Gamma 5 Alive In America was recorded live in Denver, October 17, 1979 during the break between release of Gamma 1 and Gamma 2.
Ronnie Montrose put the band together after having released a solo album Open Fire in 1978, after having disbanded the hard rock band Montrose in 1977. Gamma was a far more AOR-oriented band than Montrose, and used a lot of the latest keyboard technology in its sound.
The debut album Gamma 1 was released in 1979 and reached No. 131 on the Billboard 200, totalling 17 weeks on the chart. Gamma scored a hit single with “I’m Alive” which got to No. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The original lineup of Ronnie Montrose (guitars), Davey Pattison (vocals), Alan Fitzgerald (bass), Jim Alcivar (keyboards) and Skip Gillette (drums) recorded this album. Guitarist Montrose, bassist Fitzgerald and keyboardist Alcivar had all been members of the band Montrose.
Gamma 2 was issued in 1980. Alan Fitzgerald (who later joined Night Ranger as their keyboardist) was replaced by bassist Glenn Letsch, and Denny Carmassi (another ex-Montrose member) came in on drums. The album had a cover design by Mick Haggerty, featuring two sharks with only their fins visible burrowing through a lawn that was being sprinkled. The album peaked at No. 65, and featured a heavier sound. (e.g. “Mean Streak” and “Cat on a Leash”). There was also a cover version of Thunderclap Newman’s “Something in the Air”. It was produced by Gary Lyons and Ronnie Montrose.
1. READY FOR ACTION (4:11)
2. THUNDER AND LIGHTNING (5:55)
3. RAZOR KING (9:49)
4. WISH I WAS (4:40)
5. I GOT THE FIRE (3:22)
6. TOWN WITHOUT PITY (7:05)
7. FIGHT TO THE FINISH (8:45)
8. I’M ALIVE (3:59)
9. (SO YOU WANNA BE A) ROCK ‘N’ ROLL STAR (6:00)
10. NO TEARS (8:19)
11. VOYAGER (6:46)