"Theme for an Imaginary Western," also from Climbing, appears to be recorded on a different night, as all are in different clothing. West comes onstage and dedicates the song to Felix Pappalardi. It features Clarke on lead vocals and keyboards, doing a good job on both. From here on, the show is a much better performance.
"Spark," from their new (at the time) album Go for Your Life, is a real powerhouse tune with a "Tobacco Road" backbeat. It's distinctly different from the earlier Mountain songs in that it has much more keyboard in the mix. (Unfortunately the album is not available any more.) At the end, Laing does about four drumstick bounces in a row.
"Nantucket Sleighride," the title track of Mountain's second album, begins in a hauntingly slow manner and builds on itself. Again, at this night's session, the group is "on" and this is truly a classic rendition of the song. This time it appears that Laing once again says something to West. West smirks, sings another line, picks up the cymbal stand and throws it at Laing, this time chuckling. It seems to be an almost playful reenactment of the incident from the prior night, as they play into their big finish.
"Mississippi Queen" begins with Laing coming out and standing next to a five foot cowbell placed next to West. On the back is a little cowbell which Laing hits with a large drumstick. They then break into a great version of the classic song to finish up the DVD.
Mountain β Live In Paris provides a good representation of Mountain live. Mark Clarke is good in his role, but he is not Felix Pappalardi. His facial expressions and head bopping are quite distracting, almost annoying. The true salvation of this film is watching the guitar wizardry of Leslie West and the thunderous drumming of Corky Laing. They are truly legends in the music world, and their ability on their respective instruments is worth the price of admission.
The film quality is good, as is the sound. The saving grace here is that there are not a lot of stage effects to interfere with the lighting and wash out the visuals. The runtime is about 50 minutes and the DVD contains no extras other than chapter selection. That said, this is a good representation of Mountain in its post-Pappalardi revival. It is well worth it for fans of the band and lovers of musical history and the origins of hard rock.
Track Listing (Paris 1985):
1. Why Dontcha
2. Never In My Life
3. Theme for an Imaginary Western
5. Nantucket Sleighride
6. Mississippi Queen