Mountain - Nantucket Sleighride
Artist: Mountain (www.mountaintheband.com)
Title: Nantucket Sleighride
Label: Sony/Legacy (www.legacyrecordings.com)
Format: 24-Bit Remastered CD
Release Date: 1971/2003
With Climbing already gold Mountain jumped right back into the studio the following year in an attempt to duplicate their previous success. Nantucket Sleighride (1971) was a masterful production with Felix Pappalardi at the helm once again. The opening track kicks things off with Leslie West belting out "Don't Look Around," much in the same way the previous album started with a wallop, after that though the atmosphere of the album changes, at times dramatically. This recording did not have the rawness and brashness of the previous outing; it was more complex musically and lyrically while maintaining the bands musical integrity and giving it more polish at the same time, there was still something missing. Felix had more influence on this recording and seemed to tighten the grip on the West energy level; hence, the big man's toughness and brashness did not prevail and neither did his sledgehammer guitar. Although his playing was sharp, West sounded more restrained, refined and produced this time out. The energy was definitely different in the studio for the band on their sophomore effort. Even so, this newly remastered classic has withstood the test of time quite nicely and it sounds great with a live bonus track included of "Travellin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.)." "The Animal Trainer and the Toad" was a step in an entirely different direction for them musically and lyrically, it actually sounds like something that should have been on another album. It was seemingly out of character for the group, nevertheless interesting and entertaining.
The title track was the centerpiece for the album and it was about old tales told by whale hunters. The men would harpoon the whale and then the creature would go under the sea then crash to the surface and pull the boat until it died of exhaustion and constant harpooning. I know it sounds cruel, and it is, but this was a reality for men that made their living from whales, and unfortunately for the hunted. The reason this song came to life is that Felix bought a house in Nantucket, Massachusetts at the time and was inspired to write about local lore. How do I know this? I read the liner notes provided by West and Corky Laing. Once again, the two surviving members provide amusing color commentary to the music.
As much as I enjoyed this album, it was not as poignant as Climbing. It was a long time ago when this album was released (1971) and now in 2003 the music of Mountain is experiencing a rebirth that is worthy of their work. Their music remains relevant and pleasing to the ears of this rock music lover and that it is fact.
1. Don't Look Around - 3:47
2. Taunta (Sammy's Tune) - 1:00
3. Nantucket Sleighride - 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
10. Travellin' in the Dark (To E.M.P.) *Bonus Live Track - 5:09
Corky Laing - Drums, Liner Notes, Supervisor
Steve Knight - Keyboards
Felix Pappalardi - Bass, Vocals, Producer, Musical Direction
Leslie West - Guitar, Vocals, Liner Notes, Supervisor