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Articles Home » 1980 Articles » Hagar, Sammy - 1980 Danger Zone
Hagar, Sammy - 1980 Danger Zone

ARTIST: Hagar, Sammy
ALBUM: Danger Zone
LABEL: Capitol
SERIAL: ST-12069
YEAR: 1980
CD REISSUE: 1995, BGO Records, BGOCD281 * 1996, One Way Records, 72438 19090 27


LINEUP: Sammy Hagar - vocals, guitar * Gary Pihl - guitar, keyboards * Bill Church - bass * Chuck Ruff - drums * Geoff Workman - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love Or Money * 02 20th Century Man * 03 Miles From Boredom * 04 Mommy Says, Daddy Says * 05 In The Night (entering The Danger Zone) * 06 The Iceman * 07 Bad Reputation * 08 Heartbeat * 09 Run For Your Life * 10 Danger Zone


The general consensus of Sammy Hagar's solo career during the 70's and 80's is one of inconsistency. All his albums prior to joining Van Halen contained a few classics at the very least, but abject filler usually brought the albums down several notches. Most of these albums have been reviewed here, so we know what they are, but 1980's 'Danger Zone' continued the trend so to speak, Hagar's fifth solo album to that point. Clearly Hagar was maintaining a hectic workload during the period both live and in the studio, but if he'd left all his best tracks on two albums instead of five, they might have been two of the best hard rock albums of all time.

The Songs
'Love Or Money' is an inspired opener, one of Hagar's fastest tracks that follows the template of past favorites like 'This Planet's On Fire' or 'Trans Am (Highway Wonderland).' Sadly the rest of the album doesn't follow in this headbanging vein, becoming restrained in the process. '20th Century Man' has a heavy riff at the forefront and this probably fared better live than this studio version. 'Miles From Boredom' has an early Montrose feel, namely 'Rock Candy' in particular, earning it credibility based on that alone. There's a lighthearted tone to 'Mommy Says, Daddy Says' that is particularly unappealing, sounding rooted in Hagar's mid 70's work instead of 1980. You can hear Hagar adopting his hybrid hard rock/AOR formula on tracks like 'In The Night (Entering The Danger Zone)' and 'Bad Reputation' and the latter is especially memorable because of this. 'The Iceman' is a painfully slow blues tinged track which only gets into gear once the chorus finally appears. 'Heartbeat' was co-written with Hagar's wife at the time and is more pop-oriented, the hook an AOR delight. As a single it failed miserably however, not really representative of what Hagar stood for at the time. Hagar then takes an unconvincing shot at Runner's 'Run For Your Life' which even the appearance of Steve Perry on backing vocals can't save. The ending 40 second 'Danger Zone' is an acoustic piece which doesn't make much sense in the scheme of things, the album petering out poorly.

In Summary
Hagar finally cracked the big time a year later with 'Standing Hampton' and never looked back. It was a considerably more modern sounding album than 'Danger Zone' which was the last of the 70's styled albums of Hagar. It's far from his worst, showing him to still be perfecting his craft, with a rawness that seemed to evaporate shortly afterwards.

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#1 | Eric on May 28 2016 22:49:27
I remember reading an interview during the HSAS period with Sammy where he expressed his dislike of Steve Perry. Odd then to find him on this.
#2 | gdazegod on May 29 2016 22:34:54
Maybe Sammy and Neal were having a private chat, and Neal's views kinda rubbed off, because at the time (1983/84), things between Perry and Journey weren't going so well. Maybe Sammy's brains were scrambled thanks to Alien abduction claim.. ROTFL!
#3 | Eric on May 31 2016 02:56:24
Thought the same.
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