Great Metal Albums of 1984: Sammy Hagar- VOA

Sammy Hagar was most definitely a busy boy in 1984. In the early part of the year, he made the one album with HSAS along with Neil Schon from Journey. When I reviewed that album, I wrote a follow up post of what music life would have been like if HSAS had stayed together and released more albums. On the plus side, there would have been a couple more great albums from that quartet and we would have have been spared from Van Hagar, whether that’s a good or bad thing is up to the individual conscience to determine. Furthermore, Neil Schon’s career would have been still going strong because Journey was fading from view by then. On the minus side, had that band remained in tact, we might have not been able to feast upon Sammy’s solo album from later on in 1984, “VOA.”

As a result of the big single from the album, Sammy would be described as the “red haired rocker who couldn’t drive fifty-five.” “I Can’t Drive 55” received constant airplay on radio and MTV, not that I ever complained about that. It is my favourite Sammy song of all time, a great tune about driving really fast. Funny thing was that I have no recollection of anyone calling for the song to be banned because it encouraged people to break speed limits. All I know is that I love that song.

Seven other songs also adorn the “VOA” album and all of them are really good. “Rock is In My Blood” is a good power song where Sammy declares that rock is in his blood and his soul. It also demonstrates that Sammy can play a guitar a little bit as well. Two songs come closest to being a power ballad here. One of them is “Two Sides of Love.” It’s not slow enough in my opinion to be a ballad but it is a song about a failing relationship. The guitars are good and the keyboards punctuate the song very effectively. Sammy’s solo is pretty good too.

Now let’s talk about the hidden gem on the album and man, do I love this song. I’m talking about “Dick in the Dirt.” The song is about a man named Richard to is a bit of a ladies’ man. The innuendo behind the lyrics is comical and remains so throughout the song. I always laugh my ass off whenever I listen to the song, even after more than thirty years! Apart from that, it is a good power song and comes with another cool guitar solo. So, I guess you could say that the song hits you from both sides.

For me, the least strongest song, (I call it such as none of the songs are weak), is the title track. Maybe it because it was used so much for patriotic purposes in the days of 80s Reagan America. Actually, it’s because the keyboards take over too much of the song. It’s good but not as much as the other seven songs. Fortunately, the last two songs are much stronger and end the album on a high. “Don’t Make Me Wait” is another song that comes near to being a power ballad but not near enough. It starts as if it’s going to be one but it just rocks. There is some great  guitar work from Sammy and the closer, “Burning Down the City,” all I can say is “Wow! What a great song to end the album with.”

Track Listing:

  1. I Can’t Drive 55
  2. Swept Away
  3. Rock is in My Blood
  4. Two Sides of Love
  5. Dick in the Dirt
  6. VOA
  7. Don’t Make Me Wait
  8. Burning Down the City

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar- lead vocals, lead guitar

Gary Pihl- rhythm guitar, backing vocals

Jesse Harms- keyboards, backing vocals

Bill Church- bass, backing vocals

David Lauser- drums, backing vocals

Whatever your thoughts might be on the path Sammy Hagar took in 1984 and after, you can’t fault that “VOA” is a great solo album. Things have moved on in the past three decades and in most American states, the speed limit is above 55. Maybe the big single influenced government to raise the speed limits.

Next post: Waysted

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14 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1984: Sammy Hagar- VOA”

  1. Agreed on the title track…I used it in a highschool project once! Partly. It was my final year and I had three massive projects due all during the same week. Each one required a one hour presentation. All in one week! So I kind of did the same project in two classes…for Sociology class I did “Censorship and Music”. For English class I did “Lyrics and War”. There was a lot of overlap! But I nailed it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Did you get A’s on those projects, using Sammy on them should be enough to get a top mark. They do sound interesting, I would have liked to have seen those presentations.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dude I got two A’s and a B+. So not too shabby. The censorship one you would have loved. In fact I should write a story about it.

        I made a video for that one, compiling interviews with Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper and more about censorship. I also presented two Scorpions albums covers that were banned in some places.

        In an act of real life censorship, my teacher told me not to use Love at First Sting. So I used it anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s brilliant! I would have loved to have seen that presentation. Good on you for using the Scorpions’ album cover. That was censorship.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well man, because of you, I’m writing up the story now. I’m listening to Scorpions’ Lovedrive album. That was the other cover I used! My teacher didn’t have a problem with that cover, which was the opposite reaction I expected. But I’ll save the rest for the story!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I shall look forward to reading that.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Caught Sams tour Oct of 1984 and it was a great show! Sam was on fire back than! Great tour and I was stoked when less than a year later he joined Halen!

    Wasted Vices…look forward to that one! Night of the Wolf!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Never much liked Hagar, but that’s based on the Van Halen stuff. I like this better (though still not enough to go exploring Hagar’s other stuff).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. […] Source: Great Metal Albums of 1984: Sammy Hagar- VOA | 80smetalman’s Blog […]

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