Monday, October 4, 2021

More U.K. Obscurities On U.S. Labels: The Montanas


THE MONTANAS-Round About/Heaven Help You US Independence IND-93 1969

U.K. beat group The Montanas had a string of records released in the U.K. all under the steady guiding hand of producer Tony Hatch (eight including today's subject) who more times than often foist his compositions on them. "Round About" (titled "Roundabout" back home in England where it was issued as Pye 7N 17697 in February of 1969) was the band's eighth U.S. single where it was issued simultaneously with it's U.K. cousin but in typical American fashion some things are odd. "Roundabout" is relegated to the B-side while a track not released in the U.K. called "Heaven Help You" is given the honors on Side A.  The U.K. issue of "Round About" featured a track called "Mystery" on the flip. 

"Heaven Help You" is a dreadful track with lyrics about a guy marrying a loose woman and being warned off on her by the vicar with lots of harmonies that sound like a band destined to be trapped in the cabaret circuit (truth is possibly stranger than fiction in this case).

The real gold is in "Round About". Buried in a heavy groove and the band's multitude of harmonies it's a chunky powerful number with an infectious arrangement that drops into mild paced and sparse arrangements during the verse and gets heavy on the chorus with some Ace Kefford style bass lines, frantic drumming, organ and a powerful array of voices. Amazing! The lyrics concern a woman who loves, uses and then leaves men "new love everyday, but each one has to pay, she's sorry but that's just the only way..".

Both sides are available on The Montana's CD anthology "You've Got To Be Loved". 

Hear "Heaven Help You":

Hear "Round About":

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