Great Metal Albums of 1981: Sammy Hagar- Standing Hampton

220px-Sammystanding

According to Wikipedia, “Standing Hampton” by Sammy Hagar was released in 1982 but other sources state it was actually 1981. I always thought the latter because I remember hearing some of the songs on it in that year. One of these was definitely the track “Heavy Metal” which appears on the soundtrack for the film of the same name, which I covered a few weeks back. Fair dues to the film makers, when they pieced together the songs for the soundtrack, they took them straight from the album and that is a good thing, especially with Sammy’s song. Wikipedia says that it is a different version but I am beginning to doubt a lot of what they say because it doesn’t sound different to me. Either way, “Heavy Metal” is definitely a mind blowing anthem.

True, “Standing Hampton” starts off with the more airplay oriented “I Fall in Love Again,” which isn’t a bad song but not as heavy as the others on the album. After the opener, the rest of the album kicks into gear with “There’s Only One Way to Rock” and that is definitely heavier and goes on throughout rest of the album, including the heaviest song mentioned above. Great heavy tracks like “Baby It’s You,” Baby’s On Fire” and “Can’t Get Loose” go together very well to stamp Sammy firmly on the page of heavy metal. Now, one might think “Sweet Hitchhiker” would make a fantastic closer to a great album and it is a fine song but Sammy goes on better and ends things with a magnificent cover of the famous Janis Joplin jam “Piece of My Heart.” I’m sure Janis would be proud of Hagar’s efforts on the song.

Track Listing

1. I Fall In Love Again

2. There’s Only One Way to Rock

3. Baby’s On Fire

4. Can’t Get Loose

5. Heavy Metal

6. Baby It’s You

7. Surrender

8. Inside Looking In

9. Sweet Hitchhiker

10. Piece of My Heart

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar- lead vocals, lead guitar

Gary Pihl- guitar, backing vocals

Bill Church- bass, backing vocals

David Lauser- drums, backing vocals

One of the things I really enjoy about writing this blog is the opportunity to go back in time and fully appreciate artists I didn’t fully appreciate at the time. It would be another album before I really got listening to Sammy Hagar so in my view, his best was yet to come. “Standing Hampton” was a great stepping stone for him towards greater glory.

Next Post: Anvil- Hard and Heavy

To buy Rock And Roll Children, go to http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/RockAndRollChildren.html

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9 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1981: Sammy Hagar- Standing Hampton”

  1. Great review this was the second solo album I bought after I bought V.O.A. Standing Hampton is a great rock n roll record and of course he went total commercial on Three Lock Box.
    Plus on this release he had a solid backing band which remained with him for a while. Cool nice surprise with this one Metalman..

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  2. Apart from a compilation, I’m mainly familiar with Sammy’s solo stuff after Van Halen. I could do with checking out his older albums. I love the song Heavy Metal and There’s Only One Way to Rock so this looks like a good place to start. Cheers for pointing this one out!

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  3. I’ll have to check out Hagar’s non-Van Halen work. He had a distinctive voice, but something never quite worked for me when he was in Van Halen. Maybe the ghost of Roth lingered too long.

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    • Eddie Van Halen tried to get Sammy Hagar to sound me like Roth but it didn’t work. Much of Hagar’s solo stuff before VH is definitely worth checking out.

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    • Lance Austin Says:

      Agree. I grew up on AOR radio and the standing hampton tracks were very prominent at the time. Looking back, it’s easy to see that hard rock was gaining focus and prominence in 1981, and standing hampton was a big part of it.

      At the time, I wasn’t conscious that those great songs on the radio were Sammy Hagar. That name association would develop for me (as with you) in Van Halen. And also like you, something about the Van Hagar pairing never worked for me.

      It’s only recently with spotify that I’ve been able to research every album by every artist. And I came to love pre- Van Halen Sammy Hagar. A lot of people suggest Sammy ‘ruined’ Van Halen. While I don’t wholly disagree, I would also suggest the opposite is just as true.

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      • Hey thanks. I have always maintained that Van Halen’s transference from heavy metal to more power pop, was nothing to do with Sammy Hagar. I put it down to the fact that Eddie was so pussywhipped by wife Valerie Bertinelli that it effected his music. Yes, I have to agree that the pre-Van Halen Hagar albums are all very good.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey thanks. I have always maintained that Van Halen’s transference from heavy metal to more power pop, was nothing to do with Sammy Hagar. I put it down to the fact that Eddie was so pussywhipped by wife Valerie Bertinelli that it effected his music. Yes, I have to agree that the pre-Van Halen Hagar albums are all very good.

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