On his official Instagram account, Sammy Hagar recently commemorated the 25th anniversary of his solo album, ‘Marching to Mars.’ Hagar, a former Van Halen frontman, shared that his creativity was amplified when he began writing solo material after years of co-writing with Eddie Van Halen.
Hagar became a member of Van Halen in 1985, taking over after David Lee Roth left the band. During his tenure, he participated in creating numerous chart-topping hits and four prosperous albums. Nevertheless, Hagar parted ways with Van Halen in 1996 due to internal conflicts with the rest of the band.
Sammy Hagar had already begun his solo career before joining Van Halen and had released eight studio albums. One of his most successful post-Van Halen albums, ‘Marching to Mars,’ was released on May 20, 1997. The album features guest appearances from famous musicians like Slash, Huey Lewis, Mickey Hart, and Bootsy Collins and received critical acclaim for its diverse style and excellent songwriting.
On the occasion of the album’s 25th anniversary, Sammy Hagar posted on Instagram, sharing his thoughts on the record. Having co-written with Eddie Van Halen for a decade, Hagar was eager to create solo material without any constraints. As he did not have a band to play with, he invited some of his favorite musicians to collaborate on the album. Hagar considers ‘Marching to Mars’ to be one of his best solo records, giving him creative freedom and the opportunity to write his material.
His Instagram post read:
“Today ‘Marching to Mars’ turns 25. At the time, I was making this record after ten years in Van Halen, not writing solo material but instead co-writing with Eddie. I was like a volcano erupting with creativity once I decided there were no rules for the type of songs I was going to write for my first completely solo album in nearly a decade.
I didn’t have a band yet, so I called on some of my favorite musician friends and songwriters to come in and play and sing, even co-writing songs like ‘Marching to Mars’ with Mickey Hart. Denny Carmassi, my long-time friend, and drummer for Montrose, Heart, and Whitesnake, played drums on everything but one song. Jesse Harms, my long-time keyboard player, co-wrote a few songs and played keyboards on the record.
Even Ronnie Montrose and Bill Church on ‘Leaving The Warmth of the Womb,’ we had a Montrose reunion. I cared more about this record than any record I had made in my previous solo career. I paid for everything myself so that I wouldn’t have a record label breathing down my neck. I chose Mike Clink to produce it and had Slash, Huey Lewis, and Roy Rogers all on ‘Little White Lie,’ the first single.
I truly believe this is one of the best solo records, maybe the best of my career. So many great memories: having the freedom to create musically and lyrically something I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed, the solo creative process. I’m so proud of this record. It still sounds and holds up musically in my world today. Enjoy and thank you all for the success.”
Photo Credit: Sammy Hagar – Instagram