GAMMA is one of those overlooked albums that people tell me I should listen to. When guitarist Ronnie Montrose is involved it’s hard to resist. The imaginatively titled 1 ,shows him taking a more AOR slant. He was joined by a couple ex-members of Montrose in bassist Alan Fitzgerald and Alan Alcivar on keys. More prominently is his new vocalist Davey Pattison. It takes you about 2 songs to realize that Davey is a big fan of Paul Rodgers. I mean Kingdom Come/Robert Plant kind of big fan. To be fair, if you’re going to sound like someone, make it someone real good.
The album fluctuates between the best Bad Company song they never recorded to some ripping guitar playing to something an AOR guy told them was a good idea. However, as a whole it is a really good album. Oddly the “hit” song is “I’m Alive” which seems to be Ronnie’s version of Santana’s “I’m Winning”. Horribly misguided attempt at radio made worse because it’s the second track. “Thunder and Lightning” is the album opener and it’s one of those “Bad Co.” songs. Album closer “Fight To The Finish” is another one of those and might be the album highlight. Just look at the title and you know what it will sound like.
What will keep this on you turntable longer than normal, is Ronnie’s guitar playing. Side 2 opens with “Solar Heat” where he is absolutely wailing. It nicely segues into “Ready For Action”. His playing is exceptional all through the album. It’s a great mix of flash and feeling.
The copy I bought is in very nice shape and I paid $9 for it.
I really really under paid
I really under paid
Paid about right
I over paid
I should have lit my money on fire