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Montrose - Deluxe Edition Reissues album review

Two-disc reissues for two landmark Montrose releases

Cover art for Montrose - Deluxe Edition Reissues album

Montrose (910) and Paper Money (810) have long cemented Montrose’s place in history – the almost impossible to follow debut, the subsequent years of attrition between singer and guitarist – so what can yet another reissue offer to prise the cash from your wallet? In the case of their debut, a remastered disc with incredibly clean and detailed demos that sound almost as pristine as the magical tracks they’d soon become.

Most intriguing is the live set the band play for radio station KSAN. Stepping in as a late substitute for Van Morrison, it’s their first live show. As the DJ remarks: “I don’t even know if these guys have a name yet.” Name or not, they don’t disappoint – Hagar is already fully formed as a singer, while Ronnie Montrose is so mellifluous as to be ridiculous.

A year later they’d return, as evidenced on the second disc of Paper Money, slick from the road and brimming with confidence; they’re practically mute on their first session, boisterous on the second. It’s another high-flying set, with a particularly robust Roll Over Beethoven showing a band in full flight and offering even more reasons to regret the fact they couldn’t make it last.

Philip Wilding is a novelist, journalist, scriptwriter, biographer and radio producer. As a young journalist he criss-crossed most of the United States with bands like Motley Crue, Kiss and Poison (think the Almost Famous movie but with more hairspray). More latterly, he’s sat down to chat with bands like the slightly more erudite Manic Street Preachers, Afghan Whigs, Rush and Marillion. He ghosted Carl Barat’s acclaimed autobiography, Threepenny Memoir, and helped launch the BBC 6 Music network as producer and co-presenter on the Phill Jupitus Breakfast Show. Five years later he and Jupitus fronted the hugely popular Perfect 10 podcast and live shows. His debut novel, Cross Country Murder Song, was described, variously, as ‘sophisticated and compelling’ and ‘like a worm inside my brain’. His latest novel The Death And Life Of Red Henley is out now.