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The Very Best of Montrose

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★★★★½
(18 Reviews)

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  • 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