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Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton (1966) - John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers


    Featuring »

Eric (Patrick) Clapton, Hughie Flint, John Mayall, John McVie

    Tracklisting »
All Your Love
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 3:35
  Comments: Recorded at Decca West Hempstead Studios, Spring 1966. (P) The Decca Recording Company Ltd.
Hideaway
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 3:14
  Comments: Recorded at Decca West Hempstead Studios, Spring 1966. (P) The Decca Recording Company Ltd.
Little Girl
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 2:33
Another Man Done Gone
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 1:44
  Comments: Arr. Mayall. Billed as "Another Man".
Double Crossing Time
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 3:00
What'd I Say
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 4:26
Key To Love
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 2:05
Parchman Farm
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 2:21
Have You Heard
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 5:54
Rambling On My Mind
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 3:07
  Comments: Billed as "Ramblin' On My Mind". Recorded at Decca West Hempstead Studios, Spring 1966. (P) The Decca Recording Company Ltd.
Steppin' Out
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 2:27
It Ain't Right
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 2:40
    Guest Appearances »

John(ny) Almond, Dennis Healey, Al(l)an Skidmore

    Released »

1966-05

    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Gus Dudgeon (Engineer), Mose Allison (Songwriter), James C. Bracken (Songwriter), Ray Charles (Robinson) (Songwriter), Eric (Patrick) Clapton (Songwriter), Eric (Patrick) Clapton (Songwriter), Willie Dixon (Songwriter), Vera (Ward) Hall (Songwriter), Robert Johnson (Songwriter), Freddie/Freddy King (Songwriter), Little Walter (Walter Jacobs) (Songwriter), John A(very) Lomax (Songwriter), Alan Lomax (Songwriter), John Mayall (Songwriter), John Mayall (Songwriter), Otis Rush (Songwriter), Ruby Pickens Tartt (Songwriter), Sonny (Alfonso) Thompson (Songwriter), John Mayall (Layout), John Mayall (Layout), Neil (The Curmudgeon) Slaven (Liner Notes), Mike Vernon (Produced By)

    Record Label »
Decca/London/Polygram

    Catalogue Number »

492 ('66 LP)/800 086-2 ('88 CD)/800 086-1 ('88 LP)/800086-4 ('88 Cassette)

    Running Time »

37:06

    Liner Notes »

For original issue:

In John Mayall and Eric Clapton we have the two most dedicated blues musicians in this country. Together with John McVie and Hughie Flint, they make up John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. To hear them play can be a thrilling experience. Playing the blues is such a complex business, involving so many personal and external conditions, that it is never certain how well you are going to play until the first number of the evening is over. Watching the Bluesbreakers perform, you are immediately aware of their intense search for new ways in which to interpret their material. In fact, it is surprising to learn how little of their music is arranged and how much is improvised. It is because of this phenomenal ability to improvise that John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers are the premier blues group in England. On this record we have captured some of their best performances on numbers which they feature regularly in their club appearances.

The person responsible for much of the improvisation is Eric Clapton. Two years ago I stuck my neck out to say that Eric would become one of the top blues guitarists in the country. Now I know I was right - he is the best, damn it. A lot of people wondered why Eric left the Yardbirds just as they were hitting big. But Eric had an inevitable course to follow, and at the time it led him to the Bluesbreakers, as no doubt it will lead him elsewhere in the future. Since joining the group, his technique has improved beyond recognition, and on his best nights Eric can make time stand still. Some idea of this can be gained by listening to his solo on "Have You Heard". But even without stopping the clock his playing can be both breathtakingly beautiful and savage, as on "All Your Love" , "Double Crossin' Time", and his two instrumental features, "Hideaway" and "Steppin' Out" .As if this wasn't enough, this record marks the first occasion on which the Clapton voice has been aired on disc. For his debut, Eric chose the Robert Johnson number, "Ramblin' On My Mind", which has a very sympathetic piano backing from John.

Because a lot of the spotlight is thrown on Eric, we tend to overlook the fact that John himself is a most capable musician. Besides doing all of the singing (well almost), his piano, organ and harmonica playing provide much of the driving force of the group. His flair for composition, with some unusual chord progressions, is also shown to good advantage on "Little Girl" and "Key To Love". The two harmonica features on this record, "Another Man" and "Parchman Farm", usually develop into tours-de-force in a club performance, but here John remains short, sharp, but very much to the point.

It is a measure of the group's capabilities that they can inject new life into such cobwebbed numbers as "What'd I Say", make them sound even more vital than the original. And perhaps this is why John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers are such an exciting group to watch and hear, and why they are the only group in Britain today whose music closely parallels that being produced by the blues bands of Chicago.

Neil Slaven

For 1988 CD reissue:

(P) 1966 (C) 1988 The Decca Record Co. Ltd.
London, England

Manufactured and marketed by PolyGram Records, Inc.
810 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10019

All rights of the manufacturer and of the owner of the recorded work reserved.

Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited.

Printed in U.S.A.

London

0501

42280 00862

AAD

Compact Disc Digital Audio

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0
Top notch blues/rock
Review written by John Fitzgerald, December 11th, 2004

I don't think many would doubt that this was the best Mayall album to be released and a high point in the careers for all those involved. Those that want an electric guitar stinging rock sound but want to investigate blues in general should start right here. The album's two guitar led instrumentals ("Hideaway" and "Steppin' out") are real rollercoasters, especially the former. It's shuffling nature takes you places that you didn't even realize you were going until you've been there. Though the latter is faster, more punchy and forceful, the former is slightly preferable due to it's more colorfully adventurous arrangement. The opener "All your love" is another high point on the album with the best bit being the screeching Clapton leads ushering us in to the fast middle section. "Little girl" along with the catchy, fiery rocker "Key to love" (with it's strong horns) could very well have been good blueprints for many future rock songs. For traditional blues fans, there's the Clapton sung Robert Johnson song "Ramblin' on my mind" (sounding like it only has guitar & piano on it aside from the vocals), the atmospheric clapping, harmonica & vocal piece "Another man done gone" is also a purist highlight as is "Parchman farm" on which John McVie probably stands out the most as it sounds like it's just him with harmonica & vocals by Mayall and Flint's drums. Hughie is not to be left out in the cold though as he has a surprising drum solo spotlight in the up beat jingling cover here of Ray Charles "What'd I say". Slow blues enthusiasts take note of "Double crossing time" (with it's useful piano and hard, thick guitar) and the lengthy burning "Have you heard" (featuring tasty sax and Clapton again is in fine form. If it had been any other circumstances, his work here may have been considered too much but it wonderfully tears up the soul here). The closing busy breakneck of "It aint right" is a great end with it's lean guitar sound and harmonica puffings. One of the few albums ever made to fully satisfy blues and/or rock enthusiasts at the same time not to mention it's large influence on future artists. Absolutely one of the most important albums in music history.

    Last Modified »
2010-08-07
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Anders Linnartsson, Jeff Hibbs & Jeff Kenney.