YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #17
SINGLES: Mississippi Queen (#21), For Yasgur’s Farm (#107)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Theme from an Imaginary Western
LINEUP: Leslie West, Felix Pappalardi, Steve Knight, Corky Laing
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Most of the band that backed Leslie West at Woodstock take the name Mountain (after his solo album) and release a record that has a couple of memorable tracks.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Let’s get this out of the way…”Mississippi Queen” has earned a place in the pantheon of riffs and intros. It’s been sampled enough to make it recognizable even if you know nothing else about the song or it.
Then there’s “Theme from an Imaginary Western”, where producer of Cream and now group member Felix Pappalardi had heard when producing Jack Bruce’s solo album and nicked it for Woodstock and this album. Those opened side one. To open side two, he also brought “For Yasgur’s Farm” from that performance as well.
There are a couple of soft throwaways, a few heavy throwaways, and you’re left with a semi-unsatisfying finish to a record that started with a great 1-2 punch. “For Yasgur’s Farm” isn’t anything to write home about, and sounds way too much like “Theme…” to make an impact. Mountain pulled its punches when it could have been a pile driver.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Originally, the drummer for the combo was N. D. Smart (formerly of the Remains and later with Gram Parsons). But other commitments got in the way so Laing stepped in. Also, at Woodstock “For Yasgur’s Farm” was titled “Who Am I but You and the Sunset
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A verison appends the live version of “For Yasgur’s Farm”.
GRADE B-: The 1-2 punch from the beginning saves the record, but barely.