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History Of British Blues (1973) - Various Artists


    Featuring »

(Alexis Korners) Blues Inc(orperated), Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, Ginger Baker, (Long) John Baldry, Duster (Tony/Anthony) Bennett, John Best, Dave Bidwell, Graham (John Clifton) Bond, Victor Brox, Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), Graham Burbridge, Paul Butler, Ray Chappell, Chicken Shack, Eric (Patrick) Clapton, Colin Cooper, Don Craine (Mick O’Donnell), Pete(r) Cruickshank, Cyril Davies (& The) Blues Allstars, Cyril Davies, Spencer Davis (David Nelson Davies), Alex (Erroneous) Dmochowski, Downliners Sect, Chris Dreja, Aynsley Dunbar, Aynsley Dunbar, Ricky Fensen, Mick Fleetwood, Fleetwood Mac, Lawrence/Laurence Garman, Terry Gibson, Keith Grant (Evans), Peter Green, Peter Green, Bob (Robert) Hall, Peter Haycock, Spike Heatley, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Derek Holt, Fred Jackson, Jellybread, John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers, Richard M. Jones, Jo-Ann Kelly, Key Largo, Danny Kirwan, Alexis Korner, Kenny Lamb, Carlo Little, Leo Manning(s), John Mayall, Pat McAuliffe, Jim McCarty, T(ony) S. McPhee, T(ony) S. McPhee, John McVie, John McVie, Christine McVie, Christine McVie, John Mo(o)r(e)shead, George Newsome, John O'Leary, Tom Parker, Bryce Portius, Ken Pustelnik, Keith Relf, Paul Samwell-Smith, Laurie Sanford, Bob Savage, Savoy Brown, Keith Scott, Keith Scott, Kim Simmonds, Gordon Smith, Tom Stead, Martin Stone, Johnny Sutton, Andy Sylvester/Silvester, The Climax (Chicago) Blues Band, The Graham Bond Organisation, The Spencer Davis Group/R&B Quartet, The Yardbirds, The/John Lee's Groundhogs, Mike Vernon, Chris Waters, Bernie Watson, Stan Webb, Pete Wingfield, Steve Winwood, Muff Winwood, Art(hur) Wood, Pete(r) York

    Tracklisting »
Side One:
Country Line Special
  Date Performance: 1962, Running Time: 2:15
  Comments: by Cyril Davies Blues Allstars. Recorded in London. An original PYE Recording, released by arrangement. "As I recall it, this was the first solid British blues single released on the market. It featured Cyril Davies' superb harmonica work which was heavily influenced by both Sonny Boy Williamson and Sonny Terry. Davies did record other sides at this early date but none have ever been released to my knowledge. The only other sides featuring Cyril's work were made for Decca with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated. Sadly, Cyril died some six years ago." - Mike Vernon
How Long Blues
  Date Performance: 1962, Running Time: 3:00
  Comments: by Alexis Korner Blues Inc. (featuring Long John Baldry, Dick Heckstall-Smith) A DECLON Recording-originally released on Ace of Clubs in United Kingdom only. "Alexis Korner, who started his career as singer and guitarist much influenced by the early country blues artists-Leroy Carr, Scrapper Blackwell, Blind Lemon Jefferson and so on-has perhaps more than any other been responsible for the surge of interest in this country in all forms of Negro folk music, but particularly of course in blues. Touring the country giving lectures and concerts, sometimes solo, or with his band, working on projects with author Paul Oliver, radio and television interviews and discussion groups-his influence has not gone unnoticed. Currently Alex(is) is working as vocalist with the highly commercial and successful British studio outfit, C.C.S. (Collective Consciousness Society) hitting the charts in the last two years with their own renditions of "Boom Boom" (John Lee Hooker) and "Sixteen Tons" (Tennessee Ernie Ford)." - Mike Vernon
Mean Old Frisco
  Running Time: 2:37
  Comments: by Spencer Davis R&B Quartet (featuring Stevie Winwood, Muff Winwood and Peter York) (Trad. Arr. & Adapted by Spencer Davis) "In it's strictly blues days, this was an audition tape recorded late in 1963 or early 1964 which has not been previously released. Released by arrangement with Spencer Davis. The first time I ever saw Spence was at the Flamingo Club, Wardour Street in the heart of London's Soho. The club, owned in those days by John and Rik Gunnell as I recall, promoted only Rhythm & Blues and Soul bands. Spencer Davis and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers became regular attractions but whilst Mayall found it comparatively easy to get work around the club circuit of the South, the same was not so for Spence. Their repertoire featured mainly Chicago oriented material-Sonny Boy's 'Help Me.' Little Walter's 'My Babe,' Howlin' Wolf's 'Smokestack Lightin'' just to give three examples. It was a direct result of seeing the band work at the Flamingo that I recorded five titles as an audition for Decca. The group was rejected and subsequently recorded for Chris Blackwell with their first disc 'Keep On Running' being released on Fontana." - Mike Vernon
Baby What's Wrong
  Date Performance: 1963, Running Time: 2:40
  Comments: by The Yardbirds. From THE YARDBIRDS first studio session, recorded late 1963 at R.G. Jones Studio in Surrey, England. Licensed from (P) Charly Records International APS, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Long Tall Shorty
  Date Performance: 1964, Running Time: 2:25
  Comments: by The Graham Bond Organization (featuring Dick Heckstall-Smith, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce) The band's first single rush-released at the time by Decca. A DECLON Recording. "Another one of the great crusaders. Graham Bond was to become almost a fixture at the 100 Club, Oxford Street. I suppose in those days nobody could have known that at least two of his band were to later attract the tag of 'superstars'-Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, who with Eric Clapton (on leaving Mayall) formed Cream. The Organization's brand of blues was tough and rough and their demise was a considerable loss-their own individual efforts everyone's gain." - Mike Vernon
Tiger In Your Tank
  Date Performance: 1965, Running Time: 3:30
  Comments: by Downliners Sect. A CAMPBELL CONNELLY Recording "Just one of the many early rocking blues outfits that missed the success enjoyed by the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds and Spencer Davis. Like so many others their main musical influences were Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and Jimmy Reed. The members were unknown then and heaven knows where they are today-but their memory lives on with the crowds that faithfully followed them and their like from club to club just digging 'de blooze.' Don't know why but just thinking about the Sect brings back memories of all those other unknowns-Hogswort Rupert, Soul Stirrers, Herbie Goines, Undertakers, Soul Agents.....................yeah!"
Side Two:
Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1966-10-00, Running Time: 3:02
  Comments: Recorded in London.
Stone Crazy
  Date Performance: 1967, Running Time: 5:10
  Comments: by Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation (featuring Rod Stewart, Jack Bruce and Peter Green) Recorded in London.
Homework Listen.Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969-01-04, Running Time: 3:20
  Comments: Recorded at Chess Ter-Mar Studios, Chicago
True BlueInstrumental
  Date Performance: 1966-08-00, Running Time: 4:10
  Comments: by Savoy Brown (sometimes billed as "Savoy Brown Blues Band" for this recording) (featuring Kim Simmonds and Martin Stone) Recorded for Blue Horizon Records subsidiary label, Purdah, in London. "The Nags Head Public House in South London was the unlikely first meeting place for Savoy Brown and yours truly. Their music was rough, raw and at times ragged, but they had a 'jive' lacking in so many others. I talked to Harry Simmonds, their manager, into letting me record the band for a single to be released on my own Purdah label-this was the precedent to Blue Horizon. We did the sessions at Wessex Studios and the results were reasonable enough for Decca to want the band's first album. 'Shake Down' was the result and captured all the rawness of this first line-up. Savoy Brown has over the years made so many personnel changes it's difficult to keep up with them and all I can say for certain is that guitarist and leader Kim Simmonds is the only original member left in the present unit." - Mike Vernon. Sometimes writing credit for this track is given to Memphis Slim (Peter Chatman) and J(immy) Page. Licensed from Interworld.
Things Are Changing
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:25
  Comments: Recorded at CBS Studio, New Bond Street, London, mid 1968. Originally released as a single: Blue Horizon 57-3141
It's OK With Me Baby
  Date Performance: 1967-12-06, Running Time: 2:40
  Comments: Recorded at CBS Studio, New Bond Street, London
Side Three:
Cobwebs
  Date Performance: 1967, Running Time: 5:30
  Comments: by Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation (featuring Victor Brox) Recorded in London for Blue Horizon Records. This was the gig-band that Aynsley put together when he left Mayall. "Aynsley of course really found his niche working with the Mothers but his stint with Mayall was no less impressive. He formed the Retaliation on leaving the Bluesbreakers. It was a good tough band but never really got the acclaim it perhaps deserved and the reason for this eludes me. I don't think Aynsley has an answer either-the band worked damn hard for well over a year but it just didn't happen for them. The same fate was due our efforts to record the band live at the Blue Horizon Club in South London's area old Battersea. We had three attempts and all failed. I guess somebody somewhere must have been trying to get a message through." - Mike Vernon
Sugar Beet
  Date Performance: 1969-05-06, Running Time: 2:54
  Comments: Recorded at CBS Studio, New Bond Street, London. Originally released on the album "12db's": Blue Horizon 7-63868
I Be's Troubled
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 1:45
  Comments: by T.S. McPhee
Nothin' In Ramblin'
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:18
  Comments: by Jo Ann Kelly. Originally released on the SAYDISC label and released here by arrangement. "Jo-Ann and Dave Kelly have worked the small folk and blues clubs of the English countryside for some years now, representing as they do, the oldest traditions of the country blues. In particular Jo's work in raising money for invalid Memphis Minnie (one of the real female giants of the idiom) has reached the notice of countless thousands across the world. Jo-Ann's own work owes much to Minnie Lawler both vocally and instrumentally-strong chording (two and four to the bar). 'Nothin' In Ramblin'' is a Memphis Minnie original." - Mike Vernon
Blue Guitar
  Date Performance: 1966, Running Time: 6:40
  Comments: by John Lee's Groundhogs. Originally recorded for Blue Horizon Records whilst Tony McPhee (then known as T.S. McPhee) was backing Jack Dupree on an album session. This side has not previously been released. It was part of an audition tape recorded by the original Groundhogs led by John Lee. In the same year the tapes were rejected and this is the only side that survived. "John Lee's Groundhogs, now simply Groundhogs, are perhaps the only band that commenced purely as a blues outfit and have progressed successfully through to the rock idiom. In their original form they were the most popular of backing groups for visiting American blues artists-they backed Jimmy Reed, Memphis Slim, Jack Dupree and John Lee Hooker on their many visits here and made several sessions with them. Over the years they have become one of the top college attractions on both sides of the Atlantic and also have a long string of album successes behind them. It's a long way since the Flamingo and the Archway Studio as T.S. McPhee eh Tony? Incidentally, no prizes offered for knowing what T.S. stands for." - Mike Vernon
I've Been Down So Long
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 3:30
Side Four:
Crazy 'Bout You BabyLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1969, Running Time: 3:03
  Comments: Stereo Version. Recorded either August or November of 1969 at CBS Studio, New Bond Street, London. Source: Original analogue tape
That Did It
  Date Performance: 1970, Running Time: 4:48
  Comments: by Key Largo. Recorded for Blue Horizon Records. Key Largo are a prime example of the many fine, small semi-pro bands that never made the big time. "Climax Chicago Blues Band and Key Largo both have similar backgrounds although their passages in the music world were later to vere sharply in different directions. Climax Chicago Blues Band became simply Climax Blues Band with several successful albums, especially in the States, and Key Largo disbanded and several members were to form at a later date into the unit now known as Michigan Rag. Originally, both groups (Climax from the Midlands and Key Largo from London) worked the small blues and rock clubs with the occassional college dates. Both had something worthwhile to offer, but a strong management working on Climax made the world of difference and when the interest in such bands waned, Climax survived and Largo didn't. An old, old story, but so true." - Mike Vernon
Funk Pedal
  Running Time: 3:00
  Comments: by Gordon Smith. Originally from Co. Durham in the far north of the country, Gordon recorded for Blue Horizon Records after having been discovered by Duster Bennett and Peter Green singing in the street market at Portobello Road in London. "Funk Pedal" recorded with the rhythm section of the Action, now known as Mighty Baby.
Take Out Some InsuranceLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968, Running Time: 3:51
  Comments: by Climax Blues Band. Recorded by A.I.R. (London). An EMI Records Recording.
Rockin' Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu
  Date Performance: 1969, Running Time: 2:45
  Comments: by Jellybread. Stereo Version. Recorded in late 1969 at CBS Studio, New Bond Street, London. Original Release: Blue Horizon #57-3174 (A-Side). Source: Original analogue tape. Another fine fully-pro band that have just missed making a big mark on the music world. "I've received so many tapes and demo discs over the last eight years from new aspiring singers and groups it's almost enough to give you a heart attack. The waste-paper basket almost warmed to just such an acetate from a Sussex University band known as Jellybread-luckily I played it first and discovered what I thought was a winner. Four university students formed Jellybread (after the song of the same title by Booker T & the MG's) as an experiment. As an experiment it was a success; turning professional on leaving University, recording an album which was voted one of the best British blues albums by Melody Maker; a single 'Old Man Hank' which was on the top BBC playlists for five weeks and almost a chart record. Three albums and six singles later, Jellybread are still together in name, although Paul is the only original member left. Pete Wingfield left first to join the Keef Hartley Band and is now working with Colin Blunstone-but his song writing abilities as well as outstanding keyboard work have earned him much acclaim: sessions with and songs recorded by Keef Hartley, B.B. King, Jimmy Dawkins, Colin Blunstone, Lightin' Slim and top Dutch group Livin' Blues. John Best was replaced by Stuart McDonald; Chris Waters by Kenny Lamb (who used to work with Tom Jones, the Fantastics and Key Largo) and Pete's place was taken by second guitarist Rick Hayward, an original member of Argent. Jellybread is going to be a name to watch for the future." - Mike Vernon
Come Back Baby
  Date Performance: 1972, Running Time: 2:05
  Comments: by Mike Vernon (with Rory Gallagher) One title from the man's own solo album. Naturally enough a Blue Horizon Recording made, to, as Mike told me himself, "get something off my chest."
    Guest Appearances »

John(ny) Almond, Jack Bruce (John Symon Asher), Geoff/Jeff Condon, Martin Dunsford, Mike Evans, Mick Fleetwood, (William) Rory Gallagher, Peter Green, Steve/Stephen Gregory, Derek Hall, Chris Harding, Rick Hayward, Kenny Lamb, John McVie, Roger Powell, Al(l)an Skidmore, Otis Spann, Rod Stewart, Top (Anthony) Topham, Ray Warleigh

    Released »

1973

    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Mike Ross(-Trevor) (Engineer), Herb Abramson (Songwriter), Duster (Tony/Anthony) Bennett (Songwriter), Leroy Carr (Songwriter), Dave Clark (Songwriter), Don Covay (Songwriter), Arthur Big Boy Crudup (Songwriter), Cyril Davies (Songwriter), Cyril Davies (Songwriter), Willie Dixon (Songwriter), Aynsley Dunbar (Songwriter), Aynsley Dunbar (Songwriter), Buddy (George) Guy (Songwriter), Wadense Hall (Songwriter), John Lee Hooker (Songwriter), Freddie/Freddy King (Songwriter), J.B. Lenoir (Songwriter), (Kansas) Joe McCoy (Songwriter), T(ony) S. McPhee (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), Christine McVie (Songwriter), Lester Melrose (Songwriter), Al(berta) Perkins (Songwriter), Jimmy Reed (Songwriter), Don Robey (Deadric Malone) (Songwriter), Doctor (Isaiah) Ross (Songwriter), Otis Rush (Songwriter), Kim Simmonds (Songwriter), Kim Simmonds (Songwriter), Charlie/Charles Singleton (Songwriter), Huey (Piano) Smith (Songwriter), Gordon Smith (Songwriter), Sonny (Alfonso) Thompson (Songwriter), John(ny) Vincent (Songwriter), Sonny Boy (Aleck Ford Rice) Williamson (Willie) (Miller) (Songwriter), Bill Levy (Art Direction), Fred Marcellino (Design), Mike Vernon (Liner Notes), Duster (Tony/Anthony) Bennett (Produced By), Marshall Chess (Produced By), Eric (Patrick) Clapton (Produced By), Eric (Patrick) Clapton (Produced By), Chris Dreja (Produced By), Chris Dreja (Produced By), Giorgio Gomelsky (Produced By), Jack Good (Produced By), Jim McCarty (Produced By), Jim McCarty (Produced By), Keith Relf (Produced By), Keith Relf (Produced By), Paul Samwell-Smith (Produced By), Paul Samwell-Smith (Produced By), The Yardbirds (Produced By), Chris Thomas (Produced By), Mike Vernon (Produced By), Mike Vernon (Produced By), Stu Black (Engineered By), Gus Dudgeon (Engineered By), Gus Dudgeon (Engineered By), Mike Ross(-Trevor) (Engineered By), Michael Thompson (Engineered By), Richard Lloyd (Co-Produced By), Mike Vernon (Co-Produced By), Terry Noonan (Arranged By), Marshall Chess (Session Co-Ordination), Willie Dixon (Session Co-Ordination), Neil (The Curmudgeon) Slaven (Session Co-Ordination), Mike Vernon (Session Co-Ordination), Mike FitzHenry (Recording Engineer), Mike Ross(-Trevor) (Recording Engineer), Blue Horizon (Records) (Production), Mike Vernon (Concept), Richard Gottehrer (Concept Coordination), Seymour Stein (Concept Coordination), EMI (Photo), Ralph Frumin (Photo), Herb Greene (Photo), Terence Ibbot(t) (Photo), London City Agency (Photo), Roger Perry (Photo), Vic Songh (Photo), The Decca Record Co., Ltd. (British) (Photo), Mike Vernon (Production By)

    Record Label »
Sire

    Catalogue Number »

SAS-3701

    Running Time »

38:14/43:05

    Liner Notes »

Two record set.

Featuring: Eric Clapton/Rod Stewart/Stevie Winwood/John Mayall/Ginger Baker/Peter Green/Jack Bruce/Dick Heckstall-Smith/Long John Baldry/Kim Simmonds/Keith Relf....and others

Performing With: Spencer Davis R&B Quartet/The Yardbirds/Fleetwood Mac/Savoy Brown/John Mayall's Bluesbreakers/Graham Bond Organization/Alexis Korner Blues Inc./Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation/Chicken Shack/Climax Blues Band/Cyril Davies Rhythm & Blues All Stars/John Lee's Groundhogs/Jellybread/Downliners Sect/Key Largo....plus other solo performances

The enormity and complexity of the task-that of putting together a comprehensive recorded history of British Blues-positively daunted me at the onset. Now that it is all over and I can breathe again, the results, on paper at least, appear highly rewarding. Close aural inspection will doubtless confirm the true and possible lasting values of this piece of 'British Music History'.

A great part of the material here has been culled from those sessions that I organised and produced in my earlier days as a staff producer at Decca and later as the sole production manager with my own company, Blue Horizon. Other material has been licensed from Pye, E.M.I., Saydisc and various individuals long associated with the business-both on the management and artistic side. To these companies and their representatives with whom I worked, my heart-felt appreciation and thanks. I have done my level best to give a fair cross-section of the British blues buildup over the last ten years and if I have omitted one or two major artists (viz. The Rolling Stones and Ten Years After) it was not for the want of trying.

On an international-level, John Mayall has been acclaimed as the "Father of British Blues." Prior however to his emergence on the record scene, the British fans and press, such as they were in those days, similarly revered Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies. There were many others too, most now forgotten, who had been stepping the blues 'alley' for several years prior to the aforementioned acclaim dealt out to Korner and Davies: names like George Melly, Ottilie Patterson, Beryl Bryden, Lonnie Donegan. Their various repertoires covered material from Bessie Smith, Big Joe Turner, Leadbelly, Lonnie Johnson and Billie Holiday-a diverse enough field of stars in itself. There were Big Bill Broonzy, Memphis Slim, Champion Jack Dupree, Curtis Jones and Sonny Boy Williamson, who all made frequent visits to the shores of England during the ten years spanning 1954/64. Their influence was to be resounding in the years to come.

The last years of the 'fifties' saw the first real explosion in the popular music field since Johnnie Ray and Valentino! Rock'n'Roll had arrived and with it the occasional 'odd-ball'. Lonnie Donegan's "Rock Island Line" was just such a record and in the widest sense was the first, but not the only, blues record to make the British charts. A folk song brought to the world at large first by Huddie Leadbetter, Donegan's hit announced the arrival of "skiffie"-an amalgamation of white and black American folk traditions, allied if only in sound, to Louisiana cajun but based on more traditional themes of the Americas-the Virginia's and Carolina's, the gold-rush songs from California, the hillbilly breakdowns and so on. And whilst Donegan was thumping out the guitars, banjos and washboards, the American rock'n'roll/rhythm and blues stars were having a field day-Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran, Bo Diddley et al. It was the interest particularly in Bo's individual style of blues that led British Decca to release a series featuring Bo, Chuck Berry, Howlin' Wolf and Little Walter. Now there were a small number of British musicians who were already well versed in these artist's performances; the release of those discs and others of a similar nature helped to add to that small number. Soon to be seen at the otherwise totally jazz-oriented Marquee Club in London's Soho, were Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, Cyril Davies and His R & B All Stars and as the months and years passed such names as Manfred Mann, The Mark Leeman Five, Spencer Davis Rhythm & Blues Quartet, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, The Downliners Sect, Garry Farr & The T-Bones, The Cheynes, The Yardbirds, Graham Bond Organization, Long John Baldry & The Hoochie Coochie Men, Race, Savoy Brown Blues Band, Zoot Money and The Big Roll Band-the list is endless.

In a sense there was no looking back from that moment and it was from these outfits that the great names in British Blues and Rock came: Eric Clapton from Yardbirds and John Mayall; John Mayall Himself; Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce from Graham Bond's Organisation; Peter Green from The Peter B's, Rod Stewart from the Hoochie Coochie Men; Charlie Watts and Mick Jagger from bands led by both Davies and Korner; Stevie Winwood from the Spencer Davis R & B Quartet. It's fun to look back and see how it all started. That's just what we're doing here.

--Mike Vernon

Special thanks for their help and support to:

Richard Vernon, Blue Horizon Records, Ltd.; Diana Weller, Declon Recordings; Jennie Hallsall EMI; Madeline Hawkyard, Pye Records; Arthur Cook, EMI; Roy Berry, Campbell, Connelly, Ltd; Gef Lucerne Saydisc Records; John Burgess/Alistair Rainsford, A.I.R. (London) Ltd.

(P) 1973 Sire Records, Inc./Distributed by Famous Music Corp./A Gulf & Western Company.

Stereo

    Reviews »
Add your review here.

There are 10 visitor reviews for History Of British Blues. See them all here.

5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0
The best blues album I have
Review written by , April 3rd, 2006

This is the best blues album I have. I fear for its longevity and would like to find a copy on CD.

5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0
A knock out winner of a two record album!
Review written by Anonymous, October 4th, 2005

I still have the original Album in mint condition as I played the album once or twice and recorded it to cassette.Even then I knew this was a master piece of Blues history.
I have, however been looking for this fabulous collection of musicans and songs to be remastered so I can buy it again!

5/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.05/5.0
Back to the Roots
Review written by geocorey46@hotmail.com (geocorey46@hotmail.com), April 1st, 2005

One of my favorites of all time (i'm not asking for a post but please!!! e-mail me and let me know how i can obtain the CD my record was stolen back in1976 also would love the Cristine Perfect collection I'm a big british blues fan. G. Corey McCormick geocorey46@hotmail.com please contact! THANK YOU VERY MUCH. In referance to history British Blues

    Comments »

"Baby What's Wrong" is by The Yardbirds (with Eric Clapton, Chris Dreja, Paul Samwell-Smith, Jim McCarty) Released by arrangement with Georgio Gomelsky. "I have fond memories of my twice weekly visits to the Crawdaddy Club. Richmond and the Star Hotel, Broad Green, Croydon to see and on some occasions, to sing with the Yardbirds. Only small venues but always packed to the seams with fanatics who considered the five members of this very rocking blues band to be the best in the country. Yardbirdmania was the order of the day. It was a result of singing with the band on some dates due to Keith Relf's recurring laryngitis, that I got to record the tune released on this album. Georgie, the group's manager helped out in the studio (a small demo place) and the results were very strong - featuring a star of the future, Eric 'Slowhand' Clapton. I took them to Decca as I was exclusively in their employment, but for some reason or other the deal to record the band was finally made with EMI. The first single, 'I Wish You Would' (another Chicago Blues number, originally written and recorded by Billy Boy Arnold) was a minor hit, swiftly followed by 'For Your Love' which was a smash! Incidentally, almost immediately Eric left and joined John Mayall, replacing Roger Dean. Jeff Beck took Eric's place." - Mike Vernon

"Someday After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)" is by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (featuring Peter Green, John McVie, Aynsley Dunbar and Johnny Almond) A DECLON Recording. "The sign said: 'From the U.S.A., 'T-Bone Walker with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.' That night at the Flamingo Club I found Britain's main bluesman-well, found isn't quite the correct word as it tends to lead one to think that I discovered him. Not really true. John had been working in his hometown area of Manchester following his return from Korea and I didn't get to see him in London for some months following his arrival there. It was at about that time that John was recorded 'live' at Klooks Kleek, one of those few clubs patronising the blues. Now, whilst the Stones and Yardbirds were making their mark John was fighting hard to build up a loyal following and a solid and permanent line up. Even in those early days John McVie was to be heard on bass along with Hughie Flint and Roger Dean. When Eric left the Yardbirds and joined the Bluesbreakers the audiences grew at an alarming pace. It almost got to the point where you had to see at least one of Mayall's gigs each month to be 'hip' to the musical trend of the day. The band recorded two titles for Andrew Oldham's Imrnediate label and then I convinced Decca that they should resign John to Decca. That first album Gus and I worked on ('Bluesbreakers') was a smash. Made the top spot in some music paper's album charts. Nobody could believe it-least of all John. You know, looking back on those early days I have some fine memories and regretfully too many to recount here. I ought to write a book-maybe 'Mayall's Mutterings' would be a good title. If you ever get the chance to speak to the man himself ask him about his 'roof antics' at West Hampstead one summer's morning or his 'hiding under the organ cover with a glass of orangeade during Hughie's drum solo' routine. Ah, sweet memories! Good on you John!" - Mike Vernon

"Homework" is by Fleetwood Mac. The result of Green and Fleetwood, swiftly followed by McVie leaving John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Other members of the original line-up were Jeremy Spencer (slide-gtr.) First bass player, prior to McVie joining were Bob Brunning, long serving member of the Brunning-Hall Blues Band. Danny Kirwan (second gtr.) was added some little time later from the Boilerhouse. Spencer was first with the Levi Set Blues Band from Lichfield, Staffordshire. "Well, here we go on the beginning of a second book except that if I was to put all my memories of this band onto paper it would be so heavily censored as to be pointless. Peter Green left the Bluesbreakers about the same time as Aynsley but eventually formed his own band with Mick Fleetwood (ex-Cheynes), Bob Brunning and that slide-guitar wizz-kid Jeremy Spencer. I suppose Fleetwood Mac were responsible for the second wave of blues enthusiasm that swept the length and breadth of the country. I don't think it would be unfair on others to say that Peter was the finest white blues guitarist of all time-bar none. His tasteful approach won him many admirers, not least of these B.B. King. I know Pete himself would never accept this and was continually mind and heart searching for something that was his own-a sound fresh and as free as possible from outside influences. Perhaps 'Albatross,' a million-selling Single, was the first step for him in the right direction. I seem to remember new acquisition Danny Kirwan having considerable bearing on this somewhat unexpected musical outcome and in the months to come they were to work together to create some simply amazing pieces of modern blues/rock; 'Oh Well,' 'Green Manalishi' but most of all, the haunting simplicity of 'Albatross.' Needless to say, Peter's retirement from the public eye was greeted with much wailing. But he has over the last two years remained 'lost' to the world, no mean achievemnent in itself. He has his own reasons and they will always remain his own-he's not about to let the world into the secrets of his heart and this is to be applauded. But his undeniable talent is sorely missed, and you know there will never be another exactly like him-to me at least, that's a sad realisation." - Mike Vernon

"Things Are Changing" & "Sugar Beet" are by Duster Bennett. England's answer to Jessie Fuller, Tony Bennett's one-man-band act was discovered by Peter Green and brought to Blue Horizon for whom he has recorded all his work. Recorded during the last four years and feature Duster solo. "Anthony Bennett became 'Duster' one fateful night at the Blue Horizon Club. He had just appeared unannounced as the second act to Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac-it had been Pete's idea. 'The reception afforded him was so amazing and it certainly seemed as if there was a professional future for this unique one-man blues band. But Tony Bennett? It's been done before! I just hit on Duster-from 'Dust My Broom' of course-and that was that. Now Duster's been a popular act at clubs, colleges and universities all over the country-been on the same bill as B.B. King-but still not quite earned the success he has worked for. Proficient on guitar, bass drum and hi-hat cymbals, Tony's real strength is in his harmonica work and song writing. "If You Could Hang Your Washing Like You Hang Your Lines" and 'I'm Gonna Wind Up Ending Up or End Up Winding Up With You'-I mean to say!" - Mike Vernon

"It's OK With Me Baby" is by Chicken Shack (featuring Christine Perfect and Stan Webb) Originally from Stourbridge near Birmingham, this side was recorded for Blue Horizon Records. "The real truth of the matter is that Chicken Shack was the only band I ever made a journey outside of London to see and liked well enough to sign to a recording contract. My visit to Stourbridge, Worcestershire was in direct response to a letter from one Hew Price, a local Shack fan. When I visited their 'rehearsal room' I found out the origin of the band's name; the rehearsal room was a former chicken coop in the back garden of the bass player's parent's house. In those days the line-up included Alan somebody-or other on drums, Andy Silvester on bass, Christine Perfect on piano and wild Stan Webb. I managed to get the band their first major public appearance at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival. The crowd reaction resulted in an agency and management deal with Harry Simmonds. Alan was replaced by London boy Dave Bidwell following a short stint by San Francisco singer/drummer Alvin Sykes, which, whilst it did provide some sparkling live performances in the way of drum solos, also failed on a personal level. Dave's arrival heralded a marked change in Stan's stage act-he bought a two hundred foot long lead and ended up his evening's performances in the midst of the audience, either on his back or on some unfortunate (or fortunate) chick's lap. His act and the band's musical repertoire ensured considerable success for the outfit. It was manager Harry Simmonds who suggested to me that we should record Etta James' 'I'd Rather Go Blind.' The record made No. 9 on the singles chart and was followed by 'Tears In The Wind' which itself made the Top 30 chart. The group is now recording with Decca under Neil Slaven and in these slack days for the blues are perhaps not finding life as good as it was once upon a time. Come on Trooper Stanley-'cept!" - Mike Vernon

"I've Been Down So Long" is by Gordon Smith (with John McVie and Mick Fleetwood)

"Crazy 'Bout You Baby" is by Christine Perfect (with Top Topham) This title features Christine's own road-band after her leaving Chicken Shack and prior to her joining Fleetwood Mac. Recorded in London late 1969. "When the 'New Musical Express' voted Christine Perfect the number one female vocalist of the year no one was more startled than Christine herself. With only one hit record (Chicken Shack's 'I'd Rather Go Blind' which featured Christine's dulcet tones) and a host of college performances it almost seemed impossible for her to win such an award. Everyone started tipping her to become a superstar and when her first solo record 'When You Say' was released almost every review stated it as a smash. It was a flop. The second, 'I'm Too Far Gone (To Turn Around)' reviewed in similar style was likewise a commercial failure. It was at that point that Christine Perfect married John McVie of the Fleetwood Mac and subsequently moved from fronting her own band to fronting the re-styled Mac. Everyone always spoke of Christine purely as a vocalist when for my own money she was a much better pianist. She was always a great foil to Stan Webb's frantic guitar work and has now become the main stay of the current Fleetwood Mac's rhythm section. Her style is firm and rhythmical, not unlike Lloyd Glenn and Sonny Thompson-the latter being her greatest influence. Whatever she plays, the blues is still the essence." - Mike Vernon

    Last Modified »
2011-05-25
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Mary Anne, James W. McElroy & John Fitzgerald..