Mountain is an American rock band that formed in Long Island, New York in 1969. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist/vocalist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer N. D. Smart, the band broke up in 1972 and has reunited frequently since 1973, remaining active today. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song “Mississippi Queen”, as well as for their performance at the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969, Mountain is one of many bands to be commonly credited as having influenced the development of heavy metal music in the 1970s.
In early 1969 Leslie West, formerly of the Long Island R&B band The Vagrants, put together a band, Leslie West Mountain (a reference to his then-large size), with Norman Landsberg (keyboards, bass) and Ken Janick (drums) and began playing concerts. Right around this time, former Cream collaborator Felix Pappalardi expressed an interest in producing West’s work] West, previously disgruntled and unsatisfied with the lack of success he desired in his first project, found Cream to be a great inspiration. He began to feel disillusioned with the R&B and Blues scenes of the 1960s that he previously played in. West immediately dropped the style and envisioned a project that would take on a rawer and much harder style of Rock N’ Roll which he had begun to favor. The resulting solo album by Leslie West, Mountain, featured Pappalardi, Landsberg and former Remains drummer N.D. Smart. The album spotlighted West’s raw vocals and melodic, bluesy guitar style, and Pappalardi’s bass lines were prominent throughout. According to West, when Pappalardi asked what would be next, West suggested the pair go on the road. The group was heavily influenced by seminal British blues-rock band Cream (with which Pappalardi had been a frequent collaborator: he produced Disraeli Gears, Goodbye and Wheels of Fire, also contributing viola, brass, bells and organ to the latter) and also comprised keyboardist Steve Knight, who was added after Landsberg left to form another group, Hammer, with Janick.
Naming themselves Mountain after West’s album, West, Pappalardi, Smart and Knight played shows on the West Coast before getting to play their fourth concert as a working band at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York. Mountain was received enthusiastically by the festival audience but the band did not appear in the film of the event, nor was their performance included on volume 1 of the festival’s live album. Their performances of “Blood of the Sun” (from West’s album) and “Theme for an Imaginary Western” (a song they planned to record for Climbing and co-written by former Cream bassist Jack Bruce) did appear on the second volume of Woodstock performances. The 40th Anniversary Edition of Woodstock on DVD and Blu-ray features filmed performances of Beside The Sea and Southbound Train.
Soon after Woodstock, Smart was replaced by Canadian Laurence “Corky” Laing, who was the drummer on the classic Climbing!, which was released in March 1970. It led off with what became the band’s signature song, “Mississippi Queen”, which reached #21 in the Billboard Hot 100, and was featured in the 1971 cult film Vanishing Point, while the album reached #17 in the Billboard Top 200. (by wikipedia)
After the release of “Climbing” Mountain did a tour to promote this album. So listen to the early days of Mountain with this very unique sound (this is a bootleg, but a very good one !) … one year later they relased their masterpiece: Nantucket Sleighride !
So it´s time to remember to one of most excitings heavy bands ever !
Steve Knight (organ)
Corky Laing (drums)
Felix Pappalardi (bass, vocals)
Leslie West (guitar, vocals)
01. Blood Of The Sun (Pappalardi/Collins/West) 3.13
02. Silver Paper (Laing/Pappalardi/Collins/Gardos/West/Knight) 5.49
03. Long Red (Pappalardi/Ventura/West/Landsberg) 5.43
04. Theme For An Imaginary Western (Bruce/Brown)
05. Dreams Of Milk & Honey (West/Pappalardi/Ventura/Landsberg) 6.57
06. Stormy Monday (Walker) 11.37
07. Mississippi Queen (Laing/Rea/Pappalardi/West) 5.12
08. For Yasgur´s Farm (Laing/Rea/Pappalardi/Collins/Ship/Gardos) 4.06
09. Never In My Life (Laing/ Pappalardi/Collins/West)
10. Unknown Blues (unknown) 5.55