Formed by heavyweight guitar prodigy Leslie West (born Leslie Weinstein in 1945) and Cream producer Felix Pappalardi, US group Mountain were often regarded as the poor relations of the supergroup.
While Clapton, Bruce and Baker played with telepathic insight, finesse and infinite subtlety, Mountain seemed to play the blues with sledgehammers.
Their second album, Nantucket Sleighride (1971) remains their best work, and the title track is arguably the group’s greatest achievement – a song whose instrumental break beautifully evokes being dragged under the waves at high speed by a harpooned sperm whale.
Those of a certain age may remember it fondly as a prelude to Brian Walden giving Reginald Maudling a hard time on ITV current affairs program Weekend World.
The group broke up in 1972, and their 1974 ‘reunion’ album Avalanche is really the last Mountain album you need concern yourself with.
Pappalardi was shot dead in his New York apartment by Gail Collins, his wife and songwriting partner, on 17 April 1983. He was 43.
Keyboard player Steve Knight died on 18 January 2013 of Parkinson’s Disease.
Leslie West (Weinstein)
Norman D Smart