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|Origin||Long Island, New York, U.S.|
|Members|| Leslie West |
|Past members|| Felix Pappalardi |
N. D. Smart
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. Best known for their cowbell-tinged song "Mississippi Queen", as well as the heavily sampled song "Long Red" and 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 group's musical style primarily consisted of hard rock, blues rock and heavy metal.
In early 1969 Leslie West, formerly of the Long Island R&B band The Vagrants, put together a band, Leslie West Mountain, with Norman Landsberg (keyboards, bass) and Ken Janick (drums) and began playing gigs and recording demos. Right around this time, former Cream collaborator/producer Felix Pappalardi, who had previously produced the Vagrants, 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. He envisioned a project that would take on a rawer and much harder style which he had begun to favor, with his newly-developed guitar style inspired by hearing Cream's Eric Clapton.
Pappalardi rejected the demos by the West-Landsberg-Janick trio, but took a suggestion that he play bass on West's solo album, Mountain . The album also featured 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 Cream. Keyboardist Steve Knight (from Devil's Anvil, another of Pappalardi's productions) was added after Landsberg left to form another group, Hammer, with Janick.
Naming themselves "Mountain", after West's 1969 solo album, West, Pappalardi, Smart and Knight played shows on the West Coast before getting to play their third 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 written by former Cream bassist Jack Bruce) did appear on the second volume of Woodstock performances called "Woodstock II" (however, both of these "live" songs were not recorded at Woodstock). 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.
Mountain began a hectic touring schedule in the middle of which they recorded a follow-up album, Nantucket Sleighride , released in January 1971.This album reached #16 but failed to yield a hit single. The title track was used in the UK as the theme to ITV's Sunday political program Weekend World . After these early releases the band continued to receive a certain measure of critical acclaim but never again achieved great commercial success.
After Nantucket Sleighride, the band produced Flowers of Evil (November 1971) consisting of one side of studio material and one live side, culled from a concert at New York's Fillmore East.
Mountain disbanded in February 1972 after a tour of the UK.West has since cited a combination of drug abuse within the band and Pappalardi's road weariness and burgeoning hearing impairment as primary factors. A live album, Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On, was issued in April 1972.
Pappalardi returned to studio work, while West and Laing formed West, Bruce and Laing with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce.Their first American performance was a Carnegie Hall concert, prompting a bidding war that Columbia Records won, and the new trio cut two studio albums and a live release over the next two years. After Bruce suddenly pulled out of the trio in 1973, West and Laing continued on briefly as Leslie West's Wild West Show, which also featured special guest Mitch Ryder plus NYC guitarist Peter Baron and bassist Tom Robb (formerly with Mylon LeFevre's band and later with Marshall Tucker Band).
By August 1973, West and Pappalardi had reformed Mountain with Allan Schwartzberg on drums and Bob Mann (ex-Dreams) on keyboards and guitar; the new lineup toured Japan and produced a double live album, Twin Peaks (February 1974), from the tour.The studio work Avalanche (July 1974), for which Laing returned to play drums and David Perry became the new second guitarist (from November 1973 to September 1974), would be Mountain's final album with Pappalardi as a participant; the group broke up again after playing a final show at Felt Forum in NYC on December 31, 1974.
On April 17, 1983 Gail Collins Pappalardi, Pappalardi's wife and songwriting partner (she had designed many of the band's album covers and wrote many of their lyrics), shot Pappalardi in the neck in their fifth-floor East Side Manhattan apartment and he died.
After pursuing separate musical paths for almost a decade, West and Laing reunited Mountain, recruiting Miller Anderson (ex-Savoy Brown & Keef Hartley) on bass in 1981. After Anderson had Travel visa troubles, he was replaced in 1984 by Mark Clarke and the group recorded Go for Your Life (March 1985).This line up played at the Knebworth Fayre on June 22, 1985 alongside Alaska, Mama's Boys, Blackfoot, Meat Loaf, Scorpions and Deep Purple. Go For Your Life was dedicated to Pappalardi's memory. Shortly thereafter, the band performed with Triumph at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Illinois.
Mountain went dormant again until 1992, when West and Laing teamed up once again and brought in Richie Scarlet (known for his solo work and collaborations with Ace Frehley) to round out the lineup. Scarlet was replaced with Randy Coven in 1993 and in 1994 there was a Mountain lineup that included West, Laing, Noel Redding and occasional special guest guitarist Elvin Bishop. By 1995, the 1984-85 lineup of West, Laing & Mark Clarke was back, and recorded Man's World in 1996. In 1998 things went quiet in the Mountain camp again until 2001. That year, with Scarlet back in the lineup, the band toured, then recorded Mystic Fire ,released in 2002.
In 2003 West and Laing authored a book of recollections, Nantucket Sleighride and Other Mountain On-the-Road Stories, detailing their time with the band at its peak and their subsequent careers.
Mountain's video game debut came in 2007 on RedOctane's Guitar Hero III , featuring "Mississippi Queen" as a playable track. The song is also featured in the Harmonix video game Rock Band , although the version featured is a cover of the studio recording.
Their most recent album is 2007's Masters of War , featuring twelve Bob Dylan covers and a guest appearance from Ozzy Osbourne.
The band headed out on the road during October and November 2008 on a North American tour opening for Joe Satriani,and with former Michael Schenker Group member Rev Jones on bass. A review of the San Diego House of Blues date covered the Mountain set, including "Blowing in the Wind" from the Masters of War album, with enthusiasm. Of the Satriani set, the reviewer was also pleased with the blues influence he felt Mountain brought to the evening, and with West joining in a Satriani-led, closing "Stormy Monday" and "Going Down" blues jam.
Fellow Long Island native Howard Stern has called Mountain one of his favourite bands and has occasionally played their music on his show. Other Mountain fans include John McLaughlin,Johnny Ramone, Clutch, Karma to Burn, comedian Dennis Miller, and John Frusciante (the Red Hot Chili Peppers track "Readymade" off 2006's Stadium Arcadium features a Mountain-influenced riff). Martin Barre, guitarist for Jethro Tull has stated in interviews that Leslie West was a direct influence on his playing.
The beginning of the live recording of their song "Long Red" has become one of the most sampled drum breaks in hip hop, sampled in songs by EPMD, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Kanye West, Game, among many others.
Beastie Boys are also noted for their use of a brief sample of "Mississippi Queen" on the track "Lookin' Down the Barrel of a Gun" off of their sample-heavy 1989 album, Paul's Boutique .
Mountain still performs occasionally with Leslie West, Bobby Rondanelli and Rev Jones.On June 20, 2011, West had his lower right leg amputated as a result of complications from diabetes. And since that time, West has been performing and recording under his own name, with his concerts featuring many Mountain songs. Corky Laing formed a new project, Corky Laing Plays Mountain, in 2015. This project included bassist/vocalist Joe Venti and guitarist/vocalist Phil Baker in 2015. For their 2016 United States tour Laing and Venti were joined by bassist/guitarist Richie Scarlet and keyboardist Ken Sidotti. They perform Mountain music in addition to songs by West, Bruce and Laing and Cream. And since 2017, Mark Mikel has been playing bass with Chris Shutters and Richie Scarlet alternating on guitar in the lineup.
|1971||Nantucket Sleighride||16||US: Gold|
|1971||Flowers of Evil||31|
|1985||Go for Your Life||166|
|2007||Masters of War||-|
|1970||"For Yasgur's Farm"||107|
|1971||"The Animal Trainer and the Toad"||76|
John Symon Asher Bruce, known professionally as Jack Bruce, was a Scottish singer-songwriter, musician and composer. He gained popularity as the lead vocalist and bass guitarist of British rock band Cream. After the group disbanded in 1968, he pursued a solo career and also played with several bands.
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.
West, Bruce & Laing (WBL) were a blues rock power trio super-group formed in 1972 by Leslie West, Jack Bruce and Corky Laing. The band released two studio albums, Why Dontcha (1972) and Whatever Turns You On (1973), during their active tenure. Their disbanding was officially announced in early 1974 prior to the release of their third and last album, Live 'n' Kickin'.
Leslie West is an American rock guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He is best known as a founding member of the hard rock band Mountain.
Woodstock Two is the second live album released of the 1969 Woodstock Festival concert. The two-LP set contains more material from many acts featured on the first Woodstock album with additional performances from Mountain and Melanie.
Laurence Mustard "Corky" Laing is a Canadian rock drummer, best known as a longtime member of pioneering American hard rock band Mountain.,
Blues Creation was a Japanese rock band formed in Tokyo in 1969. Led by guitarist/singer Kazuo Takeda, they were known as Blues Creation from 1969 to 1972 and after a three-year hiatus returned as simply Creation in 1975.
"Mississippi Queen" is a song by the American rock band Mountain. Considered a rock classic, it was their most successful single, reaching number 21 in the Billboard Hot 100 record chart in 1970. The song is included on the group's debut album and several live recordings have been issued. "Mississippi Queen" has been recorded by several artists, including W.A.S.P., Sam Kinison, Amanda Ayala, Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Ozzy Osbourne, the latter of whom had a hit with the song in 2005.
Climbing!, also known as Mountain Climbing!, is the official debut studio album by American hard rock band Mountain, released on March 7, 1970, by Windfall Records.
Nantucket Sleighride is the second album by the American hard rock band Mountain, released on January 1971, by Windfall Records.
Flowers of Evil is the third studio album and first live album by American hard rock band Mountain. It is partly a concept album about drug abuse in Vietnam. The first side of the album includes new studio material, while the second consists of live material recorded on June 27, 1971, at the Fillmore East in New York City. It was released on November 1971, by Windfall.
Live: The Road Goes Ever On is a live album by American hard rock band Mountain. Released on April 24, 1972, by Windfall Records, it contains four songs recorded at three shows in August 1969, December 1971, and January 1972. The album was produced by the band's bassist and second vocalist Felix Pappalardi, while the artwork was created by his wife and collaborator Gail Collins. The Road Goes Ever On takes its name from J. R. R. Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit.
Twin Peaks is the second live album by American hard rock band Mountain. Released in February 1974 by Columbia and Windfall Records, it contains recordings from the band's performance at Koseinenkin Hall in Osaka, Japan on August 30, 1973. The album was produced by the band's bassist and second vocalist Felix Pappalardi, while the artwork was created by his wife and collaborator Gail Collins. It was Mountain's first release since returning after a year-long hiatus.
The Best of Mountain is the first compilation by American hard rock band Mountain. It consists of material recorded throughout 1970-1971, culled from their first three LPs. On April 15, 2003, the album was remastered and reissued in an expanded edition with new liner notes and four bonus tracks, two of which are taken from Leslie West's first solo album, 1969's Felix Pappalardi-produced Mountain, the project which eventually led to the formation of the band.
Steve Knight was an American musician best known as the keyboardist for Mountain, a rock band of the early 1970s.
Mountain is the debut album by American rock guitarist and vocalist Leslie West, released in July 1969 by Windfall Records.
Go for Your Life is the fifth studio album by Mountain, released on March 9, 1985. It is thier first studio album since 1974 album Avalanche.
Avalanche is the fourth studio album by Mountain, released on July 1974, by Columbia Records and Windfall Records. It featured the return of drummer Corky Laing, it was the band's only recording with guitarist David Perry, and the final album to feature bassist and producer Felix Pappalardi until his death on April 17, 1983.
Mystic Fire is a 2002 album by Mountain.
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