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Live in Paris

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Live in Paris Review

by Joe Viglione

This 50-minute six-song set from Leslie West, Corky Laing, and bassist/keyboardist Mark Clarke is another moment in Mountain's career that will make completists happy but is really only for the die-hard fan. Live in Paris has the boys opening for Deep Purple on a 1985 European tour, so there's a substantial audience, and this was the tour to back up their lone Scott Brothers Records release, Go for Your Life, which also featured British bassist Clarke along with West and Laing. Now, West, Clarke, and Laing aren't West, Bruce & Laing, and that is obvious from the opening tune, "Why Dontcha," the title track from the 1973 West, Bruce & Laing debut. The music recorded July 8 and 9, 1985, needed a couple of tunes to get in gear, and after an equally hollow "Never in My Life" the band begins to gel. West dedicates "Theme from an Imaginary Western" to original bassist Felix Pappalardi, and with Clarke sitting down at the keyboards, they finally start to generate some magic. "Spark," from the lone 1980s release by the group -- the album Foreigner manager Bud Prager got for the boys by making a phone call (and without a demo) -- doesn't sound bad, and if they weren't the opening act on a Deep Purple tour, listeners might have found some of the other cuts from the disc they were promoting making their way onto this release. Alas, there are only the nuggets "Nantucket Sleighride" and "Mississippi Queen" finishing up this brief concert, just as the band was getting revved up. West's guitar mastery comes into play toward the end of the gig, his crunch crunch crunch embellished by some nice flair and a voice that's, thankfully, in good shape. The film crew is called "German Television's premier rockshow production team" by British liner note writer Jon Kirkman, who doesn't say exactly which German TV show this was for, but it's still a nice little souvenir for the fan base. Music Video Distributors also has an additional pair of DVDs: Live in Texas 2005 and Sixty Minutes with Mountain. None of these are yet the definitive live show from the notable hard rock outfit, but Live in Paris in particular at least gives a decent snapshot of their work in the '80s. No bonus tracks, no interview -- just a quick six-song concert.

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