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Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

Discussion in 'Album Reviews' started by Magic, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Band: Mountain
    Album : Nantucket Sleighride
    Released: 1971 by Windfall Records
    Genre: Rock / Blues-Rock / Hard Rock


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    Tracklist

    1. “Don't Look Around" - 3:47
    2. "Taunta (Sammy's Tune)" - 1:00
    3. "Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)" - 5:55
    4. "You Can't Get Away" - 3:28
    5. "Tired Angels (To J.M.H.)" - 4:42
    6. "The Animal Trainer And The Toad" - 3:29
    7. "My Lady" - 4:35
    8. "Travellin' In The Dark (To E.M.P.)" - 4:26
    9. "The Great Train Robbery" - 5:50

    Personnel:

    • Leslie West - guitar, vocals
    • Felix Pappalardi - bass, rhythm guitar, piano, vocals. production
    • Corky Laing - drums, percussion
    • Steve Knight - organ, handbells

    The Band

    Mountain is one of those bands that was formed in the wake of the breakup of Cream. Felix Pappalardi (producer for Cream) and Leslie West (of Vagrants) got together in 1969 and formed Mountain. The band name came from a solo album of West’s, which was also produced by Felix………titled “Mountain”, which was a direct reference to Leslie West’s bodily stature. Mountain got their first major exposure at Woodstock, which was their 4th live appearance. Shortly after Woodstock, Corky Laing (a long time friend of West) replaced the original drummer, N. D. Smart.

    Mountain enjoyed a great streak in their musical fame, but this streak didn’t last long. Mountain broke up in 1972, after poor album sales and critical reviews of the album “Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On”. The band had run out of steam. Mountain did reform in 1974, and still performs today, but has never achieved the greatness that was achieved in their first 2 album releases.

    The Album

    Nantucket Sleighride is the 2nd album release by Mountain, and rides on the heels of the major hit “Mississippi Queen” from the album “Climbing!”. Nantucket Sleighride failed to produce any hits but still remains a milestone for music history with the epic title song “Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)”. This song is a dedication to a man, Owen Coffin, who sacrificed his life aboard a ship lost at sea after taking a sleighride. Owen was eaten by his crew mates, which ultimately saved their lives. This song is one of the best written songs to come from Mountain and the live version is simply stunning! I consider Nantucket Sleighride to be the best album from the band even though there were no charting hits. The production is top notch, with the musicianship being more polished than “Climbing!”.

    West and Pappalardi were both very strong musical personalities, West with his brash-y guitar riffs and Pappalardi with his subdued “Cream-y” production. This album almost seems to have a dividing line drawn in the sand, you can feel and hear the division between the two personalities. With that being said, let’s move on to the music, shall we ?!

    The Music

    ”Don’t Look Around” ~ A hard rocking opener. West really shines with his rampage of guitar riffs and throaty vocals. Also take note of the lush mellotron by Steve Knight.

    ”Taunta (Sammy’s Tune)” ~ A short piece, which shows how talented Steve Knight is on the keys.

    ”Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin)" LIVE ~ I posted the live version because of how stunning the song is live. Pappalardi gives you an awesome vocal display while West assaults your ears with riff after gnarly riff. A bit of trivia; Pappalardi co-wrote this song with his wife, Gail Collins, who later shot Pappalardi to death in 1983. Such a sad ending to a great songwriter, producer, vocalist, and bassist!!!

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    ”You Can’t Get Away” ~ A very catchy blues-rock tune. West definitely delivers the riffs and Corky gives you a fantastic beat.

    ”Tired Angels (to J.M.H.)” ~ A mellow rockin’ song. This song has references to Lord of the Rings, which is A-Ok in my book. It amazes me how they managed to create such a complex song to fit the lyrics……true genius!

    ”The Animal Trainer and the Toad” ~ A funky song. This song is one of those songs where you see the line in the sand between West & Pappalardi, West delivers a great bluesy riff, but where is the creativity and originality?

    ”My Lady” ~ A dreamy psychedelic type song, which I would also classify as a ballad. Pappalardi had a romantic side…….:cheers2

    ”Travelin’ In The Dark ( To E.M.P.)” ~ Another great songwriting display form Pappalardi and his wife. I get the feeling if Felix would have gotten his way, Mountain would have morphed into a prog band. This song is a gem!

    ”The Great Train Robbery” ~ Enough of the prog and psychedelia, let’s rock! I love the added bonus of some decent slide guitar by West, which gives this song a nice southern rock feel.

    If I was introducing Mountain to someone, I would have them listen to “Nantucket Sleighride” first, then “Climbing!”. I feel Nantucket Sleighride is not only a better production, but more representative of Mountain as a band. It is such a shame Mountain is only remembered for the hit “Mississippi Queen”, when they had so much more to offer listeners.

    My overall rating for listening pleasure 4/5.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
  2. Phil B.

    Phil B. Far Out Man!

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    This is my favorite Mountain album.

    Nantucket Sleighride is a wonderful song, and the live version you posted is probably my favorite version of the song.

    Thanks for the write up Magic!
     
  3. Magic

    Magic Woman of the World

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    Thanks Phil!

    I am just offering my 2 cents worth on a great album.....hopefully keeping it alive :)
     
  4. TheWhalerfan

    TheWhalerfan Lovus My Avatarus

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    ANother great review...nice work Magic. I must confess I have only heard a few Mountain songs but I will check them out and see what the deal is :)
     
  5. Garrett

    Garrett ✯ Blues Man ✯

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    :clap: That`s a great classic rock album! If you are going to own a Mountain album, this is the one!
     
  6. Groovy Man

    Groovy Man I'm Not Like Everybody Else

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    Magic, great review for a great classic album!

    :cheers2

    Personally, I'd recommend ''Climbing!'' first. My favorite Mountain album. The album has more to offer than just ''Mississippi Queen''. A must have album.

    Also, I personally prefer the classic album version of ''Nantucket Sleighride''...

    the studio version, that we all loved over the years...

    excellent tune...

     
  7. LyricalLaurel

    LyricalLaurel EΔЯ ЯESPOИSIBŁE, too!

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    Re: Mountain ~ Nantucket Sleighride (1971)

    Another band added to my ever-growing repertoire of "new" talent! Thanks Magic - I can't wait to listen when I get home! :tup:

    edit: that album cover is just incredible :D
     
  8. robert bolzendahl

    robert bolzendahl Junior Member

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    I would like to echo what has been posted regarding "Nantucket Sleighride" by Mountain. The music is great. Not only that, I am related to the great Coffin clan of Nantucket, so it has always resonated with me. Now I come to find out that I am related to Owen Coffin, so great song!
     
  9. nedkelly

    nedkelly Senior Member

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    This is a Felix Pappalardi + West masterpiece in all its right. I used to have the LP once.....dunno were it ended up thought...but I remember my copy had a darker cover than the one posted up here and the artwork was different. Cool hard blues rock like It should be :)
     

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