SAMMY HAGAR – Musical Chairs [BGO Records digitally remastered]
This is another request for early SAMMY HAGAR solo albums in a remastered form. Here’s “Musical Chairs”, his third. One of Hagar’s rawest recordings, the record features some guitars that are a treat for listeners fond of the much tougher, uncompromising music that the Red Rocker used throughout his early years to build one of the largest followings for an American hard rock solo artist.
With a strong backing line-up that included former Montrose bandmates Denny Carmassi (drums), Bill Church (bass), and Alan Fitzgerald (keys), Hagar’s music comes off lean and mean. Thanks especially to Hagar himself and longtime musical associate Gary Pihl, the riffing on “Musical Chairs” separates the recording from many hard rock issues of the day.
Aggressive numbers like “Turn Up the Music” and “Straight From the Hip Kid” do the most sonic damage on this classic red-rocker offering.
Alongside the guitar riffs, Hagar and producer John Carter add horn arrangements on “It’s Gonna Be All Right”, a commercial and radio-ready melody on “You Make Me Crazy”, and a pop ballad, “Try (Try To Fall In Love)” to the mix.
However, these changes don’t subtract from the music. Rather, they add to it, providing a depth lacking in the hard rock that came later from other bands.
Additionally, songs like the quasi-political “Crack in the World” demonstrates Hagar’s tendency to reach for lyrical concepts that extend beyond his good-time rock specialty.
In my opinion, “Musical Chairs” never has been benefited with its transfer to digital format.
There was a recent remaster / SHM-CD release in Japan, but went out of print at the speed of light. We tried to get it but it’s almost impossible to find.
Then we tried the first press from respectable British label BGO Records and its Nineties remaster. A decent one, but a bit quiet, muffled. Commenting this issue with a friend / collector, he reported his CD sounded pretty good.
He sent us a copy of it and voilá, indeed the sound is fuller, with really good dynamics. This is the third press / re-release of “Musical Chairs” by BGO, and something has changed… better, modern transfer technology perhaps?
So if you want the best version of Sammy Hagar’s “Musical Chairs” be sure to get this one. It’s not easy to identify, because unfortunately the artwork was not updated with the reprint date.
You’ve seen it first here, at 0dayrox
01 – Turn Up The Music
02 – It’s Gonna Be All Right
03 – You Make Me Crazy
04 – Reckless
05 – Try (Try To Fall In Love)
06 – Don’t Stop Me Now
07 – Straight From The Hip Kid
08 – Hey Boys
09 – Someone Out There
10 – Crack In The World
Sammy Hagar – lead vocals, guitar
Gary Pihl – guitar
Bill Church – bass
Alan Fitzgerald – keyboards
Denny Carmassi – drums
BUY IT !