When 1970 began, New York hard rockers MOUNTAIN were one of the most promising new bands. By the year's end, due to their exceptional sophomore effort, CLIMBING, they were one of the US's premier rock outfits. After a 1969 debut (while the album was titled Mountain, it was credited solely to Leslie West) led to a highly coveted spot in the original Woodstock festival, the band was thrust into the spotlight, and it delivered on its follow-up recording. In addition to West on guitar and vocals, and bassist Felix Pappalardi (a former producer for Cream), new drummer Corky Laing was enlisted, creating one of the most powerful hard rock rhythm sections of the early-'70s. Climbing remains MOUNTAIN's crowning achievement, chock full of classic rock nuggets--"Mississippi Queen," "Theme for an Imaginary Western," "Never in My Life," "For Yasgur's Farm," and "Boys in the Band."
Often billed as a junior-league version of Cream, Climbing!, Mountain's debut, had a lot of things going for it as well. Indeed, West was a changed man from the moment he saw Clapton play, and Pappalardi was able to help him achieve the exact same tone Clapton employed on Disraeli Gears. The hit off Climbing!, "Mississippi Queen" is a boogie classic, and it paved the way for countless imitators such as J. Geils Band, Foghat, and others. There are a lot of other great tracks here, such as "Never in My Life," which was an FM radio staple at the time. - All Music5/5