The Montanas- The Complete Studio Sessions

A friend said to me a few years back, when we were discussing the reissue CD market, “They’re re-issuing things now that were never issued in the first place”.

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I know it makes no sense, but I knew what he meant; recordings that had been left unheard and unreleased by the major record companies were now being made available by record companies whose mission was to have these ‘lost records’ available for the fan / music collector.

This release is such a one. Twenty-five years ago Sequel Records (it no longer exists) issued a CD of nearly all the recordings The Montanas, a four, later five-piece group from Wolverhampton, made for Pye Records where they were produced by Tony Hatch. In their heyday, they supported The Walker Brothers on a nationwide tour and one of their records, You’ve Got To Be Loved made number 58 on the all-important Billboard magazine chart in America (it made the Top 40 on two other national charts there). In Britain the group appeared on TV, regularly on Radio 1 and on average worked twenty-eight days a month up and down the country…….one thing was missing – a hit record.

After Pye Records, they moved on to the MCA, MAM and Charisma labels, but those recordings never made it on to a CD (at least not legally). Now, BGO Records has finally rectified that situation, so apart from ‘should’ve been hits’ the group made for Pye (the above mentioned U.S. hit, Ciao Baby, Run To Me, Take My Hand to just name a few), the CD also includes the MCA label release, Let’s Get A Little Sentimental from 1970, another record that should have made our charts plus the three singles The Montanas made for MAM (the excellent Uncle John’s Band, No Smoke Without Fire and Suzanne) and Love Machine that was issued on Charisma.

Over 40 tracks including I’m Gonna Change (only ever issued in America) Henry Ford and Miss Mackenzie (only ever issued in Germany), plus demos the group made of songs that never were released. The Montanas were one of Britain’s finest pop/harmony groups and had a recording career that lasted from 1965 until 1975; now, finally, the whole story can be told.

AUSTIN POWELL
Author: AUSTIN POWELL

Austin Powell has spent his entire working life in the music business. From being an agent and manager of ‘beat groups’ in the sixties to working for major record companies in the seventies and eighties, he has also held management positions at radio stations in England, Wales and on the Isle Of Man. He continues to act as a consultant to several record companies and artists and presents a weekly 'oldies' show on Monday evenings on 101.8 WCR FM in Wolverhampton.

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