I’ll go on record as saying not since Meet The Beatles, 12 x 5, Zep I, Fresh Cream, and Are You Experienced? has an album inspired more American rockers.

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Montrose (1973) is certainly among the most influential slabs waxed in the 1970s and a bona fide hard-rock touchstone. Granted, Sammy’s libretto is a tad juvenile, however the riffage and performances remain matchless. Bassist Bill Church lays it down with a round Fender P tone, riffin’ and swingin’ with drummer Denny Carmassi and their boundless bandleader.

Kudos to Church keeping it in the lower register pocket and affording space aplenty for the music to groove. Pity this ensemble fractured early – with Hagar’s pop songwriting / vocal chops and Ronnie’s harmonic / sonic virtuosity – Montrose would have topped the charts and filled arenas for decades.     

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