After Montrose fell apart, Sammy Hagar went back home to California. Being the guy that he was, he took some time off to write and create some new music. It was time well spent. He eventually got noticed and was signed on for a record deal as a solo artist. This album came shortly afterward.
Note that this is a rather raw sounding record, and clearly was not the greatest thing Sammy Hagar ever did. It is not bad, mind you, and is still listenable today. Let’s examine this record track by track to see how it sounds.
It kicks off with the straightforward Keep On Rockin’ which is a bold musical statement about the musical history of the rock and roll era. It’s a fairly catchy tune, too. Not a bad way to introduce oneself as a rock musician and singer. There is a real sense of emotion and celebration of musical history as well. Great stuff. Good listening.
Next is Urban Guerilla which shows Sammy Hagar getting into his mojo musically. The pulsating riffs and instrumentation keep this one going. It then goes into a semi-Deep Purple groove and some interesting lyrics as well, particularly concerning women. It was the 1970s, mind you, still an era of macho males. A good effort.
Flamingos Fly has a timpani drum and more lush sounding instrumentation. It’s a great piece to either dance with your partner with, or to close your eyes and listen without distractions. A nice-sounding piece, and very soothing. Pop music that works well. It sounds very joyous and uplifting. Excellent work.
China is a more catchy and upbeat piece. It’s likely a sort of devoted piece of work to the country and sounds very good. Sammy Hagar looks forward to the future of that country in a song. Brilliant, uplifting, and anthemic, another solidly good listen.
The next song is Silver Lights. It starts off as a minor key piece, before going into a glorious-sounding chorus about fame. It’s not the best song on the album but sounds very catchy and decent regardless. Another good effort here. The guitar solo sounds a lot like Jimi Hendrix, very frenetic. Not bad at all. The drumming sets the pace towards the end, turning the song into a super-fast jam, which is a good twist.
The following piece is a macho male sort of national pride for Sammy Hagar in the USA, All American. It is catchy and enjoyable enough despite that, and Sammy Hagar sings about different ideas and experiences in life. It is incredibly dated, but still worth hearing anyway. Many USA concepts are here in the lyrics as well.
Confession (Please Come Back) is a song about relationship issues. It’s a rather ordinary pop song, and although it is nothing too special, it is still listenable regardless. Sammy Hagar had better days musically ahead of him, yet this is still a good song. Nice to hear that.
Young Girl Blues is a melancholy sounding piece. The title explains the subject matter very well. Some muted guitar parts flow in and out of the mix, and Sammy Hagar sings in a highly emotional way. It’s ironic that he sings about such a topic of young girls issues, mind you. It’s an effective use of emotion here however, musically and lyrically. Sammy Hagar becomes more urgent with his singing towards the end of the song, adding an interesting twist to the music at hand. The outro is very climatic.
Last is Rock ‘N Roll Romeo is about women on rock and roll tours. One can only imagine if Sammy Hagar is being honest here with some of the lyrics. Regardless, it is a good way to end the album. Fresh and inspired listening in a musical sense, especially for the time. Some of the lyrics are really dated, with a hint of homophobia about the piece. Still, it’s good anyway.
As mentioned before, this is not the best Sammy Hagar album. But it is a good listening experience, and very much an album in touch with the times of 1976. If you want to hear how Sammy Hagar was before Van Halen and after Montrose, do start here.
Good debut album.