Before his untimely death in 2012, renowned American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose began recording an ambitious passion project with bassist Ricky Phillips (Styx, Bad English) and drummer Eric Singer (KISS, Alice Cooper). The idea was to record 10 songs with 10 different singers and call the album 10X10. Sadly, Montrose was unable to see the album through during his lifetime. Instead, Phillips made it his mission to finish the songs by enlisting a small army of Ronnie’s musician friends to record the vocals and the guitar solos for each song, completing the album in recent years.
Phillips says the songs represent some of Montrose’s best work. “His songs still have the fire and angst of a young rebel, but with some added wisdom and foresight voiced in his own unique language of ‘guitar-speak.’ On 10X10, we hear Ronnie at the top of his game, from the opening crunch guitar of Heavy Traffic, all the way to the closing song, I’m Not Lying, which was Ronnie’s tip of the hat to his friend Robin Trower.”
On September 29th, Rhino will release 10X10 on 180-gram vinyl ($21.98), CD ($14.98) and digitally. The album features inspired pairings, like Deep Purple singer Glenn Hughes with Def Leppard guitarist Phil Collen (Still Singin’ With The Band) and singer Sammy Hagar with Toto guitarist Steve Lukather (Color Blind). Legendary blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa also showcases his guitar talents on the track The Kingdom’s Come Undone with Ricky Phillips on vocals. A few artists both sing and play, like Edgar Winter (Love Is An Art) and Tommy Shaw (Strong Enough).
Several artists who appear on 10X10 had recorded with Ronnie during his career, like Edgar Winter, who included the guitarist on his 1972 album, They Only Come Out At Night. Sammy Hagar got his start singing with Montrose. Between 1973-75, he recorded two influential albums – Montrose and Paper Money – with the band and toured the world.
More than 40 years later, Hagar was among the first who agreed to help finish Ronnie’s final album. “It’s valuable to have 10X10 be seen as Ronnie’s last work, rather than going and digging up some stuff from his past. This was something he truly had a vision for,” says Hagar.
Ronnie Montrose 10X10 Track Listing:
1. Heavy Traffic Feat. Eric Martin & Dave Meniketti
2. Love Is An Art Feat. Edgar Winter & Rick Derringer
3. Color Blind Feat. Sammy Hagar & Steve Lukather
4. Still Singin’ With The Band Feat. Glenn Hughes, Phil Collen & Jimmy “Z” Zavala
5. Strong Enough Feat. Tommy Shaw
6. Any Minute Feat. Mark Farner & Ricky Phillips
7. The Kingdom’s Come Undone Feat. Ricky Phillips & Joe Bonamassa
8. One Good Reason Feat. Bruce Turgon & Brad Whitford
9. Head On Straight Feat. Davey Pattison & Marc Bonilla
10. I’m Not Lying Feat. Gregg Rolie, Tom Gimbel & Lawrence Gowan
A few weeks after 10X10 is released, Rhino will introduce Deluxe Editions for Montrose (1973) and Paper Money (1974). Each double-disc set includes a newly remastered version of the original album, plus a bonus disc of unreleased demos, studio recordings, and live performances. Each collection will be available on October 13 for $19.98. On the same day, vinyl ($31.98) and digital versions will be released. These double LPs include the remastered version of the original album along with a selection of bonus recordings.
Montrose and Paper Money feature some of the band’s most enduring music, like Rock Candy, Bad Motor Scooter and Space Station #5. Those two albums would help shape and influence many of the hard rock bands that followed, including Van Halen and Iron Maiden.
All 17 tracks on the Montrose bonus disc are previously unreleased, including demos for Rock Candy and Good Rockin’ Tonight, as well as the unreleased song Shoot Us Down. The remaining bonus tracks feature live performances that were recorded in April 1973 at the Record Plant in California and broadcast on radio station KSAN. Along with hits like Bad Motor Scooter and Rock The Nation, the set list also included a cover of Chuck Berry’s classic Roll Over Beethoven.
All 10 tracks on the Paper Money bonus disc are previously unreleased live tracks recorded in December 1974. Once again, the recording is of the band performing at the Record Plant for another broadcast on KSAN. Along with concert staples, the show highlighted two tracks from Paper Money: I Got The Fire and Spaceage Sacrifice.
Montrose: Deluxe Edition Track Listing:
Disc One: Original Album Remastered:
1. Rock The Nation
2. Bad Motor Scooter
3. Space Station #5
4. I Don’t Want It
5. Good Rockin’ Tonight
6. Rock Candy
7. One Thing On My Mind
8. Make It Last
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks:
1. One Thing On My Mind – Demo *
2. Shoot Us Down – Demo *
3. Rock Candy – Demo *
4. Good Rockin’ Tonight – Demo *
5. I Don’t Want It – Demo *
6. Make It Last – Demo *
7. Intro: Tom Donahue – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
8. Good Rockin’ Tonight – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
9. Rock Candy -Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
10. Bad Motor Scooter” -Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
11. Shoot Us Down – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
12. One Thing On My Mind – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
13. Rock The Nation – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
14. Make It Last – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
15. You’re Out Of Time – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
16. Roll Over Beethoven – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
17. I Don’t Want It – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1973 *
Paper Money: Deluxe Edition Track Listing:
Disc One: Original Album Remastered
3. The Dreamer
5. I Got The Fire
6. Spaceage Sacrifice
7. We’re Going Home
8. Paper Money
Disc Two: Bonus Tracks:
1. Intro: Phil Buchanan – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
2. I Got The Fire – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
3. Rock Candy – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
4. Bad Motor Scooter – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
5. Spaceage Sacrifice – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
6. One And A Half – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
7. Roll Over Beethoven – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
8. Trouble – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
9. Space Station #5 – Live KSAN Radio Session, 1974 *
* previously unreleased