Saturday, March 31, 2012

West, Bruce and Laing: The Doctor

I am reminded of the old commercial for Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups that stated, “You’ve got peanut butter on my chocolate!” “You’ve got chocolate on my peanut butter!” Well for our bubbling under hit today, it may be fitting to say, “You’ve got Cream on my Mountain and you’ve got Mountain on my Cream” with the power trio of West, Bruce, and Laing. The band included Jack Bruce from Cream and Leslie West and Corky Laing from Mountain.

The combination of band members is not that unusual as the connecting piece to both bands was the late Felix Pappalardi. While not associated with West, Bruce, and Laing per se, he was the producer of several Cream albums where he contributed the arrangements, songwriting, and session musician talents beginning with “Disraeli Gears.” He later formed Mountain with Leslie West and performed as the bassist, songwriter, and producer of that ensemble.

West, Bruce and Laing was formed in 1972 after Mountain disbanded. Since the time of Cream’s breakup in 1968, Bruce had worked on a number of projects including some jazz and solo recording work. West, Bruce and Laing was Bruce’s first opportunity to rejoin a touring band. Their debut album, “Why Dontcha” was their best selling album in the US and it subsequently charted at #26.

“The Doctor” was one of those songs which album rock stations adored. It features great slide guitar work and vocals of Leslie West and the driving bass of Jack Bruce. Laing played both drums and rhythm guitar on the album. A revised version of West, Bruce and Laing was resurrected in 2009 with Jack Bruce’s son Malcolm joining Leslie West and Corkey Laing.

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