From the Vault...



© Warner Bros. Records

track listing
  • Rock The Nation
  • Bad Motor Scooter
  • Space Station #5
  • I Don't Want It
  • Good Rockin' Tonight
  • Rock Candy
  • One Thing In My Mind
  • Make It Last

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    Montrose related sites:
    Montrose Website
    Previous Review: #999
    UB40--Labour Of Love
    Next Review: #1001
    Soundtrack--Doctor Zhivago

    A Milestone... This week marks an important situation with WSVNRadio... Since May, 1987, WSVNRadio has been selecting albums, calling them The Album Pick of the Week... In 1997, WSVNRadio discovered a great album review website, The The moderator of the DailyVault suggested WSVNRadio to also feature album reviews. And since September, 1997, WSVNRadio has been reviewing each album ever since. Even though our archives lists many non-reviewed albums, we are working on having each album chosen in our archives to be actually reviewed. Therefore, if we count the number of weeks since our anniversary date, May 3, 1987, this week marks the important fact that this week's Album Pick of the Week, and review is our

    1000th Album Chosen!

    And the 1000th album is from the band Montrose, with their 1973 self-titled debut.

    Montrose was lead by it's guitarist, Ronnie Montrose. Like some hard rock bands from the 1970s, they would be lead by a promising guitarist with another musician handling the vocals. Two bands come to mind, Ritchie Blackmore's Deep Purple, and Robin Trower. Deep Purple would have a few vocalists in the spotlight, Rod Evans was the original vocalist when they first debuted in 1968, followed by Ian Gillan, and David Coverdale. Robin Trower, another great guitarist, inspired by Jimi Hendrix, featured bassist James Dewar, who would be Trower's prominent vocalist throughout his years in his career. Ronnie Montrose, like Trower, named his band after him, with a young lead singer by the name of Sam Hagar. Hagar, Montrose and crew would only record two albums together, their debut and Paper Money. Hagar would become a much greater name on his own, with his solo career, and replacing David Lee Roth in Van Halen.

    It is obvious in listening to Montrose's debut, Hagar's vocal and musical style would become a staple for his own solo career. Montrose's debut classifies as pure hard rock, as many bands during their heydays of the 1970s.

    The album kicks off a great rocker, called "Rock The Nation," and as the first word implies, this song definitely ROCKS. And for those who are Sammy Hagar fans, as the vocals start, it's easy to recognize them as Hagar's. But -- it's not Sammy on his own, it's when he was a young singer for a hard rocking band called Montrose. "Bad Motor Scooter" is a good rocker, and it's highlight is Ronnie Montrose's "sound effects" of a racing motor scooter by his guitar. "Space Station #5" has a dreamy intro, yet it rocks as good as any early Deep Purple song. Another good rocker is "I Don't Want It," showcasing another common sound in great 1970s hard rock style, like again, Deep Purple.

    The remake of "Good Rockin' Tonight" is definitely different here -- It is much faster, and hard rock driven. "Rock Candy" also shows a different direction, as it has a hard rock blues style, as heard in the early Aerosmith. "One Thing On My Mind" returns back to the common hard rock style as heard in many songs before it, and what would become Hagar's trademark rock style. "Make It Last" also has its great moments too, being another great rock song, with some overdubs on Hagar's vocals.

    While growing up in the 1970s, Ronnie Montrose's name was floating around, yet I didn't really follow his career. Montrose would release albums throughout the next two decades, with his band Montrose, solo, and, like Ritchie Blackmore, formed another band called Gamma in 1979 and recorded 3 albums with them until the early 1980s. Again, I didn't follow his career, but after listning to Montrose's debut, it's obvious that Sam Hagar (that's how is name is credited on the album), stole the show. Montrose's debut definitely is a great hard rock/heavy metal album, and for fans of this music, and Hagar, it will definitely be enjoyed, especially those who didn't know that Hagar started out with Montrose. Hagar would begin his solo career in 1976, and joined Van Halen in 1985.

    With Montrose being the 1000th album chosen for WSVNRadio, it's a good choice, and a great rocking album.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Bros. Records

    Previous Review: #999
    UB40--Labour Of Love
    Next Review: #1001
    Soundtrack--Doctor Zhivago