Montrose is the debut album by the band Montrose released in 1973 on the Warner Bros. label. It was produced by Ted Templeman. The album marks the recording debut of vocalist Sammy Hagar, who would later achieve international success as a solo artist and member of Van Halen.
After having done session work for various musicians including Van Morrison, Herbie Hancock and Edgar Winter, Montrose was Ronnie Montrose's first record leading his own band which featured Denny Carmassi on drums, Bill Church on bass, and a then-unknown Sammy Hagar (at that time 'Sam Hagar') on vocals. While considered a classic by many hard rock fans, tracks from the album received scant radio airplay, with "Rock Candy" and "Bad Motor Scooter" being notable exceptions. It has been reported that the band's label, Warner Bros., did not know how to market Montrose, and, already having the Doobie Brothers and Deep Purple to cover the rock and hard rock genres, saw the band as something of a redundancy on their roster of artists. Though the album was not a big seller upon its initial release, peaking at #133 on the U.S. Billboard chart, it eventually proved to be an international sleeper hit which over a period of several decades has sold in excess of one million copies, attaining platinum status. Often cited as 'America's answer to Led Zeppelin', it is held to be highly influential amongst hard rock/heavy metal musicians including Iron Maiden, both of whom have recorded and/or performed cover versions of songs from the album. Some critics have arguably labeled it the "first American heavy metal album".
In 1974, the album was released in Europe via Germany under the title Rock The Nation. This version featured a track listing which duplicated the U.S. release but featured a different front sleeve image that replaced the band's photo with that of a large-busted blonde girl sporting a pink see-through blouse.