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11.10.11

Corky Laing



Corky Laing - Makin' It On The Street - 1977 - Elektra

Canadian born Corky Laing has been in many groups including Bartholomew PlusIII, Energy and more famously Mountain. Corky has also played with a legion of famous musicians including but not limited to John Lennon, Meatloaf, Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Paul Butterfield. Corky's first brush with fame literally came after seeping the stage one night just prior to the Ink Spots performing. They asked him to play drums behind them for the show. From such stories legends are built. With Mountain Corky enjoyed immense success and even acquired two gold discs for the Woodstock album although he didn't actually play the gig with Mountain. One of his songs had been used as a basis for the song Yasgur's Farm and he had also been asked to overdub the drums on the Ten Years After track Goin' Home as for technical reasons the microphones on Ric Lee's drum kit had failed, strange but true. Mountain despite being phenomenally successful suffered from the normal problems associated with a successful rock band including drug problems and disagreements between the band members and in 1972 Corky along with Leslie West formed a new trio with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce (West Bruce and Laing). The band recorded two studio albums and a live album before Leslie and Corky returned to Mountain. In the mid Seventies Mountain had once again decided to go their separate ways and the various members recorded solo albums. Makin' It On The Street was Corky's solo album released in 1977. The album was a diverse album taking in a number of different styles and featured many musicians including Clydie King, Vanetta Fields, Joe English, Randall Bramlett and Eric Clapton who features on the track On My Way (By The River) which also features Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts. Makin' It on the Street is an album that bears repeated listening and one that will appeal to fans of Mountain and adult contemporary rock music. This re issue has been re mastered for release and this release will be the first time this album has been released in the UK on CD. [from CD Description © 1996-2011, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates http://www.amazon.co.uk/Makin-Street-Corky-Laing/dp/B0002VSU1S

Makin' It on the Street is such a good album it should really get Mountain fans angry, as well as calling to arms the followers of the brief but important West, Bruce & Laing. The title track, a Corky Laing co-write with F. Conroy, is in the pocket, vocally and instrumentally, and beyond that it is simply great. Laing's voice is very appealing and the music drives with precision and heart. "See Me Through" beats Bruce Hornsby at his own game (and predates his rise to fame by a good nine years). John Sandlin's production is understated; it is your typical West Coast sound that Linda Ronstadt and the Eagles were emphasizing, but the feel is straight out of Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett. Horns chirp in and out and there is none of Leslie West's crunch, though he did co-write the first track with Laing and M. Jones. Remaking Barbara George's 1961 R&B hit, "I Know," is a perfect New Orleans addition to this surprisingly fine record. Why it was released on Elektra is a mystery, as it sounds nothing like the Doors, Neil Sedaka, Carly Simon, Queen, or the Stooges. OK, maybe it's a bit like Carly Simon when she and James Taylor did "Mockingbird," but still, it is not often that a hard rock drummer can deliver something so powerful straight out of left field. Eric Clapton's appearances have made discs by Yoko Ono and others highly collectible, but Makin' It on the Street seems to have slipped through the cracks. The bizarre cover, with Corky Laing as a guitar-strumming minstrel (the drum sticks are in his back pocket), isn't as effective as the inside photo of a smiling shirtless Laing on horseback. It's not often a musician gets to step out of the genre he's associated with to make such a musical album totally on his terms. As stated above, it should make fans of both Mountain as well as West, Bruce & Laing quite angry; his talents were under-utilized on those projects and could have lifted them to loftier heights. The Southern rock slant and multitude of friends -- including but not limited to Eric Clapton, Joe English, Paul Hornsby, Vanetta Fields, Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Randall Bramlett, and so on and so forth -- combine to manifest a true musical anomaly that is as satisfying as it is surprising. © Joe Viglione © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/makin-it-on-the-street-r42750/review

Great album by Corky Laing (ex-Mountain). The album is in the West Coast rock tradition with Southern Rock and R&B influences, but is never "cheesy" or overly commercial in it's sound. The music is not typical of his work with Mountain or West, Bruce & Laing. Forget about "Mississippi Queen", but concentrate on Corky's underrated vocals, his work on guitar and percussion, and also his songwriting abilities. The rest of the musicians aren't bad either ! The album is HR by A.O.O.F.C [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 86.1 Mb]

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

A1 On My Way (By The River) - M. Jones / C. Laing / L. West 3:40
A2 Makin' It On The Street - G. Conroy / C. Laing 5:22
A3 Two Places At One Time - C. Laing 3:16
A4 See Me Through - G. Conroy / C. Laing 2:58
A5 Don't You Worry - G. Conroy / C. Laing 3:46

B1 I Know - B. George 3:54
B2 Somebody Told Me - C. Laing 4:08
B3 Growin' Old With Rock & Roll - C. Laing 4:22
B4 Heaven - C. Laing 4:14

MUSICIANS [Info supplied by n8w8 (nightwatch). TVM...A.O.O.F.C]

Corky Laing - Guitar, Drums, Vocals
Bob Kulick, Pete Carr & Tommy Talton - Guitar
Calvin Arline & Donny Krieter - Bass
Neil Larsen, Mike Montgomery - Keyboards
Tupper Lienice - Piano
Harrison Calloway, Ronnie Eades, Charles Rose, Harvey Thompson, Randall Bramblett & Frank Vicari - Horns
Clydie King, Shirley Matthews, Vanetta Fields - Vocals


BIO

While Corky Laing is best known as the powerhouse rock drummer with the group Mountain, his career has lasted well past the supergroup where he made his name. Born Laurence Gordon Laing on January 26, 1948 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, he was the youngest in a family of five children. His oldest sister Carol was followed by triplet brothers -- Jeffrey, Leslie, and Stephen -- who called him Gorky, and he was eventually named Corky. In 1961, Laing landed a gig with the famous soul doo wop vocal group the Ink Spots, but moved into rock & roll with the band Energy, produced by a young Felix Pappalardi. Laing left Energy in 1969, replacing drummer N.D. Smart and joining electric bass guitarist Pappalardi and guitarist Leslie West in Mountain, who along with Cream and Blue Cheer, became one of the seminal power trios in modern heavy psychedelic rock music. Mountain released three albums in two years on the independent Windfall label and produced the mega-hit "Mississippi Queen." But Pappalardi went on hiatus while Laing and West formed, West, Bruce & Laing with former Cream bassist/vocalist Jack Bruce, producing two studio albums and a live release for the Epic label. Mountain re-formed in 1974, issued two more albums, and broke up again. In late 1975, Laing played congas for several tracks on Bo Diddley's all-star album The 20th Anniversary of Rock N' Roll. Mountain again reassembled in 1985 and Laing has sustained a working relationship with them. In 2003, Laing and West produced Nantucket Sleighride & Other Mountain On-The-Road Stories, a historical overview of their time with Mountain and tales of touring. 2007 kept Laing busy, recording Stick It, an audio version of his memoirs with Cory Bruyea. Mountain also turned out a Bob Dylan cover album Masters of War. West continued with a solo career throughout, while Laing has collaborated with John Lennon, Bobby Keyes, Ten Years After, David Rea, Mylon LeFevre, Meat Loaf, Frank Marino, and Mahogany Rush, Cork, Eric Schenkman (ex-Spin Doctors) and bassist Noel Redding, formerly of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. © Michael G. Nastos © 2011 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/corky-laing-p18777/biography

MORE

LAURENCE GORDON LAING was born into a large family with older triplet brothers and a sister on January 26, 1948, in Montreal, Quebec in Canada. Corky began playing drums and cover tunes in high school. In college, he played original tunes with a trio called ENERGY. The band was to be produced by Felix Pappalardi. The year was 1968 and Pappalardi was involved with producing the future super band CREAM, so ENERGY toured Canada and most of New England. They found themselves in New York City in 1969. Corky left the trio to form MOUNTAIN with Felix Pappalardi, Leslie West and Steve Knight. MOUNTAIN became the prototype hard rock trio, coming along to further blaze the trail forged by the disbanded CREAM, a band that Pappalardi played a great part in shaping. Debuting at the Filmore West in 1969 right before playing the Woodstock Festival, they stomped and bellowed and blew the doors off the hall for two and a half turbulent, productive years. They released four bombastic albums. It was not a smooth ride. Felix and Leslie West had their differences in terms of positioning, and Corky had to be the Henry Kissinger of the band; the diplomatic mediator. Some great songs emerged from their chaotic collaborations, however: "Mississippi Queen, Nantucket Sleighride, The Animal Trainer and the Toad, Stormy Monday, and For Yasgur's Farm." The band was unapologetically crude, abnormally loud and outstandingly adventurous, making them popular with both hard rock and progressive fans. Laing was involved with much of the song writing. "We took melodies I wrote and roughed them up a little, made them more dramatic and Leslie would add these great licks. I would put in the fills and Felix would come in and direct it musically, making the songs bigger and broader," offers Laing. Regarding the band's best-known hit "Mississippi Queen," Laing says, "I was really influenced by The Band, so that the feel was my impression of "Cripple Creek. It's the same backbeat but Leslie took it pretty far. He just came in and ripped it up." MOUNTAIN called it quits in 1972. "There was a lot of self-abuse. It was the old ladies, it was drugs, and it was greed and ego. Everything the Russians hated about America, we were living it!" says Laing. "When Felix wanted to announce a breakup, I never understood why we couldn't have just gone our different ways for a while instead. That made no sense to me. We'd worked really hard to build all of that up." Laing stayed involved with West. "Philosophically, we went in different directions, but musically we were on the same page." The duo went to Island Studios in London to record, originally with the intention of forming a band along with Paul Rodgers (FREE), Mick Ralphs and Overend Watts (MOTT THE HOOPLE). Things were going well until West invited ex-CREAM bassist Jack Bruce to come in for a jam. "The next time I talked to Leslie," Laing says, "he told me that his dream was to be in a band with Jack Bruce. I thought we already had a good band going, especially with Paul singing, but Leslie said that Jack would sing too, and off it went." Bruce broke up his own jazz band and the musical conglomerate, clumsily named WEST, BRUCE AND LAING was born. Ralphs and Rodgers would then go on to form BAD COMPANY. "Our sound was a lot rougher than MOUNTAIN's. 'Like Why Dontcha' I wrote in just twenty minutes and we jammed fiercely on it. We were flowing with ideas and actually stayed together longer than MOUNTAIN had," says Laing. After two studio albums and a 1974 live record, however, this band also passed into the ether. Laing and West also played together on two Leslie West solo albums, THE LESLIE WEST BAND and THE GREAT FATSBY touring behind both of them. Then there was the MOUNTAIN reunion, inititated by Felix Pappalardi also in 1974. Laing joined up, although he could not be present when a live album was recorded in 1975. Laing moved on to various projects, including a 1977 solo album "Makin' It On The Street." Laing also played guitar and sang. "Eric Clapton came down and played and was also joined by Dickie Betts, Pete Carr and Clyde King. It was a great experience," says Laing. Half of the album was co-written with novelist Frank Conroy. There was a "Lost Album," recorded around 1978 with Ian Hunter. They called their short-lived band POMPEII. We played with people like Mike Ronson, Lee Michaels, Steve Hunter, Paul Butterfield and we had Todd Rungren producing. Their record label put the album on the back burner and there it continued to gather dust until King Biscuit released it in 1998. After selling millions of albums world wide over the past four decades, Corky Laing is busier than ever. He is touring at times with Leslie West as MOUNTAIN and writing new music with his own band CORK. When he is off the road, Laing writes music for other formats and media. You may hear his songs in movies or at the top of country charts by the WILKINSONS. He presently resides in Toronto, Canada. © http://www.6street.com/6s_pg_rants5.htm

12 comments:

A.O.O.F.C said...

LINK

p/w aoofc

bobbysu said...

thank you so much

vali_nash said...

This is fantastic! Thanks, man!

By the way, "Flowers of Evil" is my favorite Mountain album. I still have the vinyl and it's one of the highlights in my collection.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,bobbysu & vali_nash. No probs. You're always welcome. Thanks a million...P

ratso said...

I had no idea that Corky had bobbed up again as a solo artist! Thanks muchely.
btw I saw Mountain at the Finsbury Theatre in early 1972, and that was the first time I saw people dancing in the aisles of a concert. The fatman was certainly hot that night....

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. It's a great album. There was another scrappy album from him of bits and pieces...Old stuff, I think, and not VG. Hey, Ratso...The Mountain wouldn't come to you, so you came to the Mountain! Great stuff! Thanks. TTU soon...P

ratso said...

...boy, I walked right into that one...lol

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,ratso. No bones broken, I hope! (lol)...P

n8w8 (nightwatch) said...

definitive list of musicians on this album:
-
Corky Laing: Vocals, Guitar, Drums
-
Calvin Arline & Donny Krieter: Bass
-
Harrison Calloway, Ronnie Eades, Charles Rose, Harvey Thompson, Randall Bramblett & Frank Vicari: Horns
-
Clydie King, Shirley Matthews, Vanetta Fields: Vocals
-
Bob Kulick, Pete Carr & Tommy Talton: Guitar
-
Neil Larsen, Mike Montgomery: Keyboards
-
Tupper Lienice: Piano
-
©1977 Elektra US 7E1097

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi,n8w8 (nightwatch). Thanks very much for that info. I really appreciate it. TTU soon...P

juan manuel muñoz said...

thanks a lot

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, JMM. Keep in touch...P