Whether somebody believes that David Hasselhoff had any impact on the Fall of the Berlin Wall, I honestly don’t care. Knight Rider was one of the favorite TV shows of my childhood – and yes, I loved Looking For Freedom. I am German, you cannot do anything against it. The more I was curious when I read that “The Hoff” had released a new album full of covers, a journey through various genres of the music business. Sound like it must be a total fail, doesn’t it? “The Hoff” surprised me – because I feel that this album released on 27th September 2019 is really worth listening.
David Hasselhoff – About the Artist
David Hasselhoff was born on 17th July 1952 in Baltimore, Maryland. He is thus 67 years old at the time of releasing Open Your Eyes. His first steps in the entertainment business were in the US soap opera The Young and The Restless. His most famous roles in TV are of course Michael Knight in Knight Rider and Mitch Bucannon in Baywatch. Both series have in common that they are likely more popular in Europe than in the USA. David Hasselhoff has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In parallel, Hasselhoff started to do music in parallel to his career in the mid 1980s. His first two albums, Nght Rocker and Lovin’ Feelings were rather unsuccessful. Night Rocker topped the Austrian charts, though, two years after its release. After he performed the Marc Seeberg cover song Looking for Freedom in a German TV show in 1989, the song stormed the German charts and was sold up to 70,000 times – a day! Needless to say it was on the top of the German, Austrian and Swiss charts. The same-titled album did not top the charts in these countries, but reached Platinum in Germany and Austria and Tripe Platinum in Switzerland. The following album, Crazy For You topped Switzerland and Austria. Especially in the 1990s, “The Hoff” regularly released new records, which were quite successful in these three countries. In 2006, Jump In My Car was his only Top 10 hit in the UK. Before Open Your Eyes, Hasselhoff published a duet with Bluemchen, who had a couple of hits in Germany in the 1990s – Summer Go Away is a typical summer pop hit.
D. Hasselhoff – Open Your Eyes – Track By Track
The standard edition of Open Your Eyes includes 13 tracks. For each song (apart from the final one), Hasselhoff partnered with another musician.
1. Open Your Eyes (feat. James Williamson)
The first – and title – track of the album is a Lords of The New Church cover. James Williams is a punk and guitar rock guitarist, who adds a lot of value to this track. I really like how David
2. Head On (feat. Elliot Easton)
The re-recording is a bit too good, it could have been even more naughty to me. Nevertheless, the re-recording with The Cars’ Elliot Easton is a nice track, which has some power and a very special sound due to Hasselhoff’s voice.
3. I Melt With You (feat. Steve Stevens)
Steve Stevens worked with Billy Idol for many years – and you just feel the additional rock in this track. I am not too much fan of Modern English’s original, but I really like that sound of “The Hoff” doing I Melt With You.
4. Lips Like Sugar (feat. A Flock of Seagulls)
It is amazing to see that “The Hoff” even partnered with legends of music like A Flock Of Seagulls. Lips Like Sugar, originally performed by Echo and the Bunnymen, is comparably close to the 1987 original, though. A bit more experimental sound would have been cool here.
5. Heroes (feat. Tyler Bates)
There are so many versions of this David Bowie classic – does it need another one. I like Hasselhoff’s sound here, it is cool, even feels a bit self-ironic here and there. Partially, Hasselhoff even performs in German on this track (I needed two turns to understand everything 🙂 )! A lot of voice changer and a good portion of Tyler Bates, who is playing guitar for Marilyn Manson, but is also big in film music, gives a quite catchy interpretation.
6. Here I Go Again (feat. Tracii Guns)
The Whitesnake classic Here I Go Again is one of the track in my favorite musical, Rock of Ages. The more I was picky about this cover. I personally believe that the musical version is much better than the original – and Hasselhoff is very close to the arrangement of the musical here. I love the voices of the UK musical actors more, though. His dark voice makes it a cool track. Tracy Guns, the precessor of Slash at Guns N’ Roses, adds the necessary blast of rock to the track.
7. Jump In My Car (feat. Todd Rundgren)
Is that a re-recording or a self-cover? Honestly, Jump In My Car is one of the weaker songs of the album to me – the version does not differ too much from the one already recorded by “The Hoff” thirteen years ago. Utopia founder Todd Rundgren does not change too much here, unfortunately.
8. Rhinestone Cowboy (feat. Charlie Daniels)
Yes! “The Hoff” can do country music, as well! The song starts with the dedication This goes out to Glen Campbell. Charlie Daniels, member of the Grand Ole Opry, the Musicians Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame gives the necessary touch of the genre to the track, which is really nice to listen to.
9. If You Could Read My Mind (feat. Ava Cherry)
Ava Cherry, who is more in the Electro-Pop and Dance genre, is a very interesting, but wise selection for this Gorden Lightfoot 1970 classic, which has later also been adopted by Johnny Cash. It has a very new and fresh sound. Ava Cherry is also singing in this track, which is a nice feature as well.
10. Sugar, Sugar (feat. Steve Cropper)
The Archies did that one in 1969 – fifty years later, David Hasselhoff adds a lot of rock to it. For that track, Steve Cropper, a Stax Records house band musician as well as guitarist for a couple of bands, is responsible for the background sound. One of the songs which add the most significant value by the re-recording.
11. Mit 66 Jahren (feat. Patrick Moraz)
Austrian Udo Jürgens wrote this song originally – “The Hoff” adds Swiss Yes and The Moody Blues keyboard player to his arrangement. Hasselhoff does a very smart play here, just singing minor parts of the song in German – otherwise, it would be just too tiring to listen to him. In the way he does it, it becomes a fresh interpretation, which you enjoy listening to with a smile – without feeling he is spoiling the original.
12. Sweet Caroline (feat. Ministry)
The voice changers are back on the 12th track – and the Chicago-based Ministry adds synthesizer sound and guitar to it. The song is close to an Electro-Dance track. Another very new and surprising interpretation, which still feels like the good, old Status Quo party track. One of the most characteristic tracks of the album to me.
13. That’s Life
The track is a Sinatra original – and David Hasselhoff is not that far away from that legendary poet. His arrangement with a big band and background vocals is quite close to the original. However, these sounds have a lot more power, which adds some nice character to the sound of the song.
David Hasselhoff – Open Your Eyes – Spotify
The widget allows you to pre-listen to the full album.
David Hasselhoff – Open Your Eyes – My View
I happened to know about this album as I saw a couple of reviews. They ranged between good and terrible. I feel, “The Hoff” did a really good album. It is not just a selection of cheap covers, maybe with some added stories in the booklet why he chose that one (which you may believe or not…) – the interpretation very often lead to a new character of the songs. The productions are very versatile and cover a lot of styles. Nevertheless, you can listen to the album without
David Hasselhoff – Tour 2019
In fall 2019, “The Hoff” is touring Germany, Switzerland and Austria with his Freedom! The Journey Continues Tour: