Saturday, June 20, 2020

"Give to Live" by Sammy Hagar

Song#:  3170
Date:  06/20/1987
Debut:  69
Peak:  23
Weeks:  17
Genre:  Rock

Pop Bits:  When Hagar was selected for the lead singer role in Van Halen following David Lee Roth's departure, he was signed to Geffen Records as a solo act. VH was on Warner Bros. In order for Hagar to move forward with VH, some negotiations between the labels had to take place and as part of the deal Hagar had to record one more solo album for Geffen. Once things had calmed down following the success of his first album with VH, 5150, Hagar got back into the studio to fulfill the obligation. His VH bandmate Eddie Van Halen tagged along to play bass and co-produce. The finished product, I Never Said Goodbye, was issued out and this first single was released. It would be a major hit at Rock becoming Hagar's first and only solo track to reach #1 on that chart. That result helped its crossover chances and the tune was able to get close to the Pop Top 20. The album would make it to #14 and would become a gold seller. With his Geffen contract fulfilled, Hagar got back to business with Van Halen.

ReduxReview:  Despite having Eddie Van Halen helping out, this track is all Hagar. The power ballad didn't sound anything like a VH track and that was a good thing. Hagar needed to keep his solo identity separated from his VH duties. The song was a good effort and thanks to his profile getting boosted in a major way with VH's 5150, folks paid attention. It was a hit at Rock and it even did fairly well on the Pop chart peaking in the same area as VH's previous two singles. The album would go gold and I'm sure that Geffen was pleased with the results getting what they could out of Hagar before he left the label for good. I thought the song was good, but not great. The big chorus had some heft, but the balance of the tune didn't stick with me. When it came time to write about this tune, I couldn't remember a lick of it and also didn't realize it was a Top 30 hit, so I guess it didn't make much of an impression on me back in the day.

ReduxRating:  5/10

Trivia:  When the album was finished, the original intent was for it to be a self-titled effort that just featured a picture on Hagar on the front cover. It would have been Hagar's second self-titled album following his 1977 second solo LP. Initial pressing of the album did follow this plan and were distributed, but then a promotional opportunity came up via MTV. A "name my album" contest was run on the channel where viewers could sent in their suggestions. Hagar helped to choose the winner, which ended up being I Never Said Goodbye. Further pressings of the album featured the new title. It would be Hagar's only solo effort during his time with Van Halen.


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