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4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 22 November 2015
The best album by montrose a real rocker
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A full-page advert in the 1 December 1973 issue of the Billboard Trade Magazine announces to the USA and an unsuspecting world that MONTROSE is a new band on Warner Brothers Records and 'you'll be hearing from them...' Well the 'new' part was right at least...

"Montrose" took over half a year to register and even when the debut album did chart Stateside – it was with a whimper rather than a scream – a reaction that belies its monster reputation for being the real beginning of American Heavy Metal. With a staggeringly naff front and back cover depicting our heroes in naked torso pose (the second album "Paper Money" later in 1974 takes first prize for possibly the worst cover ever made – the next two that followed weren't much better either) - the blistering Ted Templeman-produced Hard Rock sonic assault of the self-titled "Montrose" on Warner Brothers BS 2740 has influenced Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Motorhead and every uber-polished American Rock Band ever since – Van Halen especially.

So why did it tank initially? Talk was that not only did Warner Brothers not know what to do with Montrose or how to market them – they didn’t care because they had all the Rock Gods they needed in The Doobie Brothers and Deep Purple who were selling product in cartloads. And despite touring with huge acts like Humble Pie, The Who and Lynyrd Skynyrd where Montrose would invariably slaughter all in their path when they played (there's a centre page double-photo spread of them at the UK's Charlton Athletic Football Stadium supporting the likes of Bad Company and The Who in May 1974) – the band struggled to translate that excitement into actual record sales. The LP wouldn't arrive in the UK until March 1974 on Warner Brothers K 46276 – and despite its audiophile Production values and two singles that most other Rock Bands would chop up Granny for ("Rock The Nation" and "Bad Motor Scooter") – it didn't chart.

In hindsight the LPs initial damp-squid reaction was strange especially given that the amazing hard-hitting radio-friendly riffage of "Montrose" had arrived in a world where Led Zeppelin's "Houses Of The Holy" had gone to No. 1 and ZZ Top, Joe Walsh, Uriah Heep, Edgar Winter, The Allman Brothers Band, Spooky Tooth, The Rolling Stones and Mott The Hoople (all kick-ass Rock acts) largely dominated the album charts. It would take until the 11th of May 1974 for the album to hit the US Top 200 and then it only managed a peak of No. 133 and an overall 12-week run.

But history has proven our deaf ears wrong and Kerrang Magazine right (No. 4 in their Top 10 list of best Metal albums ever) because the record has now taken on an almost mythical air - some even suggesting that its the greatest Hard Rock album ever made (I don't know about that but it's up there). Which brings us to this 'Rock Candy' CD reissue of 2009 (the label literally taking its name from their song on Side 2) that is a first CD reissue for the UK and Europe. Here are the bad motor scooters...

UK and Europe released 19 October 2009 (re-issued July 2011) - "Montrose" by MONTROSE on Rock Candy CANDY062 (Barcode 827565000289) is a straightforward transfer of the 1973 eight-track album on a 'Remastered & Reloaded Collector's Edition' that plays out as follows (32:16 minutes):

1. Rock The Nation [Side 1]
2. Bad Motor Scooter
3. Space Station No. 5
4. I Don't Want It
5. Good Rockin' Tonight [Side 2]
6. Rock Candy
7. One Thing On My Mind
8. Make It Last
Tracks 1 to 8 are their debut album "Montrose" - released December 1973 in the USA on Warner Brothers BS 2740 and March 1974 in the UK on Warner Brothers K 46276. Produced by TED TEMPLEMAN and Engineered by DONN LANDEE - it peaked at No. 133 in the USA (didn't chart UK). "Rock The Nation" written by Ronnie Montrose, "Bad Motor Scooter" and "Make It Last" by Sammy Hagar, "Space Station No. 5" and "I Don't Want It" by Ronnie Montrose and Sammy Hagar, "Rock Candy" by Montrose, "One Thing On My Mind" by Hagar, Montrose and J. Sanchez and finally a cover version of the Roy Brown hit "Good Rockin' Tonight".

SAMMY HAGAR – Lead Vocals

The 16-page booklet features an enthusiastic and hugely entertaining 4000-word essay on the band and the album's history by BRIAN BRINKERHOFF (Ronnie's stints with Van Morrison) that’s peppered with live photos and contributions from founder members Ronnie Montrose and Bassist Bill Church. Not surprisingly both musicians sing the praises of and hold huge affection for the dynamic audio duo of Ted Templeman and Donn Landee (Producer and Engineer) with tales of clever pre-digital multiple-microphone placing, letting the band rip live in the studio and crawling around rooms with blankets to get that 'sound' the LP is famous for.

Speaking of audio - I've had the July 2005 American-only 24-Karat Gold "Montrose" HDCD for years to have the album in its best form - a Steve Hoffman Remaster on Audio Fidelity AFZ 028 (Barcode 780014202828) and it's a belter as you can imagine. There are also tracks from the LP on a Rhino "Best Of" CD in Remastered form that sound awesome too. The latest Rock Candy version from 2009 offers a new JON ASTLEY Remaster which is described as 'sound shaped from 24-bit digital tools via POW-r technology' - whatever that means. All I can say is that it this mother 'rocks' with the lewdness and swagger of Dave Lee Roth on steroids and the visceral punch of an irate mule with daddy issues. The album was always loud - but here it has power too - and not just trebled for the sake of it either - I love it.

Warner Brothers UK took the opener "Rock The Nation" and tagged on "One Thing On My Mind" onto the B-side in July 1974 (Warner Brothers K 16428) - but like the equally ass-kicking "Bad Motor Scooter" from April 1974 on Warner Brothers K 16382 (with the same flipside) - both 45s tanked. Maybe they were just too much at the time - but re-listening to them now followed by that astounding power-riff in "Space Station No. 5" - it makes you wonder was it that truly cruddy artwork that put people off? Unsung album heroes come in the shape of "I Don't Want It" (just quit my job making tooth-picks out of logs) - the great fun-rock of "Good Rockin' Tonight" where Montrose take Roy Brown's 1949 "Rockin' At Midnight" and update it into a fantastic Rock raver. And while you could understand why they used the huge riff of "Rock Candy" in the movie "The Rose" as the helicopter flies over the concert crowd below - my real poison has always been the brilliant but simple Rock of "One Thing On My Mind" and the big-mickey swagger of "Make It Last".

Montrose managed three more albums on Warner Brothers (Ronnie did a solo record also in 1978) - their second platter "Paper Money" in particular having some decent tracks like "Underground" and "Connection" - but mostly the rest of their output felt like that initial album magic was gone. The debut would also lead maestro Producer Ted Templeman and genius Engineer Donn Landee to Eddie Van Halen and Dave Lee Roth and their band VAN HALEN where they collaborated to amazing effect on VH's first six albums - especially their equally explosive self-titled debut in 1978 (also on Warner Brothers). Montrose's original vocalist Sammy Hagar would of course join Van Halen's ranks in 1986 for "5150" and three other No. 1 albums after whilst Drummer Denny Carmassi would swell the pirate crews within Heart, Whitesnake and Coverdale/Page. Ronnie would helm his band Montrose for years - then join with Edgar Winter and Gamma - and in 2004 and 2005 he would bring the whole story full circle by joining the original four-piece of Montrose on stage with Sammy Hagar.

"The Pretenders", "Dire Straits", "The Clash", "The Cars", "Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers" - just some of the debut albums that took us all by storm. Well, 1973's "Montrose" is up there with the best of them and this Rock Candy CD reissue of it has done their huge and influential legacy proud...

PS: CD Remasters of MONTROSE on Rock Candy Records:
1. Montrose (December 1973 Debut LP) – 2009 CD on Rock Candy CANDY062 (Barcode 827565000289)
2. Paper Money (November 1974 2nd LP) – 2015 CD on Rock Candy CANDY278 (Barcode 5055300387462)
3. Warner Bros. Presents Montrose! (October 1975 3rd LP) – 2015 CD on Rock Candy CANDY279 (Barcode 5055300387479)
4. Jump On It (September 1976 4th LP) - 2015 CD on Rock Candy CANDY280 (Barcode 5055300387486)
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on 14 May 2017
Short. Sweet. Brilliant. No duff tracks. A master class in rock! Noisy guitar. Great vocals (Sammy hager). Bass drums don't hate lead guitar and singer! A unit producing great loud rock music. Obviously rock candy track strays into spinal tap territory but none the worse for that. It might have been their inspiration! Recorded well played well. Buy it for the knowledge of how to keep it real!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 July 2014
Taut but nimble hard rock like they rarely make any more. 'Montrose' is a premier album that should be a required purchase for anyone who likes occasionally to melt their brains listening to meaty high energy music.

The sound is uncluttered but very `live' sounding. Featuring a pounding rhythm section, supporting Ronnie Montrose's' monstrous riffs and inventive yet concise solos and Sammy Hagar's rock god's vocals this album entertains from first to last. This is Rock and Roll minus the indulgence or pretension and mind dulling repetition. It is the culinary equivalent of meat and potatoes but that is not to demean it, sometimes meat and potatoes are just what the Doctor ordered!

`Montrose' is a tour-de- force. Given the nature of the genre it is surprising to report that it has plenty of musical and sonic surprises for the first time listener. The musician ship, song writing and production are of a very high order indeed. Perhaps explaining why this album has barely aged since its release in 1973. Fave tracks? `Bad Motor Scooter', 'Make It Last' ,`Rock Candy' and of course `Space Station No 5'-hang on, that's half of the album!

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on 18 January 2010
Heavy metal was never quite the same after the release of this album in 1973. US bands started to challenge the prominance of the British heavies like Sabbath, Purple and Zeppelin and "newer" bands like Van Halen, Y&T, Dokken etc owed much to this ground-breaking release. Brilliant production by Ted Templeman allowed Ronnie Montrose's blistering guitar to blast out classic originals like "Bad Motor Scooter", "Space Station #5" and "Rock the Nation" and a blazing cover of "Good Rockin'Tonite".

Unusually for the period almost all of the tracks were fast, and introduced a youthful Sammy Hagar with his throat-wrenching vocals. "Rock Candy" has one of the most recognisable drum intros in rock. It's not rocket science but when the guitar riff comes in it unleashes a power that only Black Sabbath ever matched from such a minimal combination. "Make it Last" also featured basic but huge-sounding drums courtesy of Denni Carmassi.

"Bad Motor Scooter" in its earliest outings went straight into the song. It was a stroke of genius for Ronnie Montrose to replicate the roar of a motor bike revving through the gears to take us into Hagar's great vocal. This has to be one of the most memerable rock intros EVER! Intros play a big role throughout the album with "Space Station" also having its place in rock history (am I the only one who thinks the main riff was inspired by "Paranoid?)

What is surprising is this was the bands first recording and they weren't following any trend. Ronnie Montrose was already a critically acclaimed guitarist and played with Edgar Winter on "They only come out at Night" and Van Morrison's "Tupelo Honey" But he became dissatisfied being a sideman and the rest, as they say, is history! But "Montrose" is not just one of the "best rock debuts ever" (as it is frequently called), it is one of the "best rock albums ever", period ! Contrary to the "poor sales" other reviewers refer to, "Montrose" achieved gold record status in 1977 in the States.

Every track sparkles with excitement and drive and, as mentioned elsewhere, overdubs are kept to a minimum with obvious exceptions !. It's a tribute to the production that this album sounds every bit as good 30-plus years on! This new remaster offers slightly improved sound - clearer definition with more volume than the original Warner release.

The now rather old-fashioned technique of panning guitar to one side and bass to the other, noticeable on many of the tracks, contributes to the clarity and is more pronounced on this remaster than on the original. There is added clarity and an increase in volume so I can now hear handclaps, stereo guitar and second rhythm tracks that were not that obvious on the original digital recording. The revving motor bike sound on "Bad Motor Scooter" is now almost over-powering and is now given prominence over the actual guitar solo in this track, not that I'm complaining ! The superb booklet notes should be the deciding factor in going for this version rather than the slightly cheaper older CD.

The only drawback is the short playing time, but as older readers will be aware the louder the tracks were in the good old days of vinyl the less you could fit onto a disc. Some of these tracks are available on the "Best of", but Hagar left after the excellent, but more restrained, follow up "Paper Money", and the band went into decline. I'd urge you to buy this together with the follow up, rather than take the compilation option.
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on 29 April 2017
This is without doubt a ' seminal album, and in terms of rock music certainly on a par with; Zeppelin 2, and the debut Van Halen and Ted Nugent albums. Every track is rock at its finest, with Hagar's powerful vocals and the dexterity of Ronnie Montrose's guitar playing. As has also been mentioning the drumming of Denny Carmassi is also a noteable feature of what was an extremely tight unit. No album they did after this was as consistent or had that same feel. Mind 'Paper Money' and 'Jump on it' are worth a listen, offering more light and shade. Definitely to be played loud, and as I fondly recall, the first album to fetch the speakers off their stand in my sixth form centre at school.
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on 4 December 2014
I first heard Ronnie Montrose back in the early seventies on The Edgar Winter Band Album "They Only Come Out At Night" and thought his playing was really good. He was equally at home playing a variety styles; from out and out pop like "Alta Mira" to the more rockier stuff like "Frankenstein". But when the band appeared on the Old Grey Whistle Test he had been replaced by another talented guitarist Rick Derringer (from Edgar's brother Johnny's band). However, not long after that Ronnie also appeared on the OGWT with his own band simply called Montrose.
It was for me a highly memorable edition of the show. They played "Bad Motor Scooter" and I was totally blown away. The sound was nothing short of awesome. Ronnie played a highly modified silver looking guitar (well it looked silver on our black and white telly!) and during "Space Station No 5" was making the most incredible sounds. The band was so tight and the energy electrifying.
I just had to find the LP and eventually tracked it down in the old Virgin store near the Bear Pit in Bristol and it didn't disappoint. It is still among my favorite albums of all time and is probably the best American Hard Rock Album ever made.
The sound this band created was years ahead of its time and still sounds fresh and contemporary today. Every track is an absolute gem. The bands playing and Ted Templemans production created a powerhouse of sound that has rarely been equalled. It is such a dynamic record. Ronnie's very distinctive riffing and solo work is breathtaking, the rhythm section drive everything along perfectly (terrific drum sound) and Sammy Hagar belts out the vocals in great style. Its a genuinely thrilling collection of rock that still excites me to this day.
For many years I would play the LP and people would say "Wow! who is that?" they had never heard of the band or Ronnie Montrose...unfortunately the band never really made it as big as they should have, though Sammy Hagar later had a successful solo career and an excellent spell with Van Halen (and still performed Space Station No.5 from this album). Montrose subsequent releases never quite hit the form they achieved here ("Paper Money" is worth checking out though) and they eventually became one of rocks great lost bands.
But buy this record and listen to a genuine rock classic...its influence is still felt to this day.You wont be disappointed.

Note: Beware of early non remastered versions of this CD - the sound is abysmal. Totally flat and lifeless transfer from the original analogue tapes. Make sure you buy the remastered CD.... or even better an original Vinyl LP!!!
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VINE VOICEon 21 February 2010
A long overdue remastering of a bonafide rock classic.

Montrose had everything you want in a rock/metal band , extraordinary guitar player in Ronnie Montrose,rock hard rhythm section in Bill Church and Denny Carmasi and a swaggering sex-god vocalist in Sammy Hagar.

This cd is remastered superbly and is a hundred times more crisp and clear than my moth-eaten vinyl copy the vocals and guitar are in your face,the bass is solid and the drums sound like a herd of buffalo stampeding towards you.

Every track a winner but for the stand out is "Space Station no5" with a riff that influenced many( particularly suspect device by Stiff little fingers!.

Hagar was much maligned when he took over from Dave Lee Roth in Van Halen but in reality Montrose was the perfect apprenticeship as to my ears the bands are coming from very similar angles.

If you like Van Halen, Kiss,or any American Rock music then this cd should really take pride of place in your collection especially when you realise it was released originally in 1973 I think and stands as a precurser to many bands who followed in its wake.

Second Album "Paper Money" is also excellent although I'm hoping Rock Candy get the rights to that and remaster it too.

Essential purchase for any lover of quality rock music.
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on 27 January 2013
MONTROSE self titled album from 1973 all tracks are incredible sounding
Ronnie montrose plays great Guitar, unbelievable
Sammy Hagar is really Good aswell along with the Drummer and bass player
the whole band is incredible
all tracks sound fantastic, rock 'n' roll at it's best there's no dull tracks at all.

there are different versions of this album on CD
the best release is Rock candy 2011 release
, all tracks have been Digitally remastered from the best audio equipment available
plus Rock candy's release has a new booklet with interviews from Sammy Hagar & Denny carmassi
enough said, if you're a big fan of Montrose get the Rock candy cd release
Definitely worth the money to buy this new Rock candy reissue better version than the U.S. warner bros cd
5 stars for the Rock candy reissue
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on 28 April 2013
Started to hear Montrose when I was a teenage rock fan raging with hormones and looking for love. Needless to say my passions took me to many a local club and being a fan of heavy rock and prog rock music at the time I spent a lot of time at a local metal venue in Bristol called Tiffanys. The DJ at the time, Andy Fox, was a metal head and loved to play Saxon, Iron Maiden and the like, and it was he who introduced me to Montrose.

I remember many a happy Wednesday and when they moved the heavy metal evening to a Tuesday, head-banging along to Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Hawkwind and the like and two of my favourite songs to enjoy this tribal dance to were from Montrose. Space Staion number 5 and Bad Motor Scooter were excellent dance floor fillers and were guaranteed to get everybody up on the floor, shaking their thing and banging their heads with flailing locks of hair to these two songs. Woke up in the morning with a loud ringing in my ears from the PA system, but thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Excellent rock songs that will stand the test of time.
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