Mountain is an American rock band. The band broke up in 1972, reformed two years later, broke up soon after that, and have since reconvened and resumed performing and recording. Mountain remains popular in some circles despite having fallen out of the mainstream during the seventies. They were influential during the development of hard rock and are considered a forerunner to heavy metal music. Their hit song "Mississippi Queen" became a radio hit and is something of a rock standard. VH1 ranked Mountain number 98 on its 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock.
They played their fourth live concert at the 1969 Woodstock Festival in Bethel, New York (later chronicling the experience in their song "For Yasgur's Farm"), but the band did not appear in the film of the event nor was their performance included on the festival's first live album. Soon after, Smart was replaced by Laurence "Corky" Laing. Their debut, Climbing!, was released in 1970 and featured the band's signature song, "Mississippi Queen", which reached the middle of the top 40 charts. The album itself reached the top 20 on the US album charts.
The follow-up album Nantucket Sleighride, released in 1971, also reached the top 20 but failed to yield a hit single. The title track was used as the theme to ITV's Sunday political program Weekend World. After these early releases the band continued to receive a certain measure of critical acclaim but never again achieved great commercial success.
After Nantucket Sleighride, the band produced Flowers of Evil consisting of one side of studio material and one live side, culled from a concert at New York City's legendary Fillmore East. The following year, Mountain broke up. Shortly after, West and Laing formed West, Bruce and Laing with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce, producing two studio albums and a live release over the next two years.
In 1974 West and Pappalardi reformed Mountain with Allan Schwartzberg on drums and Bob Mann (of pioneering jazz rock band Dreams) on keyboards and guitar – a tour yielded the double live album Twin Peaks. The studio work Avalanche, with rhythm guitarist David Perry and Corky Laing once again on drums, was the last heard from the band for over a decade.
On April 17, 1983, Gail Collins Pappalardi, Felix's wife and songwriting partner who had designed many of the band's album covers, shot Pappalardi in the neck in their fifth-floor East Side Manhattan apartment. He was pronounced dead at the scene and Collins was charged with second-degree murder. Later cleared of that charge, she convicted of the lesser criminally negligent homicide and sentenced to 16 months to four years in prison. After her release from jail, she vanished into private life.
Mountain reformed in 1985, releasing Go For Your Life. They have continued to record and tour, with bassist Richie Scarlet (known for his work with Ace Frehley, Sebastian Bach and his multiple solo records) rounding out the lineup. Their most recent album is 2007's Masters of War, featuring 12 Bob Dylan covers and a guest appearance from Ozzy Osbourne.
In 2003 West and Laing authored a book of recollections entitled "Nantucket Sleighride and Other Mountain on-the-Road Stories" detailing their time with the band at its peak and their subsequent careers.
Mountain's video game debut came late fall 2007 on RedOctane's "Guitar Hero 3 Legends of Rock" featuring "Mississippi Queen" as a playable track.
Summer of 2008 Mountain rebuilt their website to include music players, online store, and enhanced news page. The new website is at www.mountainrockband.com.
The band will head out on the road during October and November on a two month North American tour alongside Joe Satriani.