Heavy Metal – Sammy Hagar for the Heavy Metal Film Soundtrack
No one wanted James to sing this song but James. I understand why Jimmy wanted him to play it safe – he didn’t want to lose James. But Jimmy was projecting his own misgivings about the value of metal and was concerned that a majority of others might feel the same way!! Fortunately HE WAS WRONG!! Let me be clear, James did take a huge risk. Hindsight is 20/20 and it is only in retrospect that we know that Jimmy was mistaken. James had no guarantee that America would support him. Undoubtedly, Jimmy thought it was a foolish choice, but it was the only choice that James in good conscience could make. Somewhere, somehow James has learned very young that you can never have what you are not willing to ask for and /or risk for; so he respectfully asks that Jimmy “give metal a chance”. I believe that this is a defining moment for James – as an artist and as a man. It clearly shows that he is willing to risk for the things that he values.
Technically, this performance shows tremendous strength. James uses many of the same core muscles to support his vocals that he does to support his amazing back bend. The rasp and wail are used judiciously. The tone is placed properly in the mask of the face and up and out through the top of the head. His throat is completely open and allows him total freedom as he sings dynamically (f) forte (high volume level) ff (higher volume level) and fff (very high volume level). He ends with a very smooth, soaring slide up through the very high register to an A above high A for a tenor. This is fully one octave above the normal high A for a tenor. It is actually the soprano high A, and he sings it full voice, full out, fully supported. And he does it beautifully and in perfect pitch. I ran to the piano to make sure I was hearing what I thought I was hearing. Just WOW! 10+++
Emotionally, James shows total abandon in his melodic and rhythmic expression. He also shows very smooth transitions between the hard driving, predominantly short melodic and rhythmic motifs. Deep passion is displayed vividly in James’ face. The feel is raw, and raucous. 10++
This performance grabs me from the start. His entrance with Zakk is forceful and fearless. Zakk and James are a wonderful, symbiotic duo. They are evenly matched and interact seamlessly – as if they have been together for some time. It is very creative and gutsy of James to seek Zakk’s participation. I still cannot believe that Zakk learned this music in less than 24 hours. Even though James hurt his knees in rehearsal he is still able to move and jump and bend like gumby!! So much fun!! This is a perfect example of the way in which the music always “sings James” and not the other way around – something that separates him from the others. The audience is officially Durbinated into the world of metal!! 10 +++
“I’m Crazy James and I’m……. Awesome!!!” 10+++