Long Island hard rock group Mountain’s tenure as a commercial force may have been brief, but it was highly influential. Formed in 1969, the band seemed for a time to be a worthy successor to the recently collapse blues-rock power trio Cream, bringing a rock-solid, blues-heavy sound with emphasis on riffs, licks, and decibels. This reputation would propel them to live gigs at the Woodstock Festival and the Atlanta International Pop Festival, and would be further bolstered with their full-length debut Mountain Climbing!, which notably featured the signature track “Mississippi Queen”, a classic rock staple, and a song frequently cited as a prototype for the arrival of heavy metal music.
Mountain could not maintain their fortunes however, as further albums could not maintain the excitement that Mountain Climbing! had produced, as drug abuse and tour-weariness gradually began to set in amongst the band. They would call it quits in 1972, reforming on and off to tour. Not long after came 1973’s compilation The Best Of, which featured fan-favorites and hit singles such as the Jack Bruce-penned “Theme for an Imaginary Western”, the live staple “Never in My Life”, and of course the iconic “Mississippi Queen.”