Mountain (Leslie West album)

Last updated
Mountain
Leslie West Mountain.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedJuly 1969
Genre Hard rock [1]
Length35:27
Label Windfall
Producer Felix Pappalardi
Leslie West chronology
Mountain
(1969)
The Great Fatsby
(1975)

Mountain is the debut album by American rock guitarist and vocalist Leslie West, released in July 1969 by Windfall Records.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Leslie West American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter

Leslie West is an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is best known as a founding member of the hard rock band Mountain.

Windfall Records was a record label founded in 1969 and dissolved in 1974. Windfall was first distributed by Bell Records. From 1972 until 1974 it was distributed by Columbia Records. The most successful act for Windfall was Mountain.

Contents

Background

Mountain is West's first solo album after several years spent as a member of the Vagrants. The album was recorded with bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi, who shortly after formed the band Mountain (named after the album) with West; this has given it the reputation of being the band's first album. [2]

The Vagrants

The Vagrants were an American, Long Island-based rock and blue-eyed soul group from the 1960s. The group was composed of Peter Sabatino on vocals, harmonica, and tambourine, Leslie West on vocals and guitar, Larry West on vocals and bass guitar, Jerry Storch on organ, and Roger Mansour on drums.

Felix Pappalardi American musician

Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. was an American music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bassist. He is best known to the public as the bassist and vocalist of the band Mountain, whose song "Mississippi Queen" peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has become a classic rock radio staple. Originating in the eclectic music scene in New York's Greenwich Village, he became closely attached to the British power trio Cream, writing, arranging, and producing for their second album Disraeli Gears. As a producer for Atlantic Records, he worked on several projects with guitarist Leslie West; in 1969 their partnership evolved into the band Mountain. The band lasted less than five years, but their work influenced the first generation of heavy metal and hard rock music. Pappalardi continued to work as a producer, session musician, and songwriter until he was shot and killed by his wife Gail Collins in 1983.

Mountain is an American hard rock band that formed on Long Island, New York in 1969. Originally comprising vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist and 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 as of November 28, 2009. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song "Mississippi Queen", as well as for their performance at the 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. The groups musical style primarily consisted of hard rock, blues rock and heavy metal.

Release and reception

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic Star full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar full.svgStar empty.svg [2]
The Village Voice B [3]

The album was released on LP in July 1969 by Windfall Records. [2] Reviewing for The Village Voice in September of that year, Robert Christgau wrote: "With Felix Pappalardi singing and playing bass regularly this could be New York's third supergroup. (The Rascals and the Spoonful got there first.) The visual possibilities alone—with West, the enormous ex-Vagrant guitarist, set against the hyperactive Pappalardi, are fantastic. West plays good guitar and is a good roarer, and Pappalardi is not only first-rate on several instruments but has a wonderful singing voice, sweet and mellow. Unfortunately, he hadn't decided to join the group when this was recorded, and so participates only as bassist and producer. West alone can't quite carry it. More like early Cream than Blind Faith.". [3]

LP record Analog sound storage medium

The LP is an analog sound storage medium, a vinyl record format characterized by a speed of ​33 13 rpm, a 12- or 10-inch diameter, and use of the "microgroove" groove specification. Introduced by Columbia in 1948, it was soon adopted as a new standard by the entire record industry. Apart from a few relatively minor refinements and the important later addition of stereophonic sound, it has remained the standard format for vinyl albums.

<i>The Village Voice</i> American weekly newspaper

The Village Voice was an American news and culture paper, known for being the country's first alternative newsweekly. Founded in 1955 by Dan Wolf, Ed Fancher, John Wilcock, and Norman Mailer, the Voice began as a platform for the creative community of New York City. It still is kept alive online.

Robert Christgau American music journalist

Robert Thomas Christgau is an American essayist and music journalist. One of the earliest professional rock critics, he spent 37 years as the chief music critic and senior editor for The Village Voice, during which time he created and oversaw the annual Pazz & Jop poll. He has also covered popular music for Esquire, Creem, Newsday, Playboy, Rolling Stone, Billboard, NPR, Blender, and MSN Music, and was a visiting arts teacher at New York University.

On April 16, 1996, Columbia/Legacy reissued Mountain on CD. In a retrospective review, AllMusic's William Ruhlmann regarded it as a rock album "dominated by West's throaty roar of a voice and inventive blues-rock guitar playing", as well as "an auspicious debut, instantly establishing him as a guitar hero and setting the style of Mountain's subsequent recordings." [2]

AllMusic Online music database

AllMusic is an online music database. It catalogs more than 3 million album entries and 30 million tracks, as well as information on musical artists and bands. It launched in 1991, predating the World Wide Web.

Track listing

  1. "Blood of the Sun" (Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins) – 2:35
  2. "Long Red" (West, Pappalardi, John Ventura, Norman Landsberg) – 3:14
  3. "Better Watch Out" (Pappalardi, Collins) – 2:47
  4. "Blind Man" (Collins, Pappalardi, West, Ventura) – 3:50
  5. "Baby, I'm Down" (Pappalardi, Collins) – 3:58
  6. "Dreams of Milk and Honey" (West, Pappalardi, Ventura, Landsberg) – 3:22
  7. "Storyteller Man" (West, Pappalardi, Ventura, Landsberg) – 3:04
  8. "This Wheel's on Fire" (Bob Dylan, Rick Danko) – 3:18
  9. "Look to the Wind" (West, Pappalardi, Ventura) – 2:43
  10. "Southbound Train" (West, Ventura, Landsberg) – 2:57
  11. "Because You Are My Friend" (West) – 3:10

Personnel

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<i>Woodstock Two</i> 1971 live album by Various artists

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"Theme for an Imaginary Western" is a song written by Jack Bruce and Pete Brown. The song is sometimes referred to as "Theme from an Imaginary Western." It has been performed by many artists, including Mountain, Jack Bruce, Leslie West, Colosseum, Greenslade, DC3 and Johan Asherton.

References

  1. "Album Reviews". Billboard . August 23, 1969. p. 91.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Ruhlmann, William (n.d.). "Mountain - Leslie West". AllMusic . Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  3. 1 2 Christgau, Robert (September 18, 1969). "Consumer Guide (4)". The Village Voice . Retrieved March 23, 2019 via robertchristgau.com.
  4. "N.D. Smart II at the Cool Groove". Thecoolgroove.com. Retrieved 2012-03-02.