My oh my does this music sound gooood! If you think about it, Mississippi
Queen always did sound great, all cranked up full blast blaring out
of your speakers. It is about time that the Mountain catalog
got the remaster treatment. Not only is their music classic so are
the album covers. I am sure that you would find this and other covers
from this bands catalog in any good book dedicated to LP art.
Their first album was Climbing, released in 1970, introducing
a mountain of a man named Leslie West on guitar (he was in a band
previously called the Vagrants with his brother). West played
blues influenced power chords and sang like a hungry lion, man could
he growl to answer that big fat loud sound of his guitar. Before the
band got together he saw Cream and Eric Clapton at the Fillmore
in NYC, he was changed forever. It came as no surprise that the comparisons
to Claptons group began right from the start for this band.
In the liner notes, West mentions that he got a chance to jam with
Jimi Hendrix on one opportune afternoon, and Hendrix played bass while
the amazed star struck West played lead. I can only imagine what an
experience that must have been for him, not to mention inspirational.
Corky Laing also adds some informative liner notes recalling what
happened behind the music.
West and his cohorts, established producer Felix Pappalardi (Bass,
Guitar, Piano, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Producer, Musical Director)
Corky Laing (Percussion, Drums, Liner Notes) and Steve Knight (Organ,
Handbells) were a good fit for the stout West and his heavy metal
sound. In case you did not know, West was to find out later in life
that he had diabetes and then lost a lot of weight. When Pappalardi
sang lead, he sounded like Jack Bruce and there was no coincidence
that they covered Theme from an Imaginary Western on their first release.
As fate would have it, Bruce would later join what was left of the
group, Laing and West, to form a power trio super group West, Bruce
& Laing for three albums then they disbanded.
Never in My Life seemed to pick up where Mississippi Queen left off
with rowdy guitar and powerful strident vocals provided by West. To
My Friend would show a softer side of the group featuring delicate
acoustic guitar, making it known to their audience that they could
do more than just rock. For Yasgur's Farm (which is also included
as a bonus live track) was another classic with the multi-talented
Felix on lead vocals. I think what made this band so engaging is the
fact that they could switch back and forth effectively with the lead
vocal position, offering a variety of more tasteful music that many
hard rock bands could not afford their listeners. You could enjoy
hard rockin with Leslie or hear Felixs smooth voice accompanied by
the more textured organ oriented sound. It worked well both ways.
This music sounds fantastic remastered and I am sure anyone that has
collected the bands catalog will want to have these discs now. Just
as it says on the back of this CDTHIS RECORD WAS MEANT TO BE PLAYED
LOUD. What more can I say, this was killer rock music in 33 years ago and it still is.
1. Mississippi Queen - 2:32
2. Theme from an Imaginary Western - 5:07
3. Never in My Life - 3:53
4. Silver Paper - 3:18
5. For Yasgur's Farm - 3:23
6. To My Friend - 3:38
7. The Laird - 4:39
8. Sittin' on a Rainbow - 2:22
9. Boys in the Band - 3:43
10. For Yagur's Farm - 4:18 *Live Bonus Track