This album has an interesting backdrop. It was released when Sammy Hagar was in Van Halen, although this is a solo album of his. Eddie Van Halen co-produced this album and played the bass guitar on it. The title of the album was from a fan who said, “Sammy has left and didn’t say goodbye.” Hence the title. He never did say goodbye to the world of music. Let’s see how this album sounds today.
We begin with When The Hammer Falls which begins with a loud, overdriven guitar riff, and away we go. It is a good start to this album. Eventually, Sammy Hagar begins doing his iconic screaming and we go on our way through an excellent musical journey. This is not the best song by Sammy Hagar in any respect, but it sounds very good regardless. The guitar playing here is extremely good, and it is very 1980s in that respect. The midsection has a bass guitar leading this piece on, which is played in a very interesting way. Towards the end, the chorus is chanted and we finish off a good song here. It ends with an insane scream.
Next is Hands And Knees which sounds really odd in the riff at the beginning of this piece. It is a slower tune, and honestly, so far, this is a rather underwhelming listen to hear, this album that is. This is not one of the better pieces from this album either. Sadly, it seems that Sammy Hagar is following a formula here. His singing is top however, and he sings in his inimitable fashion that he usually does. The guitar solo is different, with its own variation between slow and fast. It is shredtastic. Could be better.
Give To Live is a lot better. It is one of the most recognizable pieces from this album and has a reassuring emotional sense about it. A beautiful and very lovely piece of music, this has a great sense of beauty and melody in this song. There is very much a true statement in the lyrics here, Give to Live indeed. Musically, it has keyboard and loud electric guitars to boot, although EVH’s bass playing here is fantastic. A great and wonderful anthemic piece of music, a good song from start to finish. The keyboard playing throughout is excellent.
Boys’ Night Out comes next and has a neat horn section in it. It is a glorious sounding listening experience about having a good time with friends. Everyone needs a night where they are young, wild and free. So did Sammy Hagar and the Van Halen boys, this is the result musically. A fun and enjoyable listen, this is great music to hear, and makes up for the earlier tracks being less extraordinary. The guitar parts here are rather Van Halen esque.
Next is Returning Home which has a lone vocal intro, before it goes into a very 1980s sounding piece about changed circumstances. It is a love-based song but sounds really good here. A keyboard is here as well, along with loud Rock guitars and anthemic singing. Still, an excellent song to hear despite the stereotypical sounds of this time. The singing here is really marvellous, by both Sammy Hagar and the backing vocals as well. It goes back into the lone vocal part in the second half, before kickstarting again. This is rather long, at over six minutes, but does the job. Nice song. It fades out gradually at the end.
Following is Standin’ At The Same Old Crossroads which starts with slide guitar that is heavily overdriven. Sammy Hagar does his semi-blues singing, in a track that is just under two minutes long. This is a really good listen, although it is merely an intro to what follows. Brilliant, it leads into the next song.
Privacy comes next and begins with some catchy guitar and bass guitar parts. This is quite a fun listen to this song and sounds like an extension of the previous song. A loud, enjoyable and energetic listening experience, this is very good. There are some amazing guitar parts here, and Eddie Van Halen plays a mean bass, just as much as he ever could with electric guitar. The guitar solo in the midsection is really incredible. A great and effortless sounding piece, this is very upbeat. Some catchy guitar riffs are throughout here. Interesting song, although rather long for this sort of music, at over five minutes long.
Back Into You sounds a lot like AC/DC at the start. The rest of the song follows very much so and is a very good listen that is more Pop than Rock here. Pretty catchy regardless, this is a lesser track, but even so, very good to hear. The keyboard makes this piece song very 1980s, once again, but is a really good listen anyway. The guitar solo in the middle here has a bit of delay on it but sounds very much like a screaming lead tone, which is always welcome in this sort of music. Pretty long, this piece could have been cut down somewhat in retrospect.
Next is Eagles Fly which is a really top Sammy Hagar solo piece. It is really awesome, with a lone keyboard and Sammy Hagar singing at the start before the rest of the band enter and deliver a great song. The whole thing seems syncopated as well, which is interesting. A lovely song, with some very artistic and wonderful lyrics here. This was frequently played at Van Halen concerts as Sammy’s solo acoustic number. A fine song, this is wonderfully and artistically delivered, a highlight of this album. Beautiful song.
Last here is What They Gonna Say Now which is an interesting song about avoiding what people would typically say in a social situation. The title of the track seems a reference to Van Halen mark II (“Van Hagar”) and what these guys were doing at the time. The lyrics touch on a lot of areas, including politicians and similar areas of trouble. A good song to finish off this album, with some great guitar playing here, especially towards the end.
Okay, this is a good album. However, it falls short of being a great album as the songs here are quite lengthy. In retrospect, Sammy Hagar should have cut the length of a lot of these tracks, many are slow Pop/Rock songs at over five minutes long. Still, a good listen, just not a great listen.