The "Red Rocker" first achieved notoriety as the vocalist for Montrose. Feeling he could do better on his own, that's exactly what he did. However, all Hagar was able to achieve was a handful of marginal hits and Rock journeyman status. Given his nickname due to an affection for all red attire, Hagar filmed the video for one of his bigger hits "I Can't Drive 55" in a black Corvette. A red one wasn't available. That seemed indicative of Hagar's career. Things just never entirely clicked. He was saved from this calamitous fate when asked to join Van Halen following the departure of David Lee Roth (he too set out on an ill-advised solo career). Hagar stayed with the group from 1984 (starting with"5150") through 1997 (his tenure was far longer than Roth's). Commercially, it was a highly successful period highlighted by "OU812."
Angered that Roth had been asked to return for a "Greatest Hits" project, Hagar left to re-establish his solo career. He released a series of albums that did little to burnish his reputation.
Sammy Hagar is essentially a singles artist in an LP format. All his albums have their moments but Hagar's boastful macho act quickly wears thin (though Hagar's efforts are far more palatable than the solo outings of Van Halen's other singer). "Unboxed" collects Hagar's more notable tracks in one package. "VOA," released just before Hagar joined Van Halen, contains the title track and "I Can't Drive 55." It's his best studio effort.