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Customer Discussions > Music forum

David Lee Roth Vs. Sammy Hagar

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Showing 1-25 of 145 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 31, 2011 8:15:55 AM PDT
SKJK says:
Who in your opinion was the better Van Halen frontman...

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 8:29:16 AM PDT
Chazzzbo says:
While I do like both eras for what they are, it's definitely Roth - hands down. Sammy's a decent enough singer, but I don't think he gets the "tongue-in-cheek" element that made Roth's work so much better. I could never imagine Sammy saying "Have you seen Junior's grades"? Just doesn't work for me.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 8:32:46 AM PDT
I saw them with both, and they were both great. They did great stuff with Sammy, but that's Dave's gig. He was born to front Van Halen.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 8:33:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2011 8:35:08 AM PDT
Roth, to me, easily had the more charismatic personality, was the better frontman and the more interesting singer to watch and listen to. When Sammy joined on it appeared to me that, in places, Hagar tried to pull off some of Roth's witty humor in songs but he just couldn't do it. I never really felt Hagar fit into Halen all that well.

Back when Hagar joined I was still a big Van Halen fan. I bought "5150", liked only half of it and never bought another VH again.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 9:14:24 AM PDT
zlh67 says:
Hagar is a better singer, better musician and from what I've read of the two, easier to get on with as a bandmate, but I like the Roth fronted VH material roughly 3x more than the Hagar stuff. It was just more raw, energetic, fresh, etc. And as stated above, Roth gave it personality. By the time Hagar joined, they were moving away from the high energy guitar stuff and getting to more mid-tempo keyboard driven stuff, ballads, etc., and that just wasn't what I listened to VH for.

That said, I don't blame that change on Hagar. It was already moving that way as early back as 'Diver Down' and certainly by the '1984' album. It was one of the reasons for Roth and Eddie VH starting to bicker: Eddie wanted to introduce keyboards and go in different directions, while Roth ridiculed the idea: "You're a GUITAR hero dude, nobody wants to hear you tinker on a KEYBOARD." And while you gotta give it to Eddie for not resting on his laurels and wanting to see growth individually and with VH as a band, I think Roth may have been right on that one...

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 9:16:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 31, 2011 9:23:33 AM PDT
B. rogers says:

I do think they made some good songs with Hagar, though. But Van Halen's best were all fronted by Roth. The first 5 albums are perfect, imo. 1984 has some good moments.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 10:08:55 AM PDT
D. Mok says:
I like Sammy Hagar better. But the above comments about the quality of the songwriting are pretty accurate. Part of the irony might be that, because David Lee Roth had so little vocal ability, the Roth-era Van Halen songs weren't relying on vocals, but guitars -- and that's obviously Van Halen's strength. Hagar-era Van Halen acquired a much more versatile vocal tool, and so the songs became more chordal, more driven by vocal melody, poppier. Pleasing to certain ears, but also less unique to Van Halen.

Personally, my favourite Hagar-era Van Halen song is actually "Humans Being", one of Van Halen's least vocally driven songs, despite my liking for Sammy Hagar's voice. This song has the intensity and aggression of early Van Halen. And as someone else noted, that trend came more from Eddie Van Halen's move away from adrenalized riff rock towards chordal, textural, often keyboard-driven composition. It's similar to Alex Lifeson on 2112 vs. Alex Lifeson on Presto, or Jimmy Page on Led Zeppelin II vs. Jimmy Page on In through the Out Door. And for Van Halen, that move was already very prominent on 1984.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 10:16:10 AM PDT
Hinch says:
I used to think HE was Van Halen.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 10:30:02 AM PDT
David Lee Roth IS Van Halen much as Bon Scott is AC/DC and Steven Tyler is Aerosmith. His persona was so much bigger than Sammys. Sammy was a huge disappointment to me. His work with Montrose and his solo albums rocked so much harder than the pop drivel he played with Van Halen. Most of the Van Hagar songs sounded like they were going to be used in a Pepsi commercial. When you list your fav Van Halen songs almost always most are songs with Roth.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 10:32:04 AM PDT
Working Man says:
David Lee Roth was better. Sammy is okay, but never got into them that much with Sammy.

Posted on Jul 31, 2011 11:02:10 AM PDT
S. Stalcup says:
They became Sammy's backing band, like it or not. Sammy's a great lead singer for a band, but that band was Montrose, not Van Halen.

Said it elsewhere, but the lead singer of Van Halen has to be four things:
1. Blonde
2. A black belt
3. Jewish
4. Named David Lee Roth

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 3:00:34 AM PDT
Roth the more charismatic showman, Hagar the stronger vocalist.

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 3:09:33 AM PDT
Sammy is a better singer and a good guy, but Diamond Dave is by far the more entertaining frontman.

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 3:09:47 AM PDT
Both are great. Hagar really great in Montrose. Actually really really great in Montrose. Roth in Van Halen.

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 4:15:04 AM PDT
T. LeBaron says:
I loved their stuff with Diamond Dave, and I liked his solo stuff...but when I went to catch the Sammy & Dave Tour a few years seemed like Dave relied almost totally on old Van Halen songs and practically none of his own material -- in fact, the one solo tune he did play was the one I cared least about: "Yankee Rose"...I would have LOVED at least hearing "Just Like Paradise"...but no. Didn't happen. Sammy came out and played stuff from all over his career...everytthing from "Bad Motor Scooter" to "Mas tequila" and more...lots of stories about his time in Van Halen, lots of audience short, everything Roith DIDN'T do. I have always thought Dave had talent...but it seemed like his ego was as big as his talent and it was always The Dave Show when the name of the band was that of Eddie and his clan. Hagar would come out and play along with Eddie on guitar and it just seemed fuller and much more purposeful...and when it came to the Roth-era songs, Sammy treated that stuff with just as much respect. I liked Roth in the band...but I felt the band with Sammy was more of a BAND effort.

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 6:00:13 AM PDT
Randy says:
Diamond Dave for me, no contest.

In truth, I haven't liked anything Sammy has done since STREET MACHINE(1979).

Posted on Aug 2, 2011 6:55:29 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 2, 2011 6:57:10 AM PDT
Van Halen owes EVERYTHING to the Stooges. If you don't believe me, just watch:

That being said, I think Dave took this style to more interesting places. Sammy just stuck to a very narrow formula and wailed the same three high notes in every song.

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 12:29:03 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2011 12:32:14 AM PDT
Hinch says:
I was never a fan of Van Halen. When David Lee went solo, I liked his music and bought his e.p. and first 2 albums.
My favorite song was "Damn Good". I went to see him in concert. He was a good entertainer. lol! He rode a giant surf board from the stage to the center of the auditorium, and back but, he didn't even do "Damn Good" and the guitar player, Steve Vai, sounded the same as why I never liked Van Halen. Just running up and down the neck doing finger exercises, and making the guitar squeal.


Posted on Aug 4, 2011 6:15:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 4, 2011 10:38:15 AM PDT
vivazappa says:
I like Sammy far more than Dave but Dave was Van Halen...Sammy made them into a different band...

My fav 3 VH records:
1-Fair Waring-Dave
3-Women and Children-Dave

1-Fair Warning Tour-Dave
2-The debacle at the US Festival---STARRING Drunk Dave...High Dave and Sex Fiend Dave (D@mn he was funny)
3-5150 Tour-Sammy
4-The debacle that was the last tour with Sammy

Solo...Sammy absolutely kills him and Sammy's book is far better!
Plus I'd rather hang with Sammy...
And Sammy's shows are louder than Dave's or VH' ears are still ringing from 84' in San Berdo...THANX SAM!!!

Posted on Aug 4, 2011 8:13:46 AM PDT
Fischman says:
I far prefer Sammy's fuller voice and his straight-forward presentation to Dave's more limited (could only hit the high notes by screaming) vocal range and his long on flash and short on substance LA glam metal presentation.

Having said that, Dave was a better fit for VH and therefore, the better frontman for that group. I prefer to listen to Sammy but have to admit that the DLR/VH configuration was perfect for what it was at the time.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2012 8:40:55 PM PDT
David Lee Roth was Eddie Haskell on acid with long hair
Sammy Hagar is a Mamby Pamby Larry Mondello who acts like somebody smashed the twinkie in his lunchbox----oh boo hoo!!!

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 11:22:13 PM PDT
bozokarl says:
David Lee Roth

I have all of Van Halen's Roth era albums. None of the Hagar era.

Posted on Mar 13, 2012 1:44:52 AM PDT
This discussion was relevant in 1985. Now, who cares? It's like Chris Rock said a few years ago, "What happened to all the cool white guys? Now, they all want to be Black!"

Posted on Mar 13, 2012 2:21:41 AM PDT
Diamond Dave is Van Halen. In the 80's, VH was the example of the debauchery that is rock and roll; then Eddie married Valerie and all of that public drunkedness became private, Dave was too much of a bad influence on Eddie, and the rest is history.

I think another good question is debut albums:

Montrose vs Van Halen. Which would you choose? It's a hard question to answer. I think I'd have to say Montrose beats VH out by a nose hair. It rocks just a bit harder, it came out five years earlier, and it may have been an influence on VH; which is like the chicken and the egg thing.

Posted on Mar 13, 2012 3:45:45 AM PDT
Johnny Smoke says:
Having seen VH back in the day, many times and Hagar many times fronting his own band. DLR will be the only credible frontman for VH. Comparing the two is like comparing instant coffee (Hager) to fresh ground beans (Roth). Sure, instant coffee gets the job done but it tastes nasty and leaves you wishing for the next time you get ground beans.
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  60
Total posts:  145
Initial post:  Jul 31, 2011
Latest post:  Jul 18, 2016

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