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WCSX Classic Cuts : Mississippi Queen

WCSX Classic Cuts

Mountain: "Mississippi Queen"

The Hook: It may be under two-and-a-half minutes, but it took a lot of work to shape a disco song from their drummer's old band into a rock classic.

Album: Climbing!

Year: 1970

Writers: Leslie West, Corky Laing, Felix Pappalardi and David Rea

Stats: Peaked at number-21 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background: Mountain frontman Leslie West says he and his bandmates -- drummer Corky Laing and bassist Felix Pappalardi, who was also their producer -- really had to work hard to redo an earlier song into the rock classic "Mississippi Queen."

Mountain frontman Leslie West on how the idea for “Mississippi Queen” dated back to their drummer’s earlier band. OC:…worked out. :24

“Corky actually had that song from his first group. It was a disco song – one chord. And I didn’t like it, so I came up with a lick, which is my specialty, and chords and a hook. And [bassist and producer] Felix [Pappalardi] actually threw us out of the studio and said, ‘Go home and work on it.’ So we worked on it and worked on it and worked on it and finally it started to hit its niche. And -- two minutes and twenty-seven seconds of pure, straight-ahead rock – it really worked out.”

Leslie West - Mississippi Queen - Dennis Miller Show

Here's a rare TV appearance by Mountain on the short lived Dennis Miller Show in 1992! A slim Leslie West (serious!) is on fire here, as are Corky and Richie. Hilarious ending as Leslie works his way onto "the couch" - what a dimwit that Dennis Miller is!