Sunday, March 24, 2019

Van Halen: Sammy Hagar reflects on 5150 album anniversary

Sammy Hagar reflects on the release of his debut Van Halen album, “5150”, in a new video marking the project’s 33rd anniversary.

After Scandal singer Patty Smyth turned down the band’s offer to take over lead vocals following the departure of David Lee Roth during their commercial peak, the group brought in Hagar for their seventh studio set, which was issued on March 24, 1986.

The pressure for Van Halen to follow the success of their “1984” album – which produced their only US No. 1 hit, “Jump” – was so intense that the record label pushed the lineup to change the name to Van Hagar, but they moved forward under the established banner.

Previewed with the US Top 5 hit, “Why Can’t This Be Love”, “5150” delivered Van Halen their first US No. 1 record after the band were denied top spot with “1984” by the juggernaut created by the one of the best-selling albums of all-time, Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”

“The Van Hagar era, for me, was really unique,” explains Hagar (as transcribed by hennemusic), “because on the 5150 tour we didn’t play anyone else’s songs – except one of mine, we played ‘One Way To Rock’, and we played ‘You Really Got Me’, and then for an encore we played ‘Jump.’ The rest of the whole set was all brand new songs from 5150 that they had never heard and it was like every song was a hit.”

On its way to selling more than 6 million copies in the States alone, “5150” delivered five singles, most of which were included on the tour’s companion home video release, “Live Without A Net.”

“Playing the Van Hagar era now with another band like The Circle,” says the Red Rocker, “it seems like no matter what song we play, it’s a hit as soon as you kick it off. You know, ‘Best Of Both Worlds’ was never a single, (but) the audience is singing like it was a number one hit; they don’t sing any more with the number one hit, ‘Why Can’t This Be Love’…it’s like they’re all hits; it’s awesome, and they really, really work live.”

Following Hagar’s 1996 exit from Van Halen and his appearance on an ill-fated 2004 reunion tour, the band reunited with Roth in 2007; with new addition Wolfgang Van Halen on bass in place of ousted rocker Michael Anthony, none of the material from the Hagar era has been performed on the group’s subsequent tours.

“When I’m standing on stage with The Circle, or anyone, singing those songs,” Hagar adds, “I really feel the magic of the moment when we wrote those songs. It’s really, really good stuff and, like I’ve said, someone’s gotta play it and I’m happy to. It seems like I’ve inherited the Van Hagar era, Mikey and I, so we’ll serve it.”

Hagar and The Circle will launch a US tour in Reno, NV on April 19 ahead of the May 10 release of their debut studio album, “Space Between”, while Van Halen continues to remain underground following a 2015 North American tour.

See also:

VIDEO: David Lee Roth recalls formative years of Van Halen on The Joe Rogan Experience
Sammy Hagar confirms Van Halen have contacted Michael Anthony about a reunion tour
VIDEO: Original David Lee Roth band members reunite at NAMM
Rock News Story Of The Year No. 2: VAN HALEN
Search Van Halen at hennemusic