Balanced a little uneasily between a best-of and an anthology geared toward the more serious fan, Crossroader
does offer a good deal of music from Mountain
's career and includes most or all of the songs listeners would want from a greatest-hits collection. The two-CD set, adding up to about two and a half hours of music, is divided between an In the Studio
disc and a Live in Concert
disc. Expectedly and properly emphasizing their first two albums (Climbing!
and Nantucket Sleighride
), the studio disc makes sure to include the songs you would expect (particularly "Mississippi Queen," "For Yasgur's Farm," and "Theme from an Imaginary Western"). The hard blues-rock of "Mississippi Queen" is present in force, of course. But there's more in the way of gentler, more melodic tunes that expand from the usual hard rock instrumentation than some listeners give the group credit for on songs like "Laird," "Boys in the Band," "Taunta (Sammy's Tune)," and "King's Chorale." Disc two is going to be a tougher listen for general fans and even some Mountain
fans, emphasizing their more drawn-out (sometimes excessively so) hard rock side. The 16-page liner note booklet includes vintage illustrations and comments from Leslie West