RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Gamma – Gamma 3
Rock Candy Records

Rating: B

Gamma was founded by guitarist extraordinaire Ronnie Montrose.  By the time of their 3rd CD release, Gamma 3 in 1982, the band had begun to move away from the guitar oriented music found on their first two releases.  Much of this was due to a new member in the band, keyboardist Mitchell Froom, who co-wrote most of the album. 

Froom went on to become a very famous music producer, but as this release proves, he was also a talented songwriter.  His influence took Gamma from being a total guitar band to being a band where the instruments blended together, with more emphasis on the entire song and not just a distorted six string axe.  At times, this methodology worked well, as heard on the opening track “What’s Gone is Gone.”  This was music that was aligned perfectly with the sounds of the day.  It was Montrose meets Alan Parsons.  For the most part, it worked. 

Ronnie Montrose is still a major part of the album, and his playing was more than proficient.  By working so closely on the arrangements with Froom, Gamma took things to a new place, some fans believing it to be a better place, while others missed the raw edge the band left behind.

At the end of the day, Gamma 3 is a solid album with quality tracks, though it could be viewed as dated -sound wise- due to Froom’s key contributions.  Gamma 3 ended up being it for the band; they tried again with Gamma 4 in 2000, but it was too little too late.

This re-release of the album is definitely worth checking out as the music, while from a bygone era, still has some great songs and the space age keyboards really do mix well with Montrose’s licks and riffs.  Carmassi is incredible, with a distinctive sound on the Roto-tom kit that he packed up and took to Heart. Rock Candy Records did a fine job on the sound, re-mastering the entire album, as well as the packaging, including a new essay on the band, complete with plenty of photos. 

This is a solid effort by a fine band that shows they were not afraid to stretch out and try new things. 

Track listing:

  1. "What's Gone Is Gone" (Mitchell Froom, Ronnie Montrose, Jerry Stahl)- 5:30
  2. "Right the First Time" (Froom, Montrose, Stahl) - 3:47
  3. "Moving Violation" (Denny Carmassi, Froom, Montrose, Stahl) - 3:36
  4. "Mobile Devotion" (Froom, Montrose) - 6:34
  5. "Stranger" (Froom, Stahl) - 3:00
  6. "Condition Yellow" (Carmassi, Froom, Montrose)- 4:08
  7. "Modern Girl" (Froom, Montrose) - 3:35
  8. "No Way Out" (Froom, Montrose, Stahl) - 4:05
  9. "Third Degree" (Froom, Montrose, Stahl) - 3:47

By Jeb Wright.