MONTROSE – Jump On It [Rock Candy remaster]
Rock Candy Records has just ‘Remastered & Reloaded‘ a batch of 3 essential MONTROSE albums. “Jump On It” is the second Montrose album to feature singer Bob James and keyboardist Jim Alcivar, and where Jack Douglas (of Aerosmith fame) was called to produce the record and provide a more commercial output.
Montrose enjoyed a stellar reputation as one of the best bands of the Seventies garnering extraordinary praise, if not immediate sales success. Their recording label wanted a more commercial body of work, with Ronnie Montrose insisting on a course of experimentation rather than repetition. So both agreed to hire an expertise knob-twiddler.
“Jump On It” is benefited by the clean, open production of Jack Douglas, who at the time was fresh from producing Aerosmith’s Toys In The Attic. Musically this was just the tonic needed and the album went someway to return the band to former harder territories, setting out a more defined rock sound.
The leadoff cut “Let’s Go” is a hard rocking, unrelenting road song with great vocals by Bob James and tons of groove. Talented Denny Carmassi brings back the tribal thump of Paper Money and Ronnie lays down some explosive heavy slide guitar as James wails a lyric that’s every bit as urgent and primal as that memorable first Montrose album.
There’s a much more melodic rock, commercial approach in “What Are You Waiting For?”, and a sweet slow melody in “Rich Man”, two tracks contributed by outside songwriter Dan Hartman.
The title track is another blazing rocker, featuring a fierce, unique trebly / trembly guitar solo (pretty awesome), while “Merry-Go-Round” is plenty of groove and atmosphere.
Speaking of atmospheres, one of my absolute favorite Monstrose songs appears on this album. “Music Man” is a terrific ballad lead by a great piano and James’ smooth vocals. Then a string arrangement joins creating a superb aura, and in the middle of the track Montrose appears with a great guitar work.
You can hear Jack Douglas touch here as the song sounds a lot as Aerosmith, but also – I am sure Axl Rose and G’NR took this as inspiration – November Rain, the Guns’ hit.
Although not considered by critics among the best Montrose albums, “Jump On It” is one of their best to me. It’s a rocking and melodic, true Classic Rock record.
Rock Candy’s remaster is excellent preserving the warm, smooth ‘vinyl sensation sound’ this album needed.
01 – Let’s Go
02 – What Are You Waitin’ For?
03 – Tuft-Sedge
04 – Music Man
05 – Jump On It
06 – Rich Man
07 – Crazy For You
08 – Merry-Go-Round
Bob James – vocals
Ronnie Montrose – guitars, vocals
Denny Carmassi – drums
Jim Alcivar – keyboards
Randy Jo Hobbs – bass
Bob Alcivar – string arrangements