Sammy Hagar knows more than one way to rock, as the below list of the best songs from his solo and band albums proves. He’s released more than two dozen records during a career that’s spanned more than 40 years – most under his own name but also as a member of Montrose, Van Halen, HSAS and Chickenfoot.
Even though Montrose never broke through to a big audience, Hagar’s first band is considered an early influence on the hard-rock genre. Van Halen’s original lineup even hired the same producer and engineer team for their debut album after covering the Hagar-penned “Make It Last” in concert. After leaving Montrose, Hagar steadily built himself up as a solo artist, achieving platinum sales and stadium-headlining status on the strength of ’80s hits such as “There’s Only One Way to Rock,” “Your Love Is Driving Me Crazy” and “I Can’t Drive 55.”
He was recruited to replace David Lee Roth as Van Halen’s singer in 1986, and spent a decade helping the band reshape and refine its sound without losing a step commercially. After an unpleasant breakup, Hagar got right back to work on his solo career, releasing even more albums, including records with Chickenfoot, which featured guitar hero Joe Satriani as well as his BFF and former Van Halen bandmate Michael Anthony.
Hagar is best known for his powerful voice, but his songwriting and guitar playing have also helped keep him near the top of through decades of industry and culture changes. His continued ability to evolve and collaborate with new musicians suggests that streak will end only when he decides to call it a career.