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  • When the definitive history of rock is written, one single accomplishment will demand Ronnie Montrose’s inclusion as a guitar great – his 1973 self titled album `Montrose’.On this album you are treated to Montrose’s Gibson Les Paul guitar roaring like a motorcycle or screaming with almost impossible sustain.Ronnie Montrose’s career first took off in the early seventies as a guitarist for Van Morrison. Following this he teamed up with Edgar Winter before forming his own band in 1973 with Sammy Hagar (vocals), Bill Church (Bass) and Denny Carmassi (Drums).Although Montrose never gained `Mega Star’ status, they still managed to build up a large following in Europe and the US and from 73-75 they undertook numerous tours supporting established hard rock acts including Black Sabbath and Deep Purple which enhanced their reputation as a high calibre rock and roll band.The first album was originally issued in 1973 and was re-released in 1979 to coincide with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM) which was flourishing at that time in the UK.Produced by Ted Templeman and written by the band it contains such songs as Bad Motor Scooter, Rock the Nation and Space Station Number 5 which can all be described as Full-Tilt Riff-Rock at it’s very best. If you are looking for an album which will bet the dandruff out of your hair and your neighbours banging on the walls this is the one for you.Good Rockin’ Tonight and Rock Candy are further excellent examples of up tempo, foot tapping, beer drinking rock and roll songs which appear on the album and cry out to be played at maximum volume on your Hi-Fi system.Surprisingly, Sammy Hagar did not do any guitar work on this album, all of which was left to Ronnie Montrose and was one of the factors which led to unrest between the two of them and the bands eventual splitting up in 1975 with Hagar leaving to pursue a solo career where he would at last get the chance to display his own skills on the guitar.Things between Hagar and Montrose had become so strained just prior to the split, that for the last dates of their final tour they refused to stand anywhere near each other on the stage.Following the split of Montrose and a successful solo career Sammy Hagar went on to gain even more fame and fortune as singer/guitarist with Van Halen.In an era of highly polished, digitally mastered, nicely rounded at the edges productions that we now live in, it’s always a pleasure to listen to this album and enjoy that Raw Rock sound of the early 70’s. It really doesn’t come any better than this.Mott the Dog.

    Posted on December 9, 2009