8 Songs, 35 Minutes


Ratings and Reviews

4.4 out of 5
25 Ratings
25 Ratings



Stunned to finally see this album on iTunes. About time. Very underrated 2nd Montrose album features standouts I Got The Fire, Spaceage Sacrifice and Paper Money but The Dreamer is one not to miss. Underground too. You could make a case Connection and We're Going Home are mis-fires but it's all good. Starliner a precursor of Ronnie's future by taking a more instramental direction? Maybe. It's still a smokin' tune. Lots to like here even though most will side with the first album.

Not as good as the first


Paper Money was a bit of a drop off from the ground breaking debut album but there are still some rockers on here like Dreamer, I Got The Fire, Spaceage Sacrifice, the instrumental Starliner, and the title track.

Greatness Part II


This follow up to Ronnies first super charged LP is equally as magnificent as the first. Most of Paper Money's songs are of the style Ronnie flashed on the first LP, but he also began to spread his wings artistically. Ronnies take on the Stones song "Connection" was his first foray into something other than hard driving rock...and in my mind he pulled it off flawlessly. This LP was a precursor of the extreme expanse of Ronnies guitar ability. Another major difference between this and the first LP is production value, this album is far more polished than the first without being commercial. The song "I Got the Fire" seems as though it somehow got left off the first LP...it has that raw feel. The rest of the LP has Ronnie growing as an artist while remaining a true rock n' roll beast. If you don't own this LP, my only question is why?

About Montrose

One of the first American-bred hard rock groups to challenge British supremacy in the early '70s, Montrose are remembered as, if not the most successful, then certainly one of the most influential bands of the era. In fact, many of the personalities responsible for the group's legendary self-titled debut (producer Ted Templeman, engineer Donn Landee, vocalist Sammy Hagar) would later become instrumental players in the formative and latter-day career of the mighty Van Halen. And to his credit, though he ultimately lacked the focus and leadership skills to consistently guide his band's career, guitarist Ronnie Montrose was a true original on the instrument. His superlative playing aside, the avid big-game hunter lived the guitar-playing gunslinger lifestyle long before Ted Nugent made the combination famous.

After cutting his teeth as a session musician with the likes of Van Morrison and the Edgar Winter Group, Ronnie Montrose decided to form his own, self-named band in 1973. Enlisting the help of fellow session pros Bill Church (bass), Denny Carmassi (drums), and a talented up-and-coming California singer named Sammy Hagar, Montrose soon released their eponymous first album in November of that year. Although it never broke the Billboard Top 100, Montrose eventually went platinum and was arguably the first full-fledged heavy metal album by an American band (early proto-metal efforts by Blue Cheer and Steppenwolf notwithstanding). With classics like "Space Station No. 5" and "Bad Motor Scooter" leading the charge to the nation's airwaves, it is still considered one of the finest, most influential releases of the decade to boot. But trouble was already looming, as Church quit the group soon after and was replaced by bassist/keyboard player Alan Fitzgerald for the ensuing tour. Released less than a year after their debut, Paper Money proved to be a surprisingly diverse but unfocused follow-up that failed to match its predecessor's popularity. Making things worse, escalating tensions between Ronnie Montrose and Hagar soon led to the latter's departure following the Paper Money tour. (Hagar went on to an increasingly successful solo career and eventually, of course, Van Halen.) Hagar's replacement was relative newcomer Bob James, but it was new full-time keyboardist Jim Alcivar who quickly placed his stamp on the group's appropriately titled third album, Warner Bros. Presents Montrose!, which was released at the tail end of 1975 and produced by Ronnie himself. Soon after the release, Fitzgerald departed the band (he later became a member of Night Ranger). New bassist Randy Jo Hobbs performed on 1976's Jack Douglas-produced Jump on It. Also poorly received and boasting an ill-conceived album cover to match, it never had a chance and the musicians soon went their separate ways. Carmassi joined Hagar's solo band (also featuring Bill Church by then) and later played with Heart and many others. As for committed outdoorsman Ronnie Montrose, the guitarist took some time off to enjoy his other hobbies before releasing three albums with new band Gamma in the early '80s. He recorded under the Montrose name once again for 1987's Mean, a one-off affair featuring singer Johnny Edwards (later briefly of Foreigner), bassist Glenn Letsch, and drummer James Kottak (soon to form Kingdom Come, and eventually a member of the Scorpions).

In early 2002, Ronnie Montrose formed a new Montrose lineup with bassist Chuck Wright (Quiet Riot), drummer Pat Torpey (Mr. Big), and singer Keith St. John (Burning Rain). They played West Coast dates throughout the year in support of their Rhino compilation The Very Best of Montrose. Montrose continued his production and session work, and would tour regularly over the last dozen years of his life, despite battling prostate cancer during the late 2000s. A self-inflicted gunshot ended his life on March 3, 2012. ~ Eduardo Rivadavia

San Francisco, CA



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