WEST, BRUCE & LAING
West, Bruce & Laing (WBL) were a blues rock power trio super-group formed in 1972 by Leslie West (guitar and vocals; formerly of Mountain), Jack Bruce (bass, harp, keyboards and vocals; ex-Cream) and Corky Laing (drums and vocals; ex-Mountain). The band released two studio albums, Why Dontcha (1972) and Whatever Turns You On (1973), during their active tenure. Their disbanding was officially announced in early 1974 prior to the release of their third and last album, Live 'n' Kickin'.
In 2009 West and Laing briefly relaunched the band, with Jack Bruce's son Malcolm substituting for his father on bass. This incarnation of the band toured the UK and North America under the name 'West, Bruce Jr. and Laing'. The trio agreed to work together in London in January 1972 near the end of Mountain’s 1971–72 European tour supporting their album Flowers of Evil (1971), after Mountain’s bassist/vocalist/producer Felix Pappalardi announced he would leave the band at the tour’s end. (Pappalardi had, by late 1971, become addicted to heroin.) Jack Bruce knew Pappalardi well; Pappalardi had produced all but one of Cream's albums, and occasionally also performed with them in the studio. Subsequently, as Mountain's producer, Pappalardi would fashion his new band's sound after that of Cream, in particular scoring a 1970 hit with a cover version of Bruce’s song "Theme for an Imaginary Western" (from Bruce's 1969 album Songs for a Tailor, which Pappalardi produced). Bruce was thus viewed as a natural "replacement" for Pappalardi in West and Laing’s post-Mountain venture, with several record companies and management organizations expressing interest in signing the new band.
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