used: Circle II Circle + Andersen/Laine/Readman = Sinner for free.

On the way home from Norwood, I hit the North Attleboro store to buy the latest Royal Hunt – A Life To Die For for a high priced $18 regular price, paired with a used $10 copy of the latest Helker album to get Firewind’s Few Against Many free. I already bought the Firewind album once and I uploaded it into my iTunes but I realized that the used copy I bought mid-year in a record store was NOT the jewel case version I thought it was. Upon further review, it was a ripped in half digipak version stuffed into a jewel case and priced as used. Needless to say, that won’t do for my collection, no damaged CDs allowed! When I found this copy used for $8, it was a an easy buy with Royal Hunt and Helker.

Totals

Total (Jan) = $344

Total (year) = $344

Average Price (per item) = $10.12

Total CDs (year) = 31

Total LPs (year) = 3

 

 

The hunt for CDs always continues but September is always a slow month because of back to school and getting the house ready for Fall/Winter. September is also slow because there aren’t as many new releases because the Summer concert/release season has come and gone and a lot of new albums are planned closer to the Winter holidays. There were more than a few big releases though and I was at the record store buying them up on sale…..

Newbury Comics

Anthrax – Worship Music (2011) – $12: One of the most anticipated releases of 2011 for me because of the reunion with singer Joey Belladonna but also because there hasn’t been a new Anthrax record since 2003′s WE’VE COME FOR YOU ALL. That’s 8 long years! There’s been a lot of drama in the Anthrax camp at the singer slot with John Bush leaving and Belladonna coming in for a reunion tour, then Dan Nelson replacing Belladonna for a new record. When that didn’t work, Bush came back for festival dates and to try and record the Nelson material but that didn’t work and Belladonna came back for the Big 4 tour dates. Get all that? WORSHIP MUSIC has the classic lineup intact, save for Rob Caggiano on guitar, and it sounds like the band never parted ways with Belladonna back in 1992. I’ve been an Anthrax fan since the beginning and this is a classic ’80s styled release and it sounds great. Regular price was $16 so I saved $4.

Edguy – Age Of The Joker (2011) – $10: I have this love/hate releationship with Edguy. When they first came out in the late ’90s, they were a pure Power Metal band that I discovered while getting completely immersed in the growing Power Metal resurgence. As time went on, I had a harder time with the change in sound on albums like HELLFIRE CLUB (2004) and ROCKET RIDE (2006) to a more Hard Rock sound…..at least that’s what I hear. I always buy Edguy’s albums though and they’re always really good but I think they get overshadowed now by Tobias Sammet’s Avantasia projects. I couldn’t pass up the album though and it was on sale the day of release for $10, a $6 savings compared to the $16 regular price. I’ve read online that there’s a limited edition two disc version with six bonus tracks but it wasn’t available at the record store the day of release. Actually, I had no idea there was a special edition or I might have waited and bought online.

Dream Theater – A Dramatic Turn Of Events (2011) – $16: The only reason why this new Dream Theater album seems so expensive is because I bought the special edition with the bonus DVD documenting the drummer auditions the band held to replace the departed Mike Portnoy. I thought that was pretty interesting and I wouldn’t mind seeing new drummer Mike Mangini’s (ex-Annihilator, Extreme, Steve Vai) induction to the band. Not really a surprise pick seeing that Mangini already worked on some of James LaBrie’s solo projects. This is Dream Theater though and I’m going to buy the album anyway, the only difference being do I want to shell out an extra $3 for a bonus DVD? The standard version was $13 on sale with a regular price of $16, the special edition was $16 on sale with a regular price of $22…..I saved $6 and got the bonus DVD that I’ll probably watch once!

Doro – 25 years In Rock…..And Still Going Strong (2011) – $20: Now here’s the reason I made the trip out to the record store this particular week! Doro Pesch has been around a long time and she is still kicking ass! I’ve been following her since the Warlock days and it seems that I’ve acquired a large Warlock/Doro collection over the years. Back in 2008, Doro celebrated her 25th year in Metal with a huge concert in her hometown of Dusseldorf, Germany with a ton of special appearances and guests from across the Metal world including a Warlock reunion! I’ve only seen and heard bits and pieces online and through various Doro releases but now the entire collection is finally seeing the light of day in the U.S…..it seems that this was released in Europe in november 2010 through Nuclear Blast Germany. The package includes 5 hours of concert footage & a documentary on 2 DVDs and a 43 minute audio CD of parts of the live 25th anniversary concert. The DVDs include the full anniversary show, the behind the scenes look at the show and a bunch of live extras from various festivals over the last few years. I would have preferred the full show on audio so I’m going to see if it’s available on that earlier European release. Regular price was $30, paid $20, saved $10.

Saxon – Call To Arms (2011) – $10: The new Saxon record was the only reason I made a second trip to the record store during September…..like I said, it was a slow month but I’m not missing a new album from one of my favorite bands! CALL TO ARMS was released a few weeks earlier in Europe and I’d read some great reviews so I was really looking forward to it. Unfortunately, the cover doesn’t impress but the music sure does! There were two versions of this CD: the standard and the special edition that included the Live At Donington 1980 live album. That Donington ’80 live album has been repackaged so many times that it’s become kind of a joke, if you already own the original like I do then there’s no reason to buy the special edition. The original Donington ’80 is relatively easy to find as well. Regular price here was $13 (the special edition was $16) and the sale was $10 ($13 for the special) so I saved $3.

Sebastian Bach – Kicking & Screaming (2011) – $14: Just like Edguy, I have this love/hate thing going with Sebastian Bach. Most of the time, I find the guy to be full of himself and he really hasn’t released much since Skid Row’s SUBHUMAN RACE (1995). Granted that he did Braodway and a lot of work on television with MTV Networks and reality TV but his solo projects haven’t been barnburners for me. He had the group The Last Hard Men, a half studio/half live album, a covers album, ANGEL DOWN (2007) and the Frameshift collaboration in 2005. For me the Frameshift record is the best of them all so I wasn’t expecting much. Then I look at the guy and he embodies that “rock star” persona and you know the talent is there so I always have hope. I heard the first single, the title track, and it sounded pretty good so I decided to take the chance.  I ended up buying the special edition with the bonus DVD that include the making of the album, live bonuses and videos while the proper CD has a bonus track ‘Jump Off The Wagon’. Regular price was $20, paid $14, saved $6.

House Of Lords – Big Money (2011) – $13: One thing I like about the Newbury Comics I shop at is that they group all the Frontiers Records’ new releases together in the new release section, I end up buying albums I totally forgot about all the time! Right next to the Sebastian Bach was the new House Of Lords which, just like Doro, I seem to have acquired almost all of the band’s albums very quietly. The problem with that is I usually end up not giving these House Of Lords albums enough time on the stereo…..maybe it’s because the first two albums were so good? Frontman/co-founder James Christian is back again as the only one left from the glory days and he’s done a great job of keeping HOL alive, the guy also still has a great voice. I forgot about this album so I grabbed the only copy in the store for the $13 sale price. Regular price for this Frontiers import was $17 so I saved $4. Just a quick thought…..I realize the crest is the band’s trademark but couldn’t we vary some of these album covers a little?

Michael Monroe – Sensory Overdrive (2011) – $10: This CD was a complete out of the blue purchase. I’m not a big Hanoi Rocks or Michael Monroe fan because I just never got around to buying most of the albums. I have a few but I bought them years ago and haven’t revisited them in years. So I’m browsing the regular priced Rock section and I notice one of the clerks stocking a section so I asked the guy if he had good stuff. The guy told me to give this disc a try so I took it and added it to my shopping basket. If you’ve read this website long enough then you know I always grab a handbasket when I walk in and I fill it with all the good stuff I find. When I’m done, I make my decisions, keep what I’m buying and I restock the other CDs back on the shelves where they belong. When it came down to decision time, the reason why I took a chance on Michael Monroe was because the other competing albums had multiple copies and this had only one, the others were a few dollars more, this was a lower price and I quickly pulled up a few reviews on my phone. I figured $10 sale price was worth a chance…..regular price was $13 so I saved $3.

Amon Amarth – Surtur Rising (2011) – $12 used: I ended up find ing the latest Amon Amarth album on my third and final trip to Newbury Comics in September, I actually went back to the store the day after I bought the Saxon, Bach, Monroe and Lords albums because I forgot to buy my wife a CD she asked me to pick up. So I go back in and I decide to do a quick double check of the Metal section because how much is really going to change in 24 hours? Well SURTUR RISING wasn’t there the day before and there were two copies: a new one for $20 and this used one for $12! This is the special edition digipak that includes the 10 song CD and the 33 track DVD – BLOODSHED OVER BOCHUM, GERMANY 12/28-12/31/2008. I saved the $8 over the regular price and the content value is great for that price but this was a solid purchase because 1) the digital download I received from the promo company had a glitch in it and I couldn’t download the entire album and 2) I haven’t seen a copy of SURTUR RISING stocked in any of the various Newbury Comics locations I’ve been in since a month after the album’s release. The search is over and I paid just under what the original sale price was on the new release date.

Kik Tracee – No Rules (1991) – $3 used: If you find one great bargain then there’s bound to be another! Nothing else of any significance cam out of the quick check of the Metal section so I went over to the bargain bin for a quick check and there it was right in front of the ‘K’ section. I’ve been looking for a good copy of NO RULES for a long time but everytime I search Kik Tracee on Ebay, the available copies are either going through a bidding war or the BUY IT NOW is set extremely high. I quickly checked Ebay for some current prices and the range was as low as $15 for a used CD and as high as $75 for the Japanese import. Either way, $3 for a mint condition used CD is an awesome price, especially considering the demand and my quest for the album. Instant purchase! Of course, I forgot my wife’s CD when I was ready to check out but I did go back and get it. Average price on Ebay is around $25 but I will go with the lowest price I saw of $15 so I saved $12.

Best Buy

Chickenfoot – III (2011) – $13: There is never any reason to go to a big box retailer like Best Buy, Target or Wal-Mart for a CD unless there is some exclusive release or variation. I walked into Best Buy about an hour after the doors opened the morning the new Chickenfoot was released and I couldn’t find a copy! I asked a sales associate and he looked at me like I was insane. I asked the cashier I saw reading a magazine, she had no idea. I even got the sales flyer and showed these people the CD…..they searched the FOUR racks of CDs they had and there was nothing. New release rack? Nothing. Finally I asked for the store manager because why advertise a limited edition release exclusive to Best Buy if you aren’t going to display it on the sales floor? The manager comes up, makes a call, and a fresh box of CDs arrives from the stockroom! I got one, another guy grabbed one and the fresh out of high school sales associate stocked the other 20 or so CDs in the new release rack. All this for a simple CD? No wonder the business is in shambles! Regular was $16, sale price $13, so I saved $3.

Total = $133

Total (year) = $802

Average Price (per item) = $8.72

Total Savings (month) = $65

Total Savings (year) = $735

Total CDs (year) = 86

Total DVDs (year) = 5

Total Box Sets (year) = 0

Total LPs (year) = 1

Red – My Uncensored Life In Rock (2011, HarperCollins Publishing)

Author: Sammy Hagar with Joel Selvin

Pages: 238

Style: Hardcover

Sammy Hagar

Now here’s a book I’ve been looking forward to! Red – My Uncensored Life In Rock by Sammy Hagar is definitely a must read for most Rock fans for only one reason: the inside story of what went on in Van Halen from Sammy himself! Red is a quick read at only 238 pages but I like to take my time with a book, especially an artist/band biography. My enjoyment isn’t from just reading the book, I like to dive into the music at the same time. Like most other rock biographies, stories about making the music, writing the songs and hitting the studio are crucial to the overall band history so I like to go back and re-listen to the records as I’m reading. This pattern lets me understand the creative process while enjoying the book. Anyway, I should have finished this book in a couple hours but I stretched it a full week around work, family and as many Montrose, Sammy solo and Van Halen albums I own. Red follows Sammy from his childhood days and family life growing up in Fontana, California, to his club days with local bands, Montrose, his solo career, HSAS, Van Halen, solo again and Chickenfoot. That’s a lot of information to pack into only 238 pages! The whole point of my buying this book is because I wanted to know, from Sammy’s perspective, what went down with the break-up of Van Halen in 1996 and the ill-fated reunion tour of 2004.

Now I’m not going to lie, I’m a David Lee Roth guy. Back when I was growing up and getting into Hard Rock, Van Halen had Diamond Dave on the mic. My first exposure to Van Halen was DIVER DOWN (1982) followed quickly by VAN HALEN (1978) and that was just before the band hit big on MTV with the 1984 album. Once 1984 hit, I was a huge Van Halen and David Lee Roth fan. To this day, I prefer the Roth era of Van Halen but, like AC/DC, the band has an equally good and successful era with a new singer (Sammy Hagar). My love of original Van Halen and DLR solo aside, I also grew up with the beginning of the Sammy era of Van Halen. I was watching MTV news for the official announcement of Sammy joining Van Halen, I bought 5150 the day it came out in 1986 and I saw the band play live on the 5150 tour in Providence, RI. Over the years, with every new Van Halen album, I have come to be a fan of both Van Halen lineups equally. Sammy’s addition to the Van Halen lineup also pushed me to discover his solo career and I found that there was more to the Red Rocker than ‘I Can’t Drive 55′ and ‘Only One Way To Rock’…..FM radio staples during the ’80s. Since the band parted ways in 1996, I have followed Sammy’s career closely by purchasing all his solo albums since, seeing him multiple times in concert and even enjoying some Cabo Wabo Tequila…..some of the finest tequila you can get! I have become a huge Sammy Hagar fan.

Back to the book…..

Like I said, the whole point of the book is to get the scoop from Sammy himself on what caused the Van Halen break-up in 1996 and the whole reunion tour fiasco of 2004. I’m not going to ruin the book by telling you all the dirt but let’s just put it this way: if you read David Lee Roth’s 1997 book, Crazy From The Heat, and read a lot of interviews from both Sam & Dave regarding their respective terminations from Van Halen, then you kind of find the same kind of scenarios and situations that point the break-ups in the direction of two very talented brothers. Now Red goes into a little more detail about Sammy’s time in the band, and he also chronciles the success and fun, but that gives you a taste. Aside from the Van Halen story, I liked reading about Sammy’s time as a solo artist before and after Van Halen and his non-musical businesses like the Cabo Wabo cantina in Mexico and the tequila company. Over the years, Sammy has had the benefit of good business sense and a good manager so he’s had a solid string of successful businesses and opportunities that have made him very rich and successful, making his music career more of a fun thing rather than an actual “career”. I also enjoyed reading about Sammy’s childhood and family life because I like finding out where a musician comes from, how the got there and what they are like off-stage.

The only drawback to Red is that it’s way too short. Sammy Hagar has a career that spans 40 years and 238 pages is just not enough to really dive deep into each part. The book is too brief chronicling Sammy’s time in Montrose and the supergroups of HSAS and Chickenfoot. I would have loved to get a little more detail into the creating of the albums and the touring war stories of those three bands. Don’t get me wrong, Sammy talks about each band (Montrose gets it’s own chapter) but I felt there was more to each band’s story. Maybe Sam doesn’t remember? Maybe Sam doesn’t want to get into it? At least Chickenfoot is an ongoing story! I also wanted to hear more about the ill-fated Sam & Dave tour in the Summer of 2002 because I saw the show in Mansfield, MA and Sammy blew Dave off the stage! Roth headlined that night and was in fine form as his set progressed but Sammy was the life of the party bringing on Michael Anthony for some songs and then Gary Cherone for ‘When It’s Love’. All three Van Halen singers at one show! Too bad there wasn’t some sort of song with the three of them. I think one of the reasons why the book is short, and some of the dirt is held back, is because Sammy seems like an all around nice guy. I think he wanted to get his thoughts and opinions out there and then move on and continue living life and making music. I can’t fault him for that.

Bottom Line:
If you’re a Sammy Hagar fan or a Van Halen fan, this is a must read. If you want all the dirt on Van Halen from Sam’s perspective, and get into the rest of his career before and after VH, read this book. Like I mentioned, it’s a little short and I would have liked some further details about certain bands, albums and tours but I really enjoyed Red. The book was a fun read that made me appreciate Sammy Hagar’s career that much more…..I recommend checking it out.

Chickenfoot - self-titled (2009)

Chickenfoot – s/t (2009, Redline Entertainment)

  1. Avenida Revolution
  2. Soap On A Rope
  3. Sexy Little Thing
  4. Oh Yeah
  5. Runnin’ Out
  6. Get It Up
  7. Down The Drain
  8. My Kinda Girl
  9. Learning To Fall
  10. Turnin’ Left
  11. Future In The Past
  12. Bitten By The Wolf

Band Lineup:
Sammy Hagar – Vocals
Michael Anthony – Bass
Joe Satriani – Guitar
Chad Smith – Drums

Producers: Chickenfoot & Andy Johns

Country: USA

Total Time = 57:47

Chickenfoot
Chickenfoot MySpace page

Supergroup.

That simple word can mean either quick success or complete bomb when used in the Rock world. How many “supergroups” have gone on to great heights and impacting the music world? Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young come to mind, so does Cream and Blind Faith. Maybe throw Bad Company and Asia in there too? I’m sure there’s a few bands I’m missing but for every Cream, Bad Co. or Asia there’s a Contraband or a Bad English. Now you might say: “Hey, Bad English had a couple of hits!”…..I say name their second album and did it have any hits. The “supergroup” either hits it big quick or dies a miserable death. Needless to say when I heard that Sammy Hagar (ex-Van Halen, ex-Montrose), Michael Anthony (ex-Van Halen), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and Joe Satriani were forming a brand new band, a “supergroup”, I was a little wary as well as curious.

The roots of Chickenfoot took hold back in 2002 when Hagar and Anthony started playing together with Journey guitarist Neal Schon and Journey drummer Deen Castronovo and called themselves Planet US. A little later on, the band added Joe Satriani in on second lead guitar. Basically this was a fun project for the members between the Van Halen reunion with Hagar and the recording of Journey’s album GENERATIONS (2005). Even though there was interest in keeping the project alive, the committments to Van Halen, Journey and Satriani’s solo career put the project on hold. As a result of nothing coming out Planet US, Schon created Soul SirkUS (a band with Jeff Scott Soto on vocals) in 2005 to release some of the material that was written for Planet US and, after touring extensively with Van Halen and Hagar’s solo band, Sammy Hagar and Michael Anthony revived the idea and started jamming with Satriani and Smith…..now you have Chickenfoot!

When I first heard about Chickenfoot I was excited. Even though I’m firmly in the Roth camp, I still enjoyed the Sammy Hagar version of Van Halen. With Van Halen on the backburner, I figured the Hagar/Anthony team would provide a solid base to get some good solid Melodic Hard Rock. It’s not hard to figure out that aside from Eddie Van Halen’s innovative guitar heroics the sound of Van Halen was Sammy’s voice backed by Michael’s solid harmonies. The winning combination is enhanced by a great guitar player in his own right with Satriani and probably one of the most underrated drummers in Rock with Smith. I figured I’d play this album and hear some really great Hard Rock with superb vocals and guitar. I was close!

I’ve listened to this album since it came out a lot but everytime I get halfway through it feels like something is missing. All the songs sound great, the production is top notch. The vocals are the highlight, Hagar proving that he can get it done better than ever at age 62 and Anthony chiming in with trademark harmonies. Smith pounds away and Satriani doesn’t shred as expected but he finds a smooth, Bluesy groove and plays with ease…..you can tell that the guys are all having fun playing together. The problem with the album is the songs…..they all sound the same save for a couple of tracks. The defining mark of each musician is that their careers have had great memorable songs full of life, hooks and melody. The problem with Chickenfoot is that none of the songs are memorable, there is really nothing here that gets me singing along and bringing me back for more. Songs like ‘Avenida Revolution’, ‘Soap On A Rope’ and ‘Get It Up’ are decent enough Hard Rock songs but there isn’t that hook that draws me in. Except for maybe a couple of songs, everything sounds more like a jam and in a couple of cases unfinished ideas. ‘Sexy Little Thing’ has that melody and hook that comes close to the kind of Hard Rock we’re used to from a Sammy Hagar fronted band. Same goes for ‘My Kinda Girl’ but this song is even better and could easily fit on a Van Halen album or a Sammy solo record, easily the best song on the album and should be the first single. Great harmonies and cool licks from Satriani add to the overall sound and it’s good to hear Mike Anthony singing on the background vocals…..a strong point of the Van Halen sound for decades. The third song that really stands out to me is the quiet ballad ‘Learning To Fall’ that reminds me of parts of the hit ‘Give To Live’ from Sammy’s 1987 solo album. This is probably Sammy’s best and most passionate vocal performance of the entire album, definitely a single in the making if it gets to radio.

Bottom Line:
I was looking forward to this album, to the next big supergroup, but I definitely came away disappointed. I spent a lot of time with this album because I like all the players involved and I’m a Sammy Hagar fan. If I look at my CD collection, I have all his Van Halen albums and almost all his solo records and the all have some pretty solid songs. Unfortunately, this debut album for Chickenfoot sounds like a collection of album tracks from Sammy’s solo records. You know the songs…..the ones that never make it to radio or the concert hall. I don’t want to say “filler” because that brings up a negative connotation, even though there are a few “fillers” on this album, overall it’s harder to take in. Most of the 11 songs don’t have that memorable melody or hook that keeps us tuned in, there’s not much that’s really catchy and gets you singing along. Some of the songs do grow on you after repeated listens but I lost interest after a while because there just wasn’t enough to hold my attention. This may not be the last Chickenfoot album because it’s selling decently, I just hope the guys in the band decide to follow a more commercial direction next time around.

Favorite Songs:
‘My Kinda Girl’, ‘Sexy Little Thing’, ‘Learning To Fall’

Sadly all good things must come to and end…..and so must my vacation. It’s been a great week off from work: I spent time with the family, listened to a lot of music and did a lot of things I can’t do because work gets in the way…..like sleep! I have to go back to work today at 4pm so I decided to relax in the music room and shuffle the iPod one last time to see what comes out…..

  1. Queen – ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ (1986)
  2. Starz – ‘Violation’ (1977)
  3. Dokken – ‘The Hunter’ (1985)
  4. Autograph – ‘Send Her To Me’ (1984)
  5. Journey – ‘Send Her My Love’ (1983)
  6. Judas Priest – ‘Hard As Iron’ (1988)
  7. Accept – ‘Do It’ (1980)
  8. Judas Priest – ‘Solar Angels’ (1981)
  9. Quiet Riot – ‘Twilight Hotel’ (1986)
  10. Sammy Hagar – ‘Mas Tequila’ (1999)
  11. .38 Special – ‘Wild Eyed Southern Boys’ (1981)
  12. KISS – ‘Room Service’ (1975)
  13. Ozzy Osbourne – ‘No Bone Movies’ (1980)
  14. Manowar – ‘Fighting The World’ (1987)
  15. KISS - ‘Exciter’ (1983)
  16. Tim Owens – ‘Believe’ (2009)
  17. ZZ Top – ‘T.V. Dinners’ (1983)
  18. Motley Crue – ‘Hollywood Ending’ (2000)
  19. U.D.O. – ‘Infected’ (2009)
  20. Aerosmith – ‘Last Child’ (1977)

Bonus Track: UFO – ‘Diesel In the Dust’ (1983)

    Chickenfoot - self-titled (2009)

    Chickenfoot – s/t (2009) – $9.99: Chickenfoot is the latest hard Rock supergroup and includes former Van Halen duo Sammy Hagar & Michael Anthony, Joe Satriani, and Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith. The roots of Chickenfoot came from the  2002 Planet US project (that included Journey members Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo) and the combination of Hagar & Anthony as “The Other Ones” that played songs live during Hagar’s various concert tours. I’ve been hyped up for this project for a few months now with songs being leaked all over the Internet. When I went to the record store this past Tuesday, I noticed the promo posters up in the store and I asked if there was going to be a sale price. Sure enough…..$9.99! The cover is heat sensitive so if you press on it your body temperature reveals the album cover underneath the black…..kind of like the early ’80s clothing line Hypercolor.

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

    JOE SATRIANI, CHAD SMITH, MICHAEL ANTHONY, SAMMY HAGAR JOIN FORCES FOR MUCH ANTICIPATED NEW ROCK GROUP ‘CHICKENFOOT’

     SELF-TITLED ALBUM TO BE RELEASED JUNE 2009

    chickenfoot-2009a

    (LOS ANGELES, CA…MARCH 26, 2009) – Four of rock music’s most successful and influential musicians are combining their talents to create the much anticipated rock group Chickenfoot.  Guitar hero Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith, former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony and frontman Sammy Hagar’s new project has found the four working side-by-side for the last few months  recording their self-titled debut album, Chickenfoot, which will be released in June, 2009.  The band will grace the cover of an upcoming issue of Guitar World magazine on stands in April.

    Long before these four rock icons came together to form Chickenfoot, they already had filled the pages of rock history with enough individual mind-blowing chapters to boggle the mind of any fan or musician alike.  Satriani had his own blazing solo career as a much respected guitar virtuoso; Chad Smith is the drummer of world renowned rock band The Red Hot Chili Peppers; and Michael Anthony and Sammy Hagar have been working together since their days as lead bassist and singer, respectively, in Van Halen.  These talented individuals were aching to work together in a band that produced rock like they never have before.

    “After just a few songs, it became stunningly obvious that we shared a musical agenda and an overall agenda,” says Satriani.  “When I play with Chickenfoot, I find myself wanting to give them more all the time.  I don’t hold anything back.  I think the rest of the guys feel the same way.”

    “I really wasn’t looking to have a real band,” says Hagar.  “But…the minute we started jamming it was obvious that this is something that needs to be heard.”

    The news that they had pooled their inordinate talents to one collective whole quickly spread like wildfire across the internet and rock metal pages over the last year as each member slowly disclosed more and more details about the mystery project. 

    The self-titled debut is an 11-track hard rock album that sets a new standard for rock music in the new millennium.  Produced by Andy Johns (Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones) and mixed by Mike Fraser (AC/DC, Metallica), the band is not lacking energy or enthusiasm in this project. 

    Joe Bosso of Guitar World says, “Clearly enthusiasm is no problem in the land of Chickenfoot…the finished album is an 11-song slab of raging rock…the songs stomp and snort and do all the things that great rock songs should do.”

    From the thunderous, ominous opening strains of “Avenida Revolution” (detailing the bloody drug wards in Tijuana) to the album closer, the shimmering rock ballad “Future’s in the Past,” Chickenfoot is a firebomb of a record.  The band kicks and snorts their way through a passel of take-no-prisoners rock tracks like “Soap on a Rope,” “Sexy Little Thing,” “Oh Yeah” and “My Kind of Girl” – “the kinds of songs I could never do on my own,” says Satriani, “I needed a band like this to make those songs come alive.”  The band also explores mature themes on such songs as “Runnin’ Out,” about a world stretched to the breaking point to “Learning to Fall,” perhaps the most poignant love song Hagar has ever written.

    chickenfoot-debut-album

    Full Chickenfoot Track Listing:

    1.        Avenida Revolution

    2.       Soap on a Rope

    3.       Sexy Little Thing

    4.       Oh Yeah

    5.       Runnin’ Out

    6.       Get It Up

    7.       Down the Drain

    8.       My Kinda Girl

    9.       Learning to Fall

    10    Turnin’ Left

    1F    Future in the Past

    For more information about Chickenfoot and the upcoming self-titled debut album Chickenfoot, please visit www.chickenfoot.us or MySpace at www.myspace.com/thechickenfoot

    sammy-hagar-cosmic-universal-fashion-2008

    Sammy Hagar – Cosmic Universal Fashion (2008, Roadrunner/Loud & Proud)

    1. Cosmic Universal Fashion
    2. Psycho Vertigo
    3. Peephole
    4. Loud
    5. Fight For Your Right To Party
    6. Switch On The Light
    7. When The Sun Don’t Shine
    8. 24365
    9. I’m On A Roll
    10. Dreams/Cabo

    (For Musician credits, please refer to the digital booklet at Red Rocker.com)

    Produced by: Sammy Hagar & Bob Daspit
    Additional Production on ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion’: David Kahne

    Total Time = 43:46

    Sammy Hagar official website
    Sammy Hagar MySpace page
    Roadrunner Records

    I want to start this review off by stating that I am a Sammy Hagar fan. I have enjoyed his music whether it was made in Montrose, Van Halen or as a solo artist. The reason I want to make this clear is because it has become fashionable to brush Sammy off, especially during his old band’s “reunion” with David Lee Roth. Like it or not, the Red Rocker has released some excellent music throughout his entire career but he often gets referred to as “Van Halen’s other singer” in many fan circles. The guy has had a very successful career in Rock, as well as, a solid business career with his Cabo Wabo Tequila.

    When I read that Sammy was releasing a new record I was a little wary but at least he brought Michael Anthony along with the Waboritas to liven the party! I didn’t really get into his last album LIVIN’ IT UP (2006) so hearing that Sam had collabrated with many different wirters and musicians on a myriad of styles got me nervous. One listen online to the first single, ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion’, started to reinforce my fears. The title track is an online collaboration with Iraqi musician/songwriter Steven Lost and it’s an Industrial Pop pseudo-remake of the Van Halen single ‘Right Now’. It’s definitely a different sounding song for a guy known for hard-driving Arena Rock and it’s sounds kind of Dance/Pop and programmed to me. I’ve watched the video a lot and I like the similar theme to the ‘Right Now’ video, I’d say the video makes the song better.

    ‘Cosmic Universal Fashion’

    ‘Psycho Vertigo’ and ‘Peephole’ are songs that came from the shelved Planet Us sessions (a collaboration between Sam, Mike Anthony, Joe Satriani, Neal Schon, & Deen Castronovo) from around the Van Halen/Sam reunion in 2005. The songs are guitar oriented tracks with a dark atmosphere to them, everything sounds great on these tracks and it’s a shame that Planet Us got shelved for Sam’s return to Van Halen. When you read the liner notes for these two songs, Sammy refers to the reunion with the VH brothers as “Van Hagar”…..and I thought only the fans did that! Straight from the ’80s, Sammy gets loose with the hard rocker ‘Loud’. This song would easily fit in great on any of the Van Halen albums or any of the solo records Sam has released since 1997. This is my favorite song from the album so far!

    Unfortunately, I have to take points away from the album with the inclusion of ‘Fight For Your Right To Party’ by the Beastie Boys. I’ll say it until my face turns blue: Why do artists/bands include unnecessary cover songs on albums of original material? Are the out of material? I know that Sam and his band play a version of this song live, I’ve seen them do it a few times, but it’s out of place among the originals. It fits Sam’s life of kicking back and partying but I have to question doing the song. ‘Switch On The Light’ sounds like ZZ Top and, after reading the booklet, the song is a collaboration with ZZ mainman Billy Gibbons, who also adds some vocals. ‘When The Sun Don’t Shine’ sounds like a cross between Jimmy Buffet and Country music and would fit in nicely on LIVIN’ IT UP. It’s another one of those stripped down and relaxed acoustic songs with great harmonies. Another different style is explored on ’24365′ when Sammy crosses his brand of Hard Rock with some James Brown, Motown and Funk. It’s an interesting song but it hasn’t really grabbed me yet. The Rock moments are solid, the harmonies are great but the James Brown/R&B wibe throws me off. ’24365′ features Bootsy Collins (Parliament/Funkadelic). ‘I’m On A Roll’ is another Red Rocker that could pair up with ‘Loud’ on any Hagar release. Waboritas guitarist Victor Johnson is extremely talented (as are all the Waboritas) and he does a solid Eddie Van Halen on this track. Both the rhythm and lead sound just like EVH and the band really jams like 5150-era Van Halen.

    The album closes with a 9 minute live version of the Van Halen classics ‘Dreams’ and ‘Cabo Wabo’ mixed together. It’s more of a low key ballady approach with acoustic guitars and an extended intro speech from Sammy. These songs were recorded straight from the Birthday Bash 2007 from the Cabo Wabo Cantina so it’s a cool addition but I look at it as more covers. These two songs are Sammy’s signatures with Van Halen, he loves them and so do the fans, but I want more original material. I don’t want to write this track off like I did ‘Fight For Your Right To Party’, at least Sam is covering himself!

    Bottom Line:
    COSMIC UNIVERSAL FASHION was released Tuesday (11/18) but I was lucky enough to have the album a week early. After repeated listens, my fears are gone because the album has grown on me. I think that the release of the Industrial styled title track threw me off a little but once you get into the album you mostly hear soild Rock. I’m not going to count the two cover songs (even though the VH cover is kind of cool) so, out of 10 songs, the 8 originals have a cool Hard Rock party vibe that Sammy Hagar is a master at delivering. Sam throws a couple of curveballs with the Industrial/Dance rhythm on the title cut, and the R&B style of ’24365′, but there is enough of a Rock edge to every track to put this up alongside some of his other works. I have to admit, I was surprised the album was pretty good because I was expecting the worst. The record is a fun listen and it also rocks out but it took me a couple of spins to get into it. I like this new record enough that I’m going to go back and give LIVIN’ IT UP a few spins to give it a fresh listen and see if I can get into that one a little more.

    Favorite Songs: ‘Psycho Vertigo’, ‘Peephole’, ‘Loud’, ‘I’m On A Roll’, ‘where The Sun Don’t Shine’

    I’m trying like crazy to get back into the groove and catch up on a ton of new releases that are sitting on my desk but it’s hard to find the time. The holidays are right around the corner and that’s when my job gets harder, the hours get longer and the day gets more hectic. I’ve been spending more of my free time sleeping than listening to music but I have spun a few discs……

    Brainstorm – Downburst (2008): I decided to revisit this album this weekend because I’ve pretty much ignored it since March. When DOWNBURST was released back in January I was really into it but it got put on the back burner for other new albums. I’ve been a Brainstorm fan since 2000′s AMBIGUITY and every album since has been really good but this album hasn’t had staying power with me.

    Sammy Hagar – Cosmic Universal Fashion (2008): I’ve had Sammy’s new album for about a week and I’ve been listening regularly, I’ll save my thoughts for the review. I always liked Sammy Hagar, even in Van Halen, and I have been looking forward to this release. Sammy has put out some solid records since his first departure from Van Halen back in 1997 but I wasn’t a big fan of his last album LIVIN’ IT UP (2006).

    AC/DC – Black Ice (2008): Still enjoying this album…..AC/DC needs to stop waiting eight years to release new material.

    Helix – A Heavy Mental Christmas (2008): I’m already in the holiday spirit with three Classic Rock stations in my area playing non-stop Xmas music so the new Helix Xmas record has been a cool addition.

    Riot – Fire Down Under (1981): One of my all-time favorite albums from one of my all-time favorite bands. ‘Swords & Tequila’, ‘Outlaw’ and ‘Altar Of The King’ are all early Heavy Metal classics. Guy Speranza had a cool voice and the first three Riot records are some of the best early U.S. Metal going.

    Guns N’ Roses – Appetite For Destruction (1987): CHINESE DEMOCRACY is about a week away from it’s long awaited release so I’m starting to listen to some GNR to get ready.

    As sick as I have been, I went to bed relatively early thanks to a combination of NyQuil, Chinese food, and the kids falling asleep early. Of course, early to bed means early to rise and I was up promptly at 8am! So much for sleeping in. I got up and sat in front of the CDs and started spinning different songs…..

    Whitesnake – ‘Slide It In’ (1984): Everyone forgets that Whitesnake made albums before 1987! SLIDE IT IN is a great album and the title track still gets airplay on the local Rock station.

    Motley Crue – ‘Too Young To Fall In Love’ (1983): I remember the video for this song, the guys fighting a gang of ninja-types in a ragtag “Chinatown” setting. It was cool back then and the song is still one of my favorites.

    Fastway – ‘Say What You Will’ (1983): Saw the tail end of the video on VH-1 Classic the other day. I remember the hype on this when the band was in the studio, Fastway was supposed to set the world on fire! I always liked Dave King’s vocals.

    W.A.S.P. – ‘L.O.V.E. Machine’ (1984): I pulled out the first W.A.S.P. album so I could play the whole thing later but I needed a teaser track to get back into the band. I’m still not happy with the two NEON GOD albums and I haven’t listened to DOMINATOR yet so I’m hoping some old school will get me going.

    Helix – ‘Rock You’ (1984): “Gimme an R…..” This is an anthem if I ever heard it. I miss fun Hard Rock like this.

    Judas Priest – ‘Locked In’ (1986): I always like the TURBO album because I worshipped at the altar of Priest in the ’80s. There are some good songs and some bad but I always thought ‘Locked In’ was the best song off the album. It was the first single too even though most people think it was ‘Turbo Lover’, which went higher on the charts.

    Rainbow – ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ (1979): DOWN TO EARTH is my favorite Rainbow record because of Graham Bonnett’s awesome voice. This is a catchy single that is so unlike where Rainbow was with Dio. To this day I have to remind myself that this is a Rainbow song.

    Impellitteri – ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ (1988): I had to compare this version to the original and I still prefer the original. Graham Bonnett is at the mic here too, probably the reason for it’s inclusion, but I just never dug Chris Impellitteri’s guitar heroics.

    Dream Theater – ‘Pull Me Under’ (1992): Hard to believe that this came out in ’92 and it’s still Dream Theater’s highest charting tune. This band has consistently put out high quality records and is still signed to a major label (Elektra). Heard this the other day on the radio, this was a big tune here in Rhode Island back in the day.

    Y&T – ‘Don’t Stop Runnin’ (1984): I’ve been on a Y&T buying spree lately and I saw this video the other night on VH-1 Classic. I hadn’t heard the song in years but I still knew all the words.

    Sammy Hagar – ‘Mas Tequila’ (1999): Sammy always puts out fun tunes and this one is no exception. BTW, the Cabo Wabo Tequila is damn good! If I was off today, I’d have a drink or two!

    Sammy Hagar – ‘Both Sides Now’ (1997): I got in the mood for more Sammy after ‘Mas Tequila’ so I went to the MARCHING TO MARS album for this single. “Both Sides now’ got a ton of airplay here in RI and this would have been a great Van Halen song.