So far as legendary rock’n’rollers go, The Red Rocker is one of the guys who’s seen it all.
From Sammy Hagar’s early days with Montrose to his rise as a solo artist to his late-’80s peak as the lead singer of Van Halen, he’s watched the arc of rock history from a first-hand perspective. Through each era, he’s held true to his reputation of being an unmatchable source of badass rock vocals, with impressive cords that are equal parts exact and expressive.
Yet these days, with the lore around his Van Halen stint and his successive success as a media personality and liquor mogul dominating most of the narrative around him, Hagar’s solo music often gets overlooked. So, American Songwriter dug into his discography to shed some love on the highlights, hits and gems of The Red Rocker.
Listening to the chronological list, you’ll notice that above all else, Hagar really knows how to have a good time… both with his words and his music. Beyond just having fun, make-you-wanna-get-up-and-dance lyrics, there’s a level of craftsmanship to the songs themselves—the arrangements, the performances, the melodic lines, the dynamic builds—that constitutes a brilliant formula for making impactful, energy-rich rock’n’roll. Check out our list below:
1. “Heavy Metal”
2. “I’ll Fall In Love Again”
3. “There’s Only One Way To Rock”
4. “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy”
5. “Three Lock Box”
6. “I Can’t Drive 55”
7. “Two Sides of Love”
8. “Give To Live”
9. “Eagles Fly”
10. “Mas Tequila”
Photo by Rebecca Sapp/Getty Images for The Recording Academy