Voiceprint [Release date 12.11.21]
Fronted by guitarist and vocalist Leslie West, Mountain formed in New York in 1969, taking their name from the former Vagrants West’s first solo album, and their classic line-up saw West joined by bassist Felix Pappalardi, drummer Corky Laing and keyboard player Steve Knight. Mixing hard rock and blues rock, Mountain have often been considered influential on the heavy metal scene, and are best known for tracks like Mississippi Queen and Nantucket Sleighride.
This triple disc gives us two concerts from the 1970s and show just how heavy, solid and entertaining the band were on stage.
The first show, recorded in 1971, kicks off with Never In My Life and is well recorded. Sometimes the bass is riff heavy, there’s guitar solos, and sometimes some intricate moments. Mississippi Queen is as memorable as ever, and Silver Paper (running to nearly 10 minutes) mixes heavy and gentle moments. There’s some jamming too, with an extended guitar solo that shows just how good West was.
More classic live Mountain in disc 2, and Nantucket Sleighride has such a memorable guitar line. It is such a fantastic song, and although it starts gently when the main riff comes in everything is turned up to 11. Any live set featuring this track is worth the money for that alone. And for those who like a longer song, Dreams Of Milk And Honey runs to 23 minutes. There’s everything in this song. And with it being New Year’s, the show closes with Auld Lang Syne.
Jump forward to 1974 and another fine show, if slightly muddy/muddled in recording, there’s still some fantastic hard rock music, with opener Never In My Life featuring a clear top guitar line and some solid riffs too. The lead guitar stands out too (with the cowbell) on Mississippi Queen, and although the vocals are slightly lost, it remains a stand out track. A better and cleaner sound is heard on the extended Nantucket Sleighride, which remains a favourite.
No song is ever played the same twice, so there’s always room for another Mountain live performance, and when songs get extended/jammed, it’s hard rock heaven.
Unusually presented in a CD fatbox, there’s a nice booklet, and 3 CDs of wonderful (if occasionally questionable live mix) blues rock music. Well worth checking out. Mountain get overlooked all too often. ****
Review by Joe Geesin
The latest Josh Taerk live session was streamed on Sunday 26 September. This marked the start of a new monthly series. Josh’s next session is Sunday 31 October.
David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 26 September 2021 and includes the Top 10 albums at www.getreadytorock.com for that week.
UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020 and 2021 Finalist) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 28 September 2021.
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