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Sammy Hagar, ‘Dreams’ (Acoustic) – Exclusive Song Premiere

Ultimate Classic Rock is pleased to present the exclusive premiere of a new acoustic version of the classic Van Halen song ‘Dreams,’ from Sammy Hagar’s new album ‘Lite Roast,’ which can be purchased from iTunes.

‘Lite Roast’ presents 11 tracks from Hagar’s four decades of rock history, which he and his longtime guitarist Vic Johnson revisited acoustically. As Sammy recently told us, the album is aimed at hardcore fans who love not only his well-known hits, but also the lesser-heard deep tracks.

“If you’re a fan of Sammy Hagar’s voice, then this is your record, because you get to hear my voice and you get to hear it stripped down, bare bones with an acoustic guitar and no production,” Hagar says. He suspects fans will especially love hearing songs like ‘Halfway To Memphis’ and ‘The Love,’ a track which first emerged during his tenure with Van Halen and later popped up officially on his ‘Red Voodoo’ album in 1999. He saw the excitement first hand when he played the new versions live during a recent acoustic show.

“When I went into ‘The Love’ and ‘Halfway To Memphis’ and songs that they’ve basically never even heard me do live, they were just screaming and the girls in the front are looking at each other, so excited with every song that I went into. So this CD is for those people that really miss those songs. Obviously they like those songs because they’ve got heart and soul in them, and they get to hear more heart and soul than the original recordings because it’s stripped down.”

Hagar’s especially proud of the new version of ‘Dreams,’ saying, “The reason that I’m so into the version on this record is that when you do something as great as ‘Dreams,’ a song like that, it’s hard to f–k with that. People don’t accept it,” he says with a chuckle.

“People have tried it again and again and again and the fans get pissy when you f–k with a classic, usually. You know, like Robert Plant, who I love, when he goes out and does the Zeppelin tunes and he messes with them, you know, the Plant fans love it, [but] the hardcore Zep fans are pissy. [Laughs] They’re like, ‘We want to hear it the way we grew up with it and the way we loved it.’”

Obviously well aware of the possible pitfalls, Hagar feels like he definitely got it right with the new version of ‘Dreams.’

“I think what I’ve done with that song, it’s a better song this way. The lyric has more meaning, you get it and it touches your heart closer and better. The other one is [such] a physical and emotional performance that the lyrics don’t mean almost anything — you can say anything you want. But when I stripped it down, I finally sing it now, like the way I wrote those lyrics, I know what I’m talking about now. I think the fans, it touches them — people cry and sh-t when I sing this acoustically. So this song works.”

Hagar also jokingly explained how he and his former manager Ed Leffler had used the threat of an acoustic album earlier in his career to help get a better deal from his record company.

“You know, you signed a three record deal and you did your first two records, you had this huge hit on your second record and you had this horrible record deal. So he was saying, ‘Hey, we deserve a better record deal’ and they would say, ‘No, you owe us one more record and then we’ll re-negotiate.’ He’d go, ‘You’re getting an acoustic record.’ That was his f–kin’ line — he said that to more record company executives…he threatened them with an acoustic record from a rock artist. Now, I’m laughing my ass off, because I f–kin’ made one and it wasn’t even a threat — it was what I wanted to do!”

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Next: Celebrating Four Decades of Sammy Hagar

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