REVIEW: Sammy Hagar – “Give to Live” (12″ single)

SAMMY HAGAR – “Give to Live” (1987 Geffen 12″ single)

Sammy Hagar released his solo album I Never Said Goodbye in 1987, right when he was still in Van Halen.  It was co-produced by Sammy and Eddier himself.  It was a mixed bag, with some killer tunes and a few things that were far too wimpy.  A couple singles were released, and “Give to Live” was the best.  As a power ballad, it probably could have suited any of the Van Hagar albums except For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge.  That’s Eddie on bass, by the way, and listen to how great he is.  No surprise, right?  When you’re as great at music as Eddie Van Halen is, it must be hard for other musicians to cut it in his eyes.  (Cough cough Michael Anthony cough.)

Also on the A-side is album opener “When the Hammer Falls”, an OK rock track.  As discussed in the album review for I Never Said Goodbye, “When the Hammer Falls” has a good riff but not much of a chorus.  That’s too bad since it was one of the hardest rockers on the LP.  (And just listen to Eddie’s bass…again!)  you can’t hit a homerun every time, though there’s nothing here to be embarrassed of.

If you buy the single, there’s no point unless you get the 12″ with the non-album bonus track.  On the B-side you will find the full-length version of “Standin’ at the Same Old Crossroads”, which was only 1:46 on album.  It served as an introduction to the song “Privacy”, but on this single it’s unedited.  This is a real treat for fans of Sammy’s underappreciated guitar playing.  The song is just Sammy and an electric slide guitar, bluesing it up.  The intro is longer and there’s a lot more playing than the album version.  Stuff like this is the reason to have B-sides and buy singles in the first place.

3.5/5 stars

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16 comments

  1. This was a good solo album and I never bought this on disc only on cassette and myself and Tbone played the snot out of it upon it’s arrival as we were still psyched from the 5150 album and Live Without A Net video….
    Sam stepped up here and of course Ed as well and man they seem so chill with each other at the time. Guess the Honeymoon period was still a go…..
    Nice writeup…
    Great Throwback….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh the good old days. Never shall they come again. They really were friends, and you could sense that. They were having fun. Eddie later really liked to shit all over Sammy’s solo career.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember loving this one. Have it on vinyl. Got the cd a couple of years ago and lost it. I know it’s hiding somewhere here…ever lost cd’s at your house?

    Liked by 1 person

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