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Articles Home » 1976 Articles » Montrose - 1976 Jump On It
Montrose - 1976 Jump On It

ARTIST: Montrose
ALBUM: Jump On It
LABEL: Warner Bros
YEAR: 1976
CD REISSUE: 2000, WEA, 2562 * 2002, Wounded Bird, WOU 2963 * 2015, Rock Candy Records, CANDY280


LINEUP: Ronnie Montrose - guitars * Bob James - vocals * Denny Carmassi - drums * Jim Alcivar - keyboards * Randy Jo Hobbs - bass

TRACK LISTING: 01 Let's Go * 02 What Are You Waiting For * 03 Tuft-Sedge * 04 Music Man * 05 Jump On It * 06 Rich Man * 07 Crazy For You * 08 Merry-Go-Round


This would be fourth instalment of the band Montrose during their first 70's run. Many would also consider it to be their least favourite of the four. We don't need reminding how good their 1973 debut was. A classic without hesitation. 'Paper Money' less immediate, though containing a couple of excellent tracks. 'Warner Bros Presents..' saw the introduction of new singer Bob James. Certainly no Sammy Hagar, and it was clear he struggled somewhat under the pressure. This one 'Jump On It' sees James singing with some improvement, the production from Jack Douglas helps the cause, but Montrose are struck down by a fairly ordinary bunch of songs. Not as bad as some would have you believe, but you won't be finding any successor to 'Bad Motor Scooter' or 'Space Station No 5' I'm afraid.

The Songs
Containing just eight tracks, 'Jump On It' contains none of the true-blue bluster of their earlier years. Instead, they seem to be aiming for the commercial hard rock market occupied by the likes Aerosmith and Heart during this mid 70's era, and one can't deny this given Jack Douglas' involvement. Denny Carmassi's stomping drums announce the slide guitar dominated 'Let's Go', a reasonable lead-off track. 'What Are You Waiting For' is one of the better tracks here. A bruising hard rocker which is closest to Montrose's better moments from previous albums. 'Tuft-Sedge' (an instrumental) is surely a track that had no right to be on this album. Ronnie should've saved it up for one of his solo albums instead. 'Music Man' is the album's power-ballad moment, with emotion inducing piano from Jim Alcivar and a backing string arrangement, but it sorta doesn't go anywhere, despite some fiery lead work from Ronnie. The title track 'Jump On It' chugs away with intent, and is a tight little rocker with a punchy attitude, the vocoder like voice effects a bit offputting. 'Rich Man' has a lot in common with British rockers UFO during their quieter songs, and if you investigate much of their 70's works, you'll hear Mogg, Schenker and co pull out some orchestral ballads that are similar to this one. 'Crazy For You' I quite liked, but it's far from the trademark Montrose that we came to listen and love. The mild hard rock/AOR comes from a vastly different place. 'Merry Go Round' completes the picture, and much like the previous track, I think it's ok, but I had to listen to it a few times to convince myself. At least Ronnie goes out with a bang, with a stinging solo, but it was swamped in a sea of strings diminishing its overall impact. Plus there is an outro sequence at the end of this track which is kinda strange, but you couldn't accuse Ronnie of being anything less!

In Summary
Clearly not a winner at the box office, Ronnie Montrose decided to put the band out to pasture, going solo for a couple of years between 1977 and 1978, before returning with another band project: the fabulous Gamma, who would entertain us into the early 80's. Ronnie did put Montrose (the band) back together for one more outing; 1987's 'Mean', a very good album in itself, and one for future review at some stage no doubt.

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#1 | reyno-roxx on November 27 2011 21:15:32
I always liked this album. To me it was the prototype for Gamma, especially a song like 'Merry Go Round' which is my particular favourite on this record.
#2 | swazi on November 27 2011 23:03:49
Another Hipgnosis front cover ....
#3 | tompa on November 28 2011 00:28:04
My favourite album of theirs and like Reyno says a sort of progression into the faaantastic Gamma! Now, THAT's a band i return to ever so often, I mean, 'Fight To The Finish'... Agree about the standouttrack; Merry Go Round. And Music Man.
#4 | TheSubhuman on November 28 2011 17:09:00
Always had a fondness for all the Montrose releases and wouldn't hesitate to agree about Merry-Go-Round being a standout track.
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