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Slash, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen and more line up for Leslie West tribute album

Leslie West
(Image credit: Provogue/Mascot Label Group)

Ozzy Osbourne and Black Label Society guitarist Zakk Wylde has released a cover of Leslie West's Blood Of The Sun. The song was originally the opening song on West's 1969 debut album, before becoming a staple of Mountain's live set.  

Wylde's cover is taken from the upcoming album, Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West, which also features contributions from the likes of Slash, Dee Snider, Randy Bachman, Martin Barre, Rudy Sarzo, Joe Lynn Turner, Charlie Starr, Robby Krieger, George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Steve Morse, Eddie Ojeda, Yngwie Malmsteen, Mike Portnoy and more. 

“There was nobody on earth quite like Leslie,” says Jenni West, the guitarist's widow. “The second you heard him play, you knew it was him. He loved playing the guitar and making music. He lived to make people feel good – it was his passion. 

"He was famous to his fans throughout The World, but he was adored by other musicians. Everybody from country stars, rappers and heavy metal players – they all loved Leslie. He found it surprising, but I think he was also pleased to know how much he inspired other musicians."

“I’ve worked with some of the greatest guitarists on the planet, and nobody could hold a candle to Leslie," adds West’s longtime manager, Bob Ringe. "He was so unique and special – his sound, his style, his power and warmth. Any guitarist I talk to has been influenced in some way by him. They broke the mould when they made him, and he took it with him when he passed away. He was a true one of a kind."

Before Leslie West died in late 2020, he was due to to record an album of tracks both old and new with guest musicians performing alongside West himself. But rather than abandon the project entirely, West's team decided to change tack and put together the tribute album.

“We really didn’t have to reach out to many people,” Jenni says. “They came to us. What’s really amazing is, if Leslie himself had whispered into my ear and told me who he would want on this record, these would be the people he would have requested."

“Leslie was a hero, friend, amazing guy and a guitar god,” says Dee Snider, who takes on the classic Theme for an Imaginary Western. “I always wanted to sing this song. It’s my favourite Leslie West guitar solo. It resonates with me and speaks to me on so many levels. I’m honoured to have gotten a chance to do it on this record."

Elsewhere on the album, Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash gets to grips with another classic, Mississippi Queen - with Dirty Honey singer Marc LeBelle providing the vocals - while the cover of Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) stars former Rainbow, Deep Purple and Yngwie Malmsteen singer Joe Lynn Turner and former Megadeth guitarist Marty Friedman. Full tracklist below.     

Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West is released on March 25 and is available to pre-order now

1. Blood of the Sun (feat. Zakk Wylde)
2. Nantucket Sleighride (To Owen Coffin) (feat. Joe Lynn Turner, Marty Friedman)
3. Theme for an Imaginary Western (feat. Dee Snider, Mike Portnoy)
4. For Yasgur's Farm (feat. Joe Lynn Turner, Martin Barre)
5. Why Dontcha (feat. Steve Morse, Ronnie Romero)
6. Sittin' On a Rainbow (feat. Elliot Easton, Ronnie Romero)
7. Never in My Life (feat. Dee Snider, George Lynch)
8. The Doctor (feat. Robby Krieger, Ronnie Romero)
9. Silver Paper (feat. Charlie Starr)
10. Money (Whatcha Gonna Do)/By the River - medley (feat. Randy Bachman & Tal Bachman)
11. Long Red (feat. Yngwie Malmsteen & Teddy Rondinelli)
12. Mississippi Queen (feat. Slash, Marc Labelle)

Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West cover art

(Image credit: Mascot Label Group)

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 36 years in music industry, online for 23. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.