AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
This album contains a live recording made for the King Biscuit Flower Hour radio series of a concert byMountain held at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ, on November 3, 1974. In a six-minute interview conducted 25 years later especially for this release, singer/lead guitarist Leslie West recalled the show as the first American date of Mountain‘s reunion. (The group had disbanded in 1972 and re-formed in 1973.) It seems more likely that it was one of the band’s last performances, since Mountain had recorded its comeback album Avalanche the previous winter and released it in the summer of 1974. In any case, the sound quality is terrific and the show is a lively one, with bandmembers West, singer/bassist Felix Pappalardi, drummer Corky Laing, and new rhythm guitarist David Perryenergetically working their way through favorites like “Mississippi Queen,” “Theme for an Imaginary Western,” and “Nantucket Sleighride.” Two songs written by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, the 1966 Lee Dorsey hit “Get out of My Life Woman” and an instrumental version of “It’s for You,” are surprise additions to a set that also includes a timely performance of “Jingle Bells” to mark the holiday season and a concluding medley of “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On.” There is plenty of affection expressed in the stage remarks, but that didn’t keep the band from breaking up soon after this show was recorded.
|1||You Better Believe It||6:54|
|2||Theme for an Imaginery Western||5:00|
|3||Never in My Life||4:28|
|5||Get Out of My Life Woman||6:03|
|7||It’s for You||7:43|
|9||Roll Over Beethoven||1:39|
|10||Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On||2:49|
Mountain was born out of the sixties music explosion. Leslie came from The Vagrants,an East Coast power house band that was making a name for themselves.Corky came from the band Energy that was produced by Felix Pappalardi. Felix had extensive producing credits before Mountain formed in 1969.He was a classically trained musician who studied conducting and music arranging in college. His skills eventually lead him to Mountain. He produced Cream’s Disreali Gears and worked with many other prominent artists from the Greenwich Village folk scene. Steve Knight was brought in by Felix because of prior musical affliations. Eventually this small web of the music scene brought these four guys together. They debuted at the Fillmore in 1969 and went on to play at the granddaddy of all music festivals Woodstock. They established themselves as one of the premiere rock bands of their time. The band eventualy called it quits in 1972.
Mountain was one of those magical music collaborations that can’t be duplicated. Just like Cream, the Beatles, Led Zepplin, The Who, The Jimi Hendrix Experience,The Rolling Stones,or any great band it’s a once in a lifetime twist of fate that brings individuals together to make their mark on history of music. In their short musical life they produced three gold albums and created one of the most recognized rock tunes “Mississippi Queen”. The most enduring legacy any band can hope to achieve is to have others generations of musicians aspire to copy them. Leslie West’s guitar playing did that for many guitarists. He had that rare gift to have his own tone and touch that helped define the Mountain sound. Whether you love or hate them ,you can’t deny them their place in rock music.