The Ten Greatest Mountain Songs
Everest has nothing on this Mountain.
As The Home of Rock ‘N’ Roll i95 gets ready to welcome the legendary guitarist Leslie West to The Ridgefield Playhouse tonight, here are the ten greatest songs Leslie recorded with his band Mountain.
Get ready, we’ve got some serious classic rock climbing to do.
“To My Friend” (1970)
The first song on this list is a beautiful instrumental by Leslie West from Mountain’s official debut studio album released on this month in 1970 – ‘Climbing!’
Leslie is mostly known for cranking out some heavy hitting guitar riffs but on “To My Friend” he shows just how versatile and gifted he is on the strings.
“The Animal Trainer and the Toad” (1971)
Here’s one that’ll get you up from your seat and onto the dance floor from Mountain’s second album ‘Nantucket Sleighride’. Ladies and gentleman behold The Animal Trainer and the Toad and, yes, they know how to rock!
“Theme From An Imaginary Western” (1970)
This Mountain classic was written by Cream’s Jack Bruce and lyricist Pete Brown. Hard to believe but it’s been said that Eric Clapton hated this song so it was never recorded by Cream.
One legendary guitarist’s trash is another legendary guitarist’s treasure. Leslie West makes this song sizzle with his guitar work on this timeless track. It’s no surprise Leslie has ranked this high on his list of Mountain songs.
“Silver Paper” (1970)
Open your heart and the let the sun shine in and if you need some help just crank up this classic from Mountain’s ‘Climbing!’ album.
“For Yasgur’s Farm” (1970)
Mountain had only played two gigs as a band before performing at 1969’s Woodstock and they made it count.
This was one of the songs the band performed during their set that Saturday night in Bethel only it was called “Who Am I But You and the Sun”. They later recorded it and renamed it for the ‘Climbing!’ album.
The classic Mountain lineup of vocalist/guitarist Leslie West, bassist/vocalist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer Corky Laing had just about reached the end by the time they released ‘Flowers of Evil’ in 1972. Despite the band’s impending break-up the band proved they could still fire on all cylinders when the tapes were rolling.
“Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)” (1971)
Not only is this one of the band’s strongest songs musically as it twists and turns through time changes and melodies, it’s probably the most lyrically intriguing from Mountain.
Nantucket sleighride was a term used by Nantucket whale men to describe the aftermath of harpooning a whale. As for the name Owen Coffin, he was a young seaman on the Nantucket whaler Essex, which was rammed and sunk by a sperm whale in 1820. In the aftermath of the wreck, Coffin was shot and eaten by his shipmates.
“Don’t Look Around” (1971)
Here’s a high adrenaline rocker that features every member of Mountain flexing their musical muscles.
Along with Leslie West’s killer riffs there’s the amazingly tight and powerful rhythm section of drummer Corky Laing and bassist Felix Pappalardi. And how can we forget that keyboard work of Steve Knight? This is hard rock at its finest!
“Never In My Life” (1970)
This is an essential song for any hard rock guitar fan. Listen to that guitar riff!
So many legendary rock guitarists to come out of the 70s and 80s cite Leslie as a huge influence and this is one of the biggest examples why. THE biggest example is comin’ up next with song #1 on this list. I think you know what that is…
“Mississippi Queen” (1970)
Every kid who picks up an electric guitar should make this an essential riff to learn.
Leslie West not only came up with an amazing guitar lick but it’s the tone that makes it magical. It’s thick, heavy, raunchy, crunchy, monstrous…..I could keep going but I think you get the picture. This is not only Mountain’s greatest song, it’s one of the greatest classic rock songs period.
Congratulations, you have reached the top of the Mountain…