Home > Company > Rock You > Rock CEO's "You gotta hear this!" #10 : Mountain - "Climbing!" "Nantucket Sleighride" "Flowers Of Evil"

Rock CEO's "You gotta hear this!" #10 : Mountain - "Climbing!" "Nantucket Sleighride" "Flowers Of Evil"

December 17,2014

Yes, time flies and it's already December!
It's amazing to think how a year passes that quick ...
Ahh, whatever, forget it. Just an old man rambling.

Here we go. Mountain is the band I want to introduce to you this time.

They're big and intense, a great rock band that'll go down in history. I don't know why I haven't introduced them so far, but let me introduce the much-awaited, one of the best American Hard Rock Band of 1970's.

They're a perfect example of my "Roots of Rock." Along with my gods, Wishbone Ash, Grand Funk and Lynyrd Skynyrd, I used to listen to and play Mountain all day and night when I was a kid in elementary school.

Climbing
Mountain
Sbme Special Mkts. (February 1, 2008)

"Mississippi Queen" -- its thick and solid guitar I heard on the radio blew my brains out. That was my first encounter with the band. This song is one of the greatest rock standards. No doubt about it. Such a hard and heavy Rock song even took the No.1 spot on the hit charts here in Japan in the 1970's. Amazing, right? This song is just cool and awesome!

Their actual debut album "Climbing!," which includes this "Mississippi Queen," is an awesome album full of great songs. Yes, this is Mountain's magnum opus and a must-have item for Rock music lovers.

Especially, "For Yasgur's Farm," "Theme for an Imaginary Western," and "Boys in the Band" are sensational, with their melancholy melody played with a woman tone guitar as they pierce directly through your mind. By the way, Yasgur of "For Yasgur's Farm" is the name of a farmer who offered his farm for Woodstock Music and Art Festival. To think that Woodstock, which turned out to be one of the greatest music festivals of all time, depended upon just one farmer dude's cooperation. And so it was at Woodstock, on Yasgur's Farm, where Moutain made their full-scale debut.

Mountain was an American rock band that formed in Long Island, New York in 1969. Bassist Felix Pappalardi, who was the producer of Cream, and super guitarist Leslie West, known for his heavy and delicate performance while shaking his mammoth body, were the core members of the band. The band broke up in 1972, but they left their vivid mark on rock history during their short active period. They have reunited frequently as Leslie's Band later, but let's leave it aside for the moment.

On another note, their album jacket designs really capture the spirit of the word "Art." They're so attractive that people even purchase their album even without listening to their music. These designs were done by Gail Collins, who was Pappalardi's wife. She was a talented woman and contributed lyrics to many Mountain songs. She was very important to the band - even enough to be called the fifth member. There's a harmonious picture of her with Pappalardi. Unfortunately, Pappalardi was shot to death by Gail in their Manhattan apartment in 1983.

Nantucket Sleighride
Mountain
Sbme Special Mkts. (April 8, 2003)

"Nantucket Sleighride," released in 1971, is a much more heavy and progressive album than the previous one. Especially, the title tune "Nantucket Sleighride" is not a simple rock song, but an ever-changing great composition with high degree of perfection which really impresses a person like me, who is a huge progressive rock fan.
The album's opener "Don't Look Around" is already heavy metal, far beyond the range of hard rock. I'm sure you'll be blown off with its amazing driving sound.
The progressive approach heard in "Nantucket Sleighride" embodies Pappalardi's direction of music, while the hardness you find in "Don't Look Around" embodies Leslie's. This bipolar confrontation led to the immediate breakup of the band as a result. However, this kind of confrontation in their collaboration became a synergistic base for their music that generated some incredible beauty and excitement.

Flowers of Evil
Mountain
Sbme Special Mkts. (March 1, 1996)

Finally, let me introduce my most favorite album -- "Flowers of Evil."
Side A is just like a jewel box filled with beautiful songs. None of these gems are just lazy, simply crafted one-off's - their ensembles are deeply intertwined with each other and the development is just awesome. Really bold "Rock" lies down at the root of all these songs.
The last song of Side A, "Pride and Passion" is my most favorite among other Mountain songs.
Opening with excellent use of reverse sound and violin, leading into a sudden mix of piano and a beautiful vocal line, followed by the ensemble of keyboard and guitar follows...Man, I can't get enough of this song.
Side B is their specialty, a live recording of "Dream Sequence" in the form of a suite to be played for 24 minutes. This is awesome as well.
In addition to this album, two records of their live performances in Japan are available. Whichever one you go with, I'm sure you'll are be thrilled with their amazing improvisation performance that outshines free jazz.

Get blown away with their hard driven songs and shake your soul with the melancholy.
A Super Rock Band that left their footprints in Rock history - "MOUNTAIN"!!
You gotta hear this!!