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Guitarded

Leslie West

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Album Review

Releasing "all covers" albums can amount to either one of two things. Either the artist doing the covering is buying time between real albums or the artist doing the covering really wants to give some attention back to his musical heroes, who helped shape his playing early on. Over the years, former Mountain singer/guitarist Leslie West has recorded quite a few covers, quite a few of which are featured on a 2005 release (that sported an un-PC title), Guitarded. Focusing on old blues numbers and rock tracks from the late '60s, West proves that he can still let his fingers fly all these years later. Standouts here include a fine, bluesy take of the Beatles' obscure "Old Brown Shoe," as well as West covering an old Mountain tune (which late singer/bassist Felix Pappalardi sang originally), "Theme for an Imaginary Western." But now for the bad: how many more times can you hear a cover version of the Stones' "Honey Tonk Women" (hasn't every single bar band since the early '70s played this?), while an overhaul of Steppenwolf's "Born to Be Wild" (another classic rock tune that certainly doesn't need to be covered for the 50 zillionth time) falls flat. It has its moments, but overall, Guitarded will be of interest only to Leslie West fanatics.

Biography

Born: 22 October 1945 in Forest Hills, New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Leslie West first gained recognition as the lead guitarist for the Vagrants, a locally popular 1960s Long Island group. One of that group's singles was produced by Felix Pappalardi, a bass player who also produced Cream. After the Vagrants and Cream split up, Pappalardi played bass on and produced West's debut solo album, Mountain (July 1969). Following its release, the two teamed up with drummer Norman Smart (soon replaced by Corky Laing) and keyboard player Steve Knight to form the band Mountain,...
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Guitarded, Leslie West
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