LESLIE WEST - MOUNTAIN - Felix Pappalardi - Corky Laing - "EER-MUSIC.com aka Eclectic Earwig Reviews Music and More for You!"
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Artist: Mountain
Title: Eruption (2 CD)

Genre: Rock
Label:  Fuel 2000-http://www.fuel2000.com
Website: http://www.mountaintheband.com

Classic Rock is as popular as it ever 
was. For this listener, it never lost its 
appeal. Mountain was always one of those 
bands that were hard to forget with songs 
like "Mississippi Queen" and "Nantucket 
Sleighride" maintaining their popularity 
forever. Leslie West, Corky Laing and the 
late Felix Pappalardi, their great 
producer and bass player, were a trio 
comparable to Cream.

Eruption maintains the recognizable time-
period band colors and album cover 
artistry, while presenting several live 
sets from two different eras. Disc 1 is 
dedicated to 1985 performances at The 
Ritz and L' Amour, while disc two is in 
Europe (unspecified location) in 2003. 

Getting your CD played on Radio!

I did not hear a big difference in the way the band sounded between the two timeframes, however West plays a smokin' incredibly inspired powerful guitar on all the songs from the 2003 recording, particularly on the track that closes out the set, "Land of Milk and Honey." You can hear all the Cream and blues influence in Leslie's playing style to this day and he is as strong and determined as he ever was to get on stage to give his paying customers a show they never will forget. As great as this music always is to hear, these performances did not have the sound mix to support the energy and efforts the band was putting out. At times Leslie's guitar and vocals fade away, as if he was walking away from the mike while singing and playing. This happens enough to certainly make mention of, but its not disturbing enough to deter your enjoyment of this 2 CD set; it was not a crucial factor to me listening several times I can tell you that for certain. I am glad to see the Mountain remasters are sparking more interest in the band and West and Laing decided to go out back on tour. Rock 'n' roll keeps you forever young, just ask these gents, they know. (c) Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck- http://www.muzikreviews.com August 4, 2004 CD1 1. Hard Times 2. Never In My Life 3. Spark 4. Theme For An Imaginary Western 5. Nantucket Sleighride 6. Mississippi Queen 7. Rocky Mountain Way Credits: Leslie West-Guitars/Vocals Corky Laing-Drums/Vocals Mark Clarke-Bass/Vocals The Ritz (6/5/85) & L' Amour (4/12/85) CD2 1. Why Dontcha 2. For Yasgur's Farm 3. Crossroads 4. The Sea 5. Nantucket Slieghride ( To Owen Coffin) 6. House of The Rising Sun 7. Dreams of Milk and Honey Credits: Leslie West-Guitar/Vocals Corky Laing-Drums/Vocals Ritchie Scarlet-Bass/Vocals Location: Europe 2003

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Artist: Mountain

Title: Climbing (1970/2003)

Genre: Rock

Format: 24-Bit Remastered CD

Label: Sony/Legacy-www.legacyrecordings.com

Website: www.mountaintheband.com

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 band’s catalog in any good book dedicated to LP art.

Although Climbing is the first album that people associate with the band Mountain (with Felix Pappalardi), it is actually the second album, which was released in 1970. With a mountain of a man named Leslie West on guitar (he was in a band previously called the Vagrants with his brother) the band played blues influenced power chords and West 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 Clapton’s 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 Felix’s 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 band’s catalog will want to have these discs now. Just as it says on the back of this CD…“THIS 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.

©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

May 20, 2003

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


Mountain Was:

Corky Laing  -  Percussion, Drums, Liner Notes

Steve Knight  -  Organ, Handbells

Felix Pappalardi  -  Bass, Guitar, Piano, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Producer, Musical Director

Leslie West  -  Guitar, Vocals, Liner Notes, Tray Photo

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Artist: Mountain

Title: Nantucket Sleighride (1971/2003)

Genre: Rock

Format: 24-Bit Remastered CD

Label: Sony/Legacy-www.legacyrecordings.com

Website: www.mountaintheband.com

Hear it now!

With Climbing already gold Mountain jumped right back into the studio the following year in an attempt to duplicate their previous success. Nantucket Sleighride (1971) was a masterful production with Felix Pappalardi at the helm once again. The opening track kicks things off with Leslie West belting out "Don't Look Around," much in the same way the previous album started with a wallop, after that though the atmosphere of the album changes, at times dramatically. This recording did not have the rawness and brashness of the previous outing; it was more complex musically and lyrically while maintaining the bands musical integrity and giving it more polish at the same time, there was still something missing. Felix had more influence on this recording and seemed to tighten the grip on the West energy level; hence, the big man’s toughness and brashness did not prevail and neither did his sledgehammer guitar. Although his playing was sharp, West sounded more restrained, refined and produced this time out. The energy was definitely different in the studio for the band on their sophomore effort. Even so, this newly remastered classic has withstood the test of time quite nicely and it sounds great with a live bonus track included of "Travellin’ in the Dark (To E.M.P.)." "The Animal Trainer and the Toad" was a step in an entirely different direction for them musically and lyrically, it actually sounds like something that should have been on another album. It was seemingly out of character for the group, nevertheless interesting and entertaining.

The title track was the centerpiece for the album and it was about old tales told by whale hunters. The men would harpoon the whale and then the creature would go under the sea then crash to the surface and pull the boat until it died of exhaustion and constant harpooning. I know it sounds cruel, and it is, but this was a reality for men that made their living from whales, and unfortunately for the hunted. The reason this song came to life is that Felix bought a house in Nantucket, Massachusetts at the time and was inspired to write about local lore. How do I know this? I read the liner notes provided by West and Corky Laing. Once again, the two surviving members provide amusing color commentary to the music.

As much as I enjoyed this album, it was not as poignant as Climbing. It was a long time ago when this album was released (1971) and now in 2003 the music of Mountain is experiencing a rebirth that is worthy of their work. Their music remains relevant and pleasing to the ears of this rock music lover and that it is fact.

May 20, 2003

©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck


1. Don't Look Around - 3:47

2. Taunta (Sammy's Tune) - 1:00

3. Nantucket Sleighride - 5:55

4. You Can't Get Away! - 3:28

5. Tired Angels (To J.M.H.) - 4:42

6. The Animal Trainer and the Toad - 3:29

7. My Lady - 4:35

8. Travellin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.) - 4:26

9. The Great Train Robbery - 5:50

10. Travellin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.) *Bonus Live Track - 5:09


Mountain Was:

Corky Laing - Drums, Liner Notes, Supervisor

Steve Knight - Keyboards

Felix Pappalardi - Bass, Vocals, Producer, Musical Direction

Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals, Liner Notes, Supervisor

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Artist: Mountain
Title: The Best (1973/2003)
Genre: Rock-Blues
Format: 24-Bit Remastered CD
Label: Sony/Legacy-www.legacyrecordings.com
Website: www.mountaintheband.com

Remarkably, after only four years of recording together Mountain released a Best Of compilation. In 
that short period, they took the world by storm with their fiery brand of rock-blues. Leslie West, the powerful 
lead guitar player and vocalist was the focal point of the group, while studio genius and bass 
player/vocalist/musical director Felix Pappalardi added his experience and steady firm hand to give the 
band an advantage that many did not have. Corky Laing’s role as the drummer was certainly as crucial as 
Pappalardi and West, and Steve Knight was the unsung hero in the background that did a superb job on the 
keyboards adding the necessary layers of music that helped to perfect the Mountain sound when 
Pappalardi was delivering his smooth vocal style. 

This remastered version will give you a newfound appreciation for what Mountain accomplished 
in the studio, as well as four bonus tracks. One thing I have never understood is the track 
sequence on this disc; why not kick things off with the signature song “Mississippi Queen”? It 
comes in at number seven for some reason. Every track is killer on the compilation so I guess it 
really does not matter. “Nantucket Sleighride” is one of the most incredible rock songs I have ever 
heard and it never gets old for me. Two of the bonus tracks, “Long Red” and “Dreams of Milk & 
Honey,” are off the first Mountain album, which actually was a Leslie West solo album, and that is 
the reason most folks consider “Climbing” as the bands first album featuring the classic lineup 
that cut all of these great songs. 

This is great stuff, now I can get rid of my older copy of this album; nothing beats a remastered 
album with bonus tracks, especially if it rocks loud and hard as Mountain always did. Remember 

©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
June 1, 2003

1.   Never in My Life - 3:53 
2.   Taunta (Sammy's Tune) - 1:00 
3.   Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) - 5:52 
4.   Roll Over Beethoven - 2:58 
5.   For Yasgur's Farm - 3:23 
6.   The Animal Trainer and the Toad - 3:27 
7.   Mississippi Queen - 2:32 
8.   King's Chorale - 1:04 
9.   Boys in the Band - 3:39 
10. Don't Look Around - 3:44 
11. Theme for an Imaginary Western- 5:08 
12. Crossroader - 4:50 
13. Long Red * - 3:17 
14. Dreams of Milk & Honey *- 3:36 
15. Silver Paper *- 3:19 
16. Travelin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.) *- 4:25
* Bonus Track

Rating-  5 STARS!!!   

Mountain Was:

Corky Laing  -  Percussion, Drums 
Steve Knight  -  Organ, Handbells 
Felix Pappalardi  -  Bass, Guitar, Piano, Guitar (Rhythm), Vocals, Producer, Musical Director 
Leslie West  -  Guitar, Vocals 


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Artist: Mountain Title: Sea of Fire Genre: Rock-Blues Format: DVD Label: Lightyear- www.lightyear.com Website: www.mountaintheband.com When I found out that Mountain was back together I wanted to immediately know what music was available. I found out that there was a CD and DVD recently released by visiting their website while I was covering the remastered series of releases from their back catalog on Columbia/Legacy. The CD “Mystic Fire,” was actually released in 2002 and the DVD “Sea of Fire” coincided that release in March of this year. The DVD has some tracks from the latest recording such as “Mutant X” and “The Sea,” as well as many of the classic tracks that the band built their following on such as their signature song “Mississippi Queen,” as well as other fan favorites “Nantucket Sleighride,” “Yasgur’s Farm” and “Theme from an Imaginary Western.” There are two surviving members left, Leslie West and Corky Laing; Felix Pappalardi lost his life tragically as his wife shot him to death in the early ‘80s. The new bass player is Richie Scarlet, who seems to be doing just fine blending in with the old timers West and Laing. West has lost some of his edge on vocals, the power and bite is not there as it used to be. That kind of break down is only natural over the years, particularly with someone that sings like West, he belts out a song with every ounce of his energy right from his toes. He can still play the guitar better than most of his contemporaries and the crowd on hand readily acknowledges his artisanship with his axe. His voice is hardened and raspy now, sounding like he has been smoking Marlboro’s for the past 30 years. West has some fun with his guitar(s) during the course of the concert, he frequently gets some distortion cranking out that the crowd seems to love. At end of the show, he takes out what looks to be a special vintage one for the encore “Mississippi Queen.” In the interview segment of the DVD, West and Laing reminisce about the old days with colorful stories. Laing commented-”We weren’t pretty, Leslie was 350 pounds and Felix was like a moustache with ears.” When the fans get their opportunity to speak there are nothing but accolades for West as being one the greatest rock- blues players of all time. One man commented that West was better than most of the big name stars of the day. For certain, West has his own distinct sound and tone that nobody else has and he has been able to maintain that over the years. The Hall of Fame section is a treat as well showing rare footage of the band playing classic tunes. In its entirety this is a well-packaged DVD that hits on all the points of interest for Mountain fans. Technically, this is spot on for viewers looking for different angles, literally. The quad screen split feature is very cool, allowing music fans to see four different views of the concert footage at one time. If you have a big screen TV, you will be in heaven. There is a lot to be excited about if you are a classic rock fan, and with Leslie and Corky back full steam ahead, it is time to rock! ©"Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck May 25, 2003 Track Selection 1. Blood of the Sun-:30 2. Yasgur's Farm -1:56 3. Crossroads - 1:56 4. The Sea - 6:29 5. Never in My Life - 6:29 6. Mutant X -8:38 7. Theme From An Imaginary Western - 8:38 8. Nantucket Sleighride - 7:34 9. Mississippi Queen - 7:34 10. Credits - 7:07 Format: DTS Original release date: n/a Video/DVD Release Date: 3/18/2003 LIGHTYEAR Menu Live At the Mystic Theatre Song Selection Special Features Multi-Camera View Multi-Camera Full-Screen Hall of Fame Scrapbook The Fans Speak Web Links www.mountaintheband.com www.corkylaing.com www.richiescarlet.com www.lightyear.com Audio Setup Dolby 5.1 DTS Rating- 4 of 5 stars Mountain Is: Leslie West-Guitar, Lead Vocals Corky Laing-Drums Richie Scarlet-Bass Listen to samples & Buy CDs/DVDs here

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