111

Blues Roots


General

Medium:
Artist: John Mayall Blues Breakers
Label: Decca
Year: 1978
Genre: Blues
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Tracks

Title Artist Length
Crocodile Walk John Mayall Blues Breakers 2:26::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Lonely Years John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:20::John Mayall Blues Breakers
All Your Love (I Miss Loving) John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:33::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Key To Love John Mayall Blues Breakers 2:26::John Mayall Blues Breakers
A Hard Road John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:10::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Another Kinda Love John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:00::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Sitting In The Rain John Mayall Blues Breakers 2:55::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Sonny Boy Blow John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:46::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Death Of J.B Lenoir, The John Mayall Blues Breakers 4:02::John Mayall Blues Breakers
I'm A Stranger John Mayall Blues Breakers 5:11::John Mayall Blues Breakers
Ready To Ride John Mayall Blues Breakers 3:32::John Mayall Blues Breakers

Personal

Rating: 4 stars
Purchase Date: 08/12/2017
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Comments

John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers was an English blues rock band, led by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall, OBE. While never producing a radio-friendly hit on their own, the Bluesbreakers greatest legacy is as an incubator for British rock and blues musicians. Many of the best known bands to come out of Britain in the 1960s and 1970s had members that came through the Bluesbreakers at one time, forming the foundation of British blues music that still appears heavily in classic rock radio. Among those with a tenure in the Bluesbreakers are Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce (later of Cream), Peter Green, Mick Fleetwood, and John McVie (who would form Fleetwood Mac), Mick Taylor (the Rolling Stones), Aynsley Dunbar (Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention), and numerous other musicians. Mayall used the band name between 1963 and 1967, but then dropped it for some fifteen years. However, in 1982 a 'Return of the Bluesbreakers' was announced, and the name was in use until the band again dissolved in 2008, to be resurrected again in 2009. The name has become generic, without a clear distinction between recordings that are to be credited to Mayall alone and recordings that are to be credited to Mayall and his band. Track 01: First released on "John Mayall plays John Mayall" album March 1965 / Mono Recordings / ℗ 1965 Track 02: First released on "Raw Blues" album January 1967 / Mono Recordings / ℗ 1967 Tracks 03 & 04: First released on "Blues Breakers" album December 1969 / ℗ 1966 Tracks 05 & 06: First released on "A Hard Road" album February 1967 / ℗ 1967 Track 07: First released as an "A" side January 1967 / ℗ 1967 Track 08: First released on "The Blues Alone" album November 1967 / ℗ 1967 Track 09: First released on "Crusade" album September 1967 / ℗ 1967 Track 10: First released on "Bare Wires" album June 1968 / ℗ 1968 Track 11: First released on "Blues from Laurel Canyon" album June 1968 / ℗ 1968 Text on back cover: John Mayall: If we travel back in time some fifteen years, we may well discover that era marked as the "Birth of British Blues". Such names as Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner, Graham Bond, Ronnie Jones, Herbie Goines, Chris Farlowe, and, of course, John Mayall spring to mind. (My apologies to those others omitted from this listing, due more to lack of space than any other reason). This particular volume in the Decca "Roots" series is an attempt to encapsulate, in just eleven tracks, the varied musical facets of John Mayall, Blues writer and performer, during those four short years that he recorded at West Hampstead before making Los Angeles his working and living base. Perhaps the "Complete and Potted History of a Blue Star"? Well, hardly. But let's hope that it goes down as a brave attempt at the same! John Mayall's first album recording was done at a "Live" session at West Hampstead's "Klook's Kleek" club and from this set I have chosen "Crocodile Walk". (This title was subsequently re-recorded and issued as a single). This was Mayall's first fully professional outfit and featured Roger Dean, guitar; John McVie, bass; and Hughie Flint, drums. Perhaps this performance best epitomises Mayall's consistent drive on live appearances a consistency that one could safely say has followed him throughout his long career - he always gives of his best. "Lonely Years", a duet between John and Eric Clapton, was recorded after Mayall's only session for Immediate and prior to his re-signing with Decca. Along with the instrumental "Bernard Jenkins", this title was cut for my own Purdah label, the forerunner of Blue Horizon Records. If you didn't know better you might think you were standing on Chicago's Maxwell Street! "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)" to give it its correct title - an Otis Rush original and Mayall's own "Key to Love" are taken from the highly successful "Bluesbreakers" album - once again featuring the magic of the one-time Yardbirds' guitarist, Eric Clapton. Selecting items from that package really caused me a headache or two. (For those listeners who enjoy this album they might to themselves a favour and pick up the "Bluesbreakers" set, for it truly is a landmark in rock music, and still one of the best examples of British Blues on record). From the "Hard Road" album which features the collective talents of Peter Green, John McVie and Aynsley Dunbar, I have chosen the solid, bluesy title track and the unusual "Another Kinda Love", which has the addition of horn players John Almond, Alan Skidmore and Ray Warleigh. Many is the time that I have caught myself regretting that there were so few chances to record this particular aggregation. Only the "Hard Road" set and the single "Sitting in the Rain" (also included here) stand to attest to the power of this unit and in particular, the force of guitarist Green. Of Course, on the other hand, there is a considerable amount of fine recorded work from Fleetwood Mac, the band formed by Peter after his departure from the Bluebreakers. John Peel in his sleeve note for the "Blues Alone" album issued on Ace of Clubs, says of "Sonny Boy Blow"..."A tribute to the late Sonny Boy Williamson - not a sad, gloomy tribute but a rollicking, cantering thing, filled with unrestrained outbursts on the harmonica and some rolling boogie woogie from John's famous 'jangle' piano". What more can I say... On the other hand John's tribute to Chicago's J.B. Lenoir titled "The Death of J.B. Lenoir" could perhaps be termed as being somewhat sad and gloomy. But for those who are at all familiar with Lenoir's work, they will notice a striking similarity between Mayall's tribute and much of the American's own recorded output, the use of baritone sax in particular. For me, this is one of John's most meaning performances and certainly one of the most "down home" in content. The album "Bare Wires" featured John's largest line-up of sidemen - Mick Taylor, Tony Reeves, Jon Hiseman, Chris Mercer, Dick Heckstall-Smith, and Henry Lowther with tenor player Mercer taking the honours on "I'm a stranger". "Bare Wires" was the biggest departure from tradition for John and as I recall was met with mixed feelings from the press and his legion of fans alike. Some of the criticisms or observations made may well have found their mark for the subsequent sessions featured John with a trio once again - Mick Taylor, Stephen Thompson and Colin Allen. From "Blues from Laurel Canyon", the site of his current home, comes the tough "Ready to Ride" really back to the roots. Perhaps Billy Preston was near the truth when he asked "Will It Go Round in Circles?" - And now, ten years on, John Mayall is probably on his third go round - More power to you! - Mike Vernon © 1978, The Decca Record Compagny Limited, London