I was overjoyed to learn that Audio Fidelity, one of my favorite reissue labels, would be issuing another set of its excellent 24 KT + Gold CDs in 2009. The good news prompted me to go back to one of my favorite AF reissues – Montrose. It’s now considered old-school hard rock, but when Ronnie Montrose joined forces in the early 1970s with Sammy Hagar, Denny Carmasi and Bill Church to record the first Montrose album in 1973, the music that emerged was anything but. The raw guitar-heavy riffs bolstered by Hagar’s in-your-face vocals defined ‘70’s hard rock and much of what would follow. “Rock The Nation,” “Bad Motor Scooter” and “Space Station #5” were anthems to be played loud and proud. Elsewhere, the boys turn in a burning cover of “Good Rockin’ Tonight,” and “Rock Candy” is a snapshot of rock in the ‘70s, with a thundering drum intro, innuendo-laden lyrics and plenty of swagger. Montrose never got much airplay but still managed to draw in everyone who listened. Audio Fidelity used the original master tapes to remaster the album for full sonic effect.
- Sacros – “Sacros” is a long-lost gem from Chile
- Heartwood – Robert Hudson & Tim Hildebrandt revisit “Nothin’ Fancy,” a “lost” Southern Rock belle