Although his most famous band, Mountain, has been anthologized more than once, Leslie West had never been given a proper retrospective of his own. Classic rock fans will be thankful that this has been rectified on Blood of the Sun: 1969-75, an Australian compilation that covers West's most prolific period, an era that found him dividing his time between supergroups like Mountain and solo work. His key strengths were his furious electric guitar work and his bluesy vocal rasp, so its no surprises that Blood of the Sun: 1969-75 rocks from start to finish in an old-fashioned style. Accordingly, much of the running time is devoted to West's most successful group, Mountain: "Mississippi Queen" is still as bracing a rocker as it was in 1970, and tracks like "Theme From an Imaginary Western" show off the lyrical (yet still very heavy) side of West's guitar work. Fans will also be pleased to discover that this compilation includes tracks from the artist's hard-to-find records with West Bruce & Laing, including a rare Mick Jagger/Keith Richards rocker entitled "High Roller." The one real problem with this album is that it forgets to include a few crucial tracks: "Long Red," West's finest solo track, and "the Great Train Robbery," one of the Mountain's most thrilling rockers, are the most notable omissions. Despite these problems, Blood of the Sun: 1969-75 is a still a fine introduction to Leslie West's career, and is a compilation guaranteed to please old-school hard rock enthusiasts.
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AllMusic Review by Donald A. Guarisco