What's Gone Is Gone - The Elektra Recordings 1979-1982 3cd Clamshell Box
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Before forming his own self-titled band Montrose with Sammy Hagar in 1973, mercurial guitar talent Ronnie Montrose had already enjoyed stints playing with Van Morrison, Boz Scaggs and The Edgar Winter Group. After four albums with Montrose between 1973 and 1977, plus a solo album in 1978, Ronnie formed Gamma with Davey Pattison in 1979.
Switching from Warner Bros to Elektra records, Gamma’s first album, ‘Gamma 1’ (CD1) was released in July 1979, and featured Davey Pattison on vocals, former Montrose members Jim Alcivar on keyboards and Alan Fitzgerald on bass guitar, with Skip Gillette on drums and Ronnie on lead guitar. Building on the hard rock of Montrose, Gamma had a more progressive feel, reflecting the growing and popular use of keyboards towards the end of the decade. Produced by Ken Scott (David Bowie, Elton John, Supertramp), ‘Gamma 1’ features the hit single ‘I’m Alive’, a cover of The Hollies’ song - A Mono Single Edit is included as a bonus track.
Second album ‘Gamma 2’ (CD2) followed in August 1980. Now featuring Glenn Letsch on bass guitar and Montrose’s Denny Carmassi (Whitesnake, Heart) on drums, the album features a faithful cover of Thunderclap Newman’s ‘Something In The Air’. Co-produced by Gary Lyons with Ronnie, tracks such as ‘Mean Streak’ and ‘Cat On A Leash’ gave the album a heavier sound. ‘Something In The Air’ (Mono Single Edit), ‘Voyager’ (Single Edit) and ‘Voyager’ (Mono Single Edit) are featured as bonus tracks.
Fans would have to wait until February 1982 for Gamma’s ‘Gamma 3’ (CD3). Joined by Mitchell Froom (Crowded House, Sheryl Crow) on keyboards, Gamma’s third and last record for Elektra certainly reflects the new wave sounds prevalent in the Stateside charts of the early 1980s, while still retaining a hard rock edge. Featuring the Gamma’s biggest hit, ‘Right The First Time’, ‘Stranger’ (Mono Single Edit) and ‘Right The First Time’ (Mono Single Edit) are included as bonus tracks.
Ronnie Montrose sadly passed away in 2012, but the three albums he recorded with Gamma between 1979 and 1982 remain an important part of the legacy left behind by this important and highly influential musician and songwriter.
Sugar Minott/johnny Osbourne
Glenn Hughes & Robin George