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Mountain Biography

Home > Music > M > Mountain > Biography

Birth Place: Long Island, New York, USA
Years Active: 1969-1972, 1974-present
Genres: Blues-rock, Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Blues Metal

Mountain is a rock band that formed in Long Island, New York in 1969. The original lineup was comprised of vocalist and guitarist Leslie West, bassist Felix Pappalardi, keyboardist Steve Knight and drummer N. D. Smart.

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 concerts. Right around this time, former Cream collaborator Felix Pappalardi expressed an interest in producing West's work. The resulting album, “Leslie West Mountain,” featured Landsberg and former Remains drummer N.D. Smart.

Keyboardist Steve Knight was added after Landsberg left to form another group, Hammer, with Janick. Naming themselves after West's album, West, Pappalardi, Smart and Knight played shows on the West Coast before getting to play their fourth concert as a working band at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York.

Soon after Woodstock, Smart was replaced by Laurence “Corky” Laing, who was the drummer on their debut LP, “Climbing!,” which was released in March 1970. The album featured the band's hit single, “Mississippi Queen,” which peaked at #21 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart. The album peaked at #17 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart.

Mountain followed up the success of the album by embarking on a world tour. While in the middle of the tour, the band began to record their second album, “Nantucket Sleighride,” which was released in 1971. This album peaked at #16 on the Billboard 200, but failed to produce a hit single.

Their next record, “Flowers of Evil,” was released later in 1971.

By 1973 Mountain had broken up. Soon after, West and Pappalardi reformed Mountain with Allan Schwartzberg on drums and Bob Mann on keyboards and guitar. The new lineup began touring in 1974 and released the double live album, “Twin Peaks,” from the tour. The studio album, “Avalanche” was issued that same year before another break up.

West and Laing reunited in 1983, recruiting Miller Anderson on bass in 1981. The album, “Go For Your Life,” was released in 1985 before another seven year hiatus ensued. By the mid-1990s, Mountain’s lineup constantly changed with musicians coming and going, while West and Laing remained at the helm.

1996 saw the release of “Man's World,” followed by “Mystic Fire” in 2002. Mountain's next album, “Masters Of War,” emerged in 2007 and featured Ozzy Osbourne. The following year saw the band on the road once again, touring North America.