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Forever linked to the term "cowbell rock" thanks to their signature hit, "Mississippi Queen," Mountain were formed in 1969 by guitarist/singer Leslie West and bassist Felix Pappalardi, a British producer who had done extensive work with Cream. With similarly beefy blues riffs and a proclivity for noisy psychedelia, the band added a keyboard player to avoid accusations of straight Cream imitation and released a debut, Climbing!, in 1970, following an undocumented performance at Woodstock. The album yielded the classic-rock staple "Mississippi Queen," with its eternal cowbell tocks and West's screamed vocals over what is arguably the fuzziest guitar riff ever allowed on mainstream radio (it was a Top 10 hit at the time). Two albums, Nantucket Sleighride and Flowers of Evil (featuring an entire side of live material), followed, both released in 1971. A year later the band broke up. West launched West, Bruce & Laing with Cream bassist Jack Bruce and Mountain drummer Corky Laing, and a stream of best-ofs and live packagings of Mountain material followed. Throughout the years, Mountain have toured and recorded periodically, with Masters of War, an album of 12 Bob Dylan covers, appearing as recently as 2007.
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