Mountain was the combined forces of Leslie West, a gigantic guitarist/vocalist who had played with New York garage-psych rockers the Vagrants, and Felix Pappalardi. Pappalardi had a slightly more impressive track record, coming from the modern East Coast folk-rock movement (the Youngbloods), before he applied his production skills to Cream. Through this, Felix never really stopped playing and eventually formed Mountain. 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.
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AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald