Sammy Hagar: Danger Zone Collectors Edition album review

Ex-Montrose, pre-Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar seeks solo success

Sammy Hagar - Danger Zone

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Sammy Hagar - Danger Zone

Sammy Hagar - Danger Zone

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.

Neil Jeffries

Freelance contributor to Classic Rock and several of its offshoots since 2006. In the 1980s he began a 15-year spell working for Kerrang! intially as a cub reviewer and later as Geoff Barton’s deputy and then pouring precious metal into test tubes as editor of its Special Projects division. Has spent quality time with Robert Plant, Keith Richards, Ritchie Blackmore, Rory Gallagher and Gary Moore – and also spent time in a maximum security prison alongside Love/Hate. Loves Rush, Aerosmith and beer. Will work for food.