In 1976, Mountain drummer Corky Laing put together a supergroup called Pompeii with Ian Hunter (Mott the Hoople), Andy Fraser (Free) and others, but the project remained unfinished until now.
As Laing explained in a press release, Pompeii was created as a way to salvage his recording contract after Mountain’s disintegration and while punk was on the rise. “In this environment, my record label, Elektra/Asylum, was preparing to bail me out, but before they did, they asked me if I wanted to form a so-called ‘supergroup’,” he recalls. “I had no choice, and so began the journey to The secret sessions.”
He reunited with Hunter and producer Bob Ezrin, and they were able to get Fraser, Steve Hunter (Alice Cooper) and vocalist and keyboardist Lee Michaels, who scored a Top 10 with “Do You Know What I Mean” more early in the decade. . They locked themselves in a studio outside New York, but the sessions quickly fell apart, starting with Ezrin, who left to produce The wall for Pink Floyd.
“Then Steve Hunter got a call from Bette Midler and becomes the musical director of his film The Rose“, explained Laing. “Andy Fraser has really gone south – to continue his solo project, and Lee Michaels has gone, well, wherever Lee Michaels wants to go.”
Laing and Hunter then called in reinforcements from their respective former bandmates, Felix Pappalardi and Mick Ronson. Clapton and Betts added guitar to “On My Way to Georgia”, Todd Rundgren played organ and sang on “The Best Thing” and “The Outsider”, Leslie West played guitar on three songs and John Sebastian blew harmonica on “Silent Movie”. “But the leads still remained in the vault.
The LP contains 10 tracks, including covers of Randy VanWarmer’s “Just When I Needed You Most” and Billy Joe Shaver’s “Lowdown Freedom”, and includes a digital download card with new recordings of “Easy Money”, “Silent Movie” and “Growing Old With Rock N’ Roll” which Laing did with his current band which includes guitarist Chris Shutters and bassist Mark Mikel, and the help of Ted Nugent drummer Jason Hartless and keyboardists Craig Adams and Steve Feehan. Laing, Shutters and Mikel also worked on a new song, “Knock Me Over”.
You can see the track list below.
Pompeii, “The Secret Sessions” track listing
1. “Easy Money”
2. “The Best Thing”
3. “I’m no angel”
4. “I hate dancing”
5. “The Stranger”
6. “Silent Movie”
7. “Aging with rock n’ roll”
8. “On the way to Georgia”
9. “Just when I needed you most”
10. “Low Freedom”
1. “Easy Money” (2017 re-recording)
2. “Silent film” (2017 re-recording)
3. “Aging With Rock & Roll” (2017 Re-recording)
4. “Hit Me”