Pompeii - The Secret Sessions
Sometimes referred to as "the supergroup that never was," Pompeii was the brainchild of drummer Corky Laing of Mountain and The Secret Sessions was recorded over the period spanning 1976 through 1978 only to be shelved until now. You might wonder why, after 40-years, this previously-unreleased material is finally seeing the light of day. That question is answered when you consider that guest players on the record include Eric Clapton, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, Todd Rundgren, Mick Ronson and other big names. Hunter fans will find quite a treat here; Ian sings and plays keyboards on almost every track and handles lead vocals on "Easy Money" (the set also includes a 2017 re-recording of the song with Laing on lead vocals.) Knowing the guest players, this is one of those albums where part of the fun of a first listen is trying to spot the guests. If you cheat and look at the liner notes, that's okay too; you'll see that Ronson plays guitar and sings on most of the album, and so does bass man Felix Pappalardi. Clapton's guitar work is unmistakable on the southern rocker "On my Way to Georgia" where Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers adds sweet slide guitar. Rundgren appears on a couple of songs, most notably on the lengthy "The Outsider" where he plays organ and adds background vocals to the Hunter-penned tune. "Silent Movie" is bluesy and full of Rolling Stones-style swagger and features John Sebastian on harmonica, "I Hate Dancin'" finds the core band of Laing, Hunter, Ronson and Pappalardi veering into disco rock, and a cover of Billy Joe Shaver's "Lowdown Freedom" closes the record. So to address the question again as to why release the music now? Because there's good stuff here that will resonate with classic rocks fans and beyond. Also included is the newly recorded "Knock Me Over" which Laing recorded with his current band. Pompeii's The Secret Sessions releases on Record Store Day, April 21.
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