Long Red

Songfacts®:

  • This track was recorded by Leslie West for his debut solo album Mountain. It is often cited as a Mountain record, but was actually a solo album which contained some members of Mountain. The song was covered by Mountain in 1972 for their album Mountain Live: The Road Goes Ever On.
  • The track was produced by American musician Felix Pappalardi who is best known for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock trio Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. He was also the bassist, vocalist, and founding member of Mountain, but was forced to partly retire because of partial deafness, supposedly from his high-volume shows with the American hard rock band.
  • West re-recorded the song with his brother Larry West on bass for his 2013 solo album, Still Climbing. Larry was also a bandmate in Leslie's first group, The Vagrants. Said Leslie West, "It was time for me to let people hear that song the way I do it now. I used a B-3 organ on it again, but this time it has a lot more balls."
  • This contains one of the most sampled drum breaks in the history of Hip-Hop music, most famously by Jay-Z for his 2003 mega-smash "99 Problems." Kanye West also tapped the tune for two tracks from his Graduation album, "Barry Bonds" and "The Glory", and Common for the intro of his 2007 single "The People." As a result, Leslie West is now a hip-hop star with two platinum records and a gold record on his wall. He told us: "I'm really happy because you'd never figure a Jewish kid writing the top rap songs in the world, so you never know who's going to end up doing your songs."

    West added: "Well, you know what? It's great. Because I always thought to myself, why don't they use heavy guitar in rap? Rick Rubin produced that album, The Black Album, Jay Z's album that "99 Problems" is on. And I think it may have been his idea, because he's a big fan of Howard Stern and I'm always on the Howard Stern Show. Jay Z was going to retire, and then Rick Rubin talked him into doing one more, and The Black Album became the biggest selling album of his whole career. You gotta be lucky besides being talented, if you know what I'm saying."

    Lana Del Rey also sampled West's voice and features it in the beginning, middle and end of the worldwide smash "Born To Die." (Check out our interview with Leslie West for more).
  • The Mountain album title and band name is a reference to West's one-time physical bulk.

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