It’s odd to think of Sammy Hagar as a cult hero wannabe, but in 1980, when this album was first released, that’s all he was.
After three often pedestrian studio albums, it was only on 1978’s high-energy live All Night Long (aka Loud And Clear) that he’d truly rekindled memories of his seminal two-album run fronting Montrose. Next up, Street Machine was promising. So come this, album number five, we hoped he’d continue the upward curve and finally replicate his in-concert delivery.
But no. Instead we got the traditionally proficient mixture of hard rock (20th Century Man and most of the vinyl side one), along with more commercial tunes seeking exposure via AM radio (side two); The Iceman, Bad Reputation, Heartbeat and particularly Run For Your Life (an unlikely cover of a then year-old song by UK band Runner) might all have been hits if original label Capitol had tried hard enough.
Without any additional tracks, and with 10 songs running just 34 minutes, the main ‘bonus’ attraction here is Journey’s Neal Schon on lead guitar on opener Love Or Money, plus his band’s frontman Steve Perry singing backing vocals on that and three others. So, as good as Danger Zone, but no better.