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The Very Best of Montrose

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Reviews

Average Rating
★★★★½
(18 Reviews)

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  • The first Montrose album was great. Sammy Hagar’s voice and Ronnie Motrose’s guitar was quite a combination. The first 3 songs on this compilation represent that terrific album. The rest of the songs are good but pale in comparision to the first three. Ronnie Montrose needed a stud singer to fully develop his power chord music. If the orginial group would have stayed together, they most likely would have been bigger.

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I really like the Rhino Records series of ‘Best-of’ reissues. They are a boon to music lovers everywhere.’The Very Best of Montrose’ is a very good example of how lovingly the folks at Rhino approached the job of bringing back so many Montrose gems from the early and mid-70’s. And with 14 tracks, you know they didn’t skimp on getting us the most music they could on a single CD.As with any career retrospective, some great music must necessarily be excluded, and you can’t end up pleasing everybody. I believe that pretty much all of the 14 tracks on this album were well chosen, and apparently with the blessings of Ronnie Montrose himself, who wrote the introductory notes. And I must add that the enclosed information booklet is pleasingly detailed, with notes and comments on each song. Rhino did not simply throw this one out, but took time to give the detailed presentation and history that a band like Montrose deserves.I also believe that all the tracks were remastered for this compilation, because the sound quality is uniformly high. For those of you who are used to listening to your old Montrose tunes on a crackly LP or dull-sounding cassette, you will be glad to know that this latest presentation is the last version you will ever need of these songs in terms of sound quality. Just makes me want to turn it up even higher!Ronnie Montrose’s distinct guitar tone and style is of course wonderfully preserved here as well. This recording also reveals well how the songs were mixed in the studio to highlight his playing, not just the solos, but even the rhythm guitar work. Pay attention (as if you didn’t already on Bad Motor Scooter) to the slide guitar work on ‘Let’s Go’, an underrated classic from the ‘Jump on It’ album. Of course, the most important inclusions for most fans (not necessarily me, though I agree that they are great songs and hard rock classics) are the mainstays from the first Montrose album: Bad Motor Scooter, Space Station #5, and Rock Candy.Montrose was one of my favorite hard rock bands growing up. And while Ronnie Montrose went on to do some possibly even better work with Gamma, I think that many hard rock fans would agree that Sammy Hagar has never sounded better than he did while he was in this band.

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • The first Montrose album was one of several that rocked my high school world, with Ronnie Montrose emerging as a serious contender for guitar god honors. But it seems as if something happened to derail his career somewhere along the way (Poor management? Record company apathy?). For the uninitiated, this is a good place to start, featuring all of the essential tracks from that glorious first slab of vinyl as well as most of the highlights from the rest. Fans of 1970’s hard rock, however, would be wise to hunt down the original releases as well, even though vocalist Sammy Hagar left the band after “Paper Money.” Loses one star for failing to include “O Lucky Man” from “Warner Brothers Presents…”.

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • I was actually reading up on the new George Lynch CD (Furious George) and I noticed he does a cover of “Space Station #5) by Montrose. That brought back fond memories of that fantastic album and after reading 61 consecutive excellent reviews on Amazon (that has to be some kind of record!) I decided to go out and re-purchase it. However I could not find it locally and I ended up with the Best of CD which is fantastic. I was especially glad to see they retained the sequence of the Montrose Album with Rock the Nation, Bad Motor Scooter and Space Station #5 (the best 1-2-3 sequence I have ever heard) and since I got the Best of collection I also got “I got the Fire” (a personal favorite) as well as some other later Montrose songs.It’s amazing to think this stuff is going on 30 years old – it truly stands the test of time and is probably some of the best America Hard Rock ever produced. You just don’t hear this kind of guitarwork (technical skill not to mention tone and excellent effects) in today’s music, and in my opinion Hagar never sounded better than he did with Ronnie Montrose. The guitar work is phenomenal (the lead in Bad Motor Scooter still sends chills up my spine). I am so happy I got this! Oh yeah, one last thing – this CD is meant to be played LOUD – enjoy!

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now
  • Ronnie Montrose is one of the first hard rock guitar heroes. Before he formed his own band he played guitar on sessions by people such as Van Morrison, Edgar Winter and Herbie Hancock. He can play in variety of styles. Although his hard rocking style is featured prominently here. His band Montrose was an influence on such bands as Van Halen. Interestingly enough Sammy Hagar(ex-Van Halen) sang on Ronnie’s first two solo albums. The music is classic mid-seventies hard rock from the United States. Ronnie is a highly underrated guitarist. His solo in “I Got The Fire” and his slide playing in “Clown Woman” are excellent. Other stand out tracks include “Rock Candy”, “Rock The Nation”, “Dancin’ Feet”, “Let’s Go” and the cover of “Twenty Flight Rock”. The sound remastering is good, however I can not give this compilation a five star rating because some of my favorite cuts like “Make It Last”, “Black Train” and covers of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” and “Connection” were left of in favor of lesser material, especally those cuts from the Mean album. There were also no cuts included from his band Gamma. Many of the musicians featured on these tracks later appeared on Sammy Hagar sessions. Fans of guitar heavy rock from the seventies will enjoy this compilation. I only wish someone would compile a disc of his out of print instrumental material now.

    Posted on November 20, 2009 - Permalink - Buy Now