For original issue:
Mick Taylor: Born in Hatfield 17th January 1949
Stephen Thompson: Born in Winbledon 17 October 1950
Colin Allen: Born in Bournemouth 9th May 1938
Special praises for the work of engineer Derek Varnels and his assistant Adrian Martins. All the color photographs were taken in Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.
Blues From Laurel Canyon is an outsider's musical impression of Los Angeles.
On the 14th of July '68 The Bluesbreakers were disbanded following my decision to work in more of a solo capacity with a small 'backing group'. This boiled down to choosing the right personnel for the new quartet formation. I doubt if there could be a better choice than guitarist Mick Taylor who really shows his brilliance on this new album. He has worked with me longer than any other guitarist I've had and I hope that we'll continue as a team for a long time to come. I also have great faith and high hopes for the new rhythm section of Stephen Thompson and Colin Allen who, after an amazingly short time of being 'thrown in the deep end', are already settling down extremely well. This album is the story of my 3 weeks vacation in Los Angeles after the abolition of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. I'm very satusfied that the others have been able to interpret in music so accurately all the experiences and feeling I had during this brielf visit to my new found 'home'.
3rd September '68
Peter Green appears by kind permission of Blue Horizon Records Ltd.
For 1989 CD reissue:
Twenty years on...
The final 'official' new John Mayall album presented to Decca/London before the chameleon-like-ex-Manchester Junior School Of Art student pacted to Polydor, BLUES FROM LAUREL CANYON billed Mayall only, the Bluesbreakers haveing been officially disbanded on July 14th 1968, less than a month after the British release of his previous long-player, BARE WIRES (U.K.: LK (Mono)/SKL (Stereo) 4945, 21st June; U.S.: PS 537 (Stereo only)).
Exactly six days prior to its appearance on Blighty's twelve inch best-sellers, whence it would scale to 3, the large entourage which had taped BARE WIRES was dismantled - in the middle of a German tour. John was exhausted by the attendant problems of maintaining a seven=piece band on the road - and his ever-restless soul craved yet another new sound away from the electronics he'd recently pursued.
Completing the live work using just Jon Mark, sax and flute player John Almond, a veteran from the earlier BLUESBREAKERS set, and new young bassist Steve Thompson, when his commitments were over the Macclesfield, Cheshire-born leader who once lived in a treehouse headed for a three week vacation in Los Angeles, while three of his outgoing players, Dick Heckstall-Smith (Tenor & Sorprano Saxes), Tony Reeves (Bass) and drummer Jon Hiseman went off to form Colosseum, but that's another tale...
Mayall's observations of L.A. inspired the contents of BLUES FROM LAUREL CANYON which, between the 26th and 28th of August '68 was dedicated to tape in Decca's London studios by the main man, Thompson, former Zoot Money trap-rattler Colin Allen and trusty guitarist Mick Taylor, only detainee from the last Bluesbreakers incarnation who'd recently bitten the dust.
The results of their labours, the contents of this C.D., were unleashed at home on vinyl early in November as Decca as LK/SKL 4972, after which it tripped into the albums chart on 18th January 1969 to initiate a 21 days campaign pulled up at 33. Across the big pond sister outlet London Records U.S.A.'s equivalent package, PS 545, rapped on the door of Billboard's Top 200 come February 22nd, running up to 68 during a 17 weeks crusade.
On the singles front Decca coupled THE BEAR/2401 as F 12846 on 8th November '68 to provide plug tracks for radio, although no space on the barometer came its way, a similar situation greeting London's 45-20042 which paired WALKING ON SUNSET with LIVING ALONE from the LP, A HARD ROAD.
Much John Mayall material remained in 'The Supreme Record Company's' vaults which would be made available to fans in the fullness of time, and August '69's LOOKING BACK would be the first of many compilations destined to see the light of day over ensuing years. However, twenty years ago John was comtemplating making America his home, and LAUREL CANYON's personnel fragmented in May '69 when he gave Mick Taylor his blessing to become a Rolling Stone, simultaneously witnessing the departure of Colin Allen as he opted to beat the skins for Scotland's Stone The Crows.
Mayall had mooted already the idea of working without a drummer, so it was to be that he and Steve, along with Jon Mark and John Almond would on July 12th 1969 etch TURNING POINT, his inaugural outing for Polydor, before patrons of New York City's Fillmore East as the quartet shared a bill with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Spooky Tooth. It would provide his greatest Stateside triumph to date saleswise, galloping into the listings just seven days after London's LOOKING BACK collocation had commenced negotiations with the tabulators.
Here though we are afforded the opportunity to join John Mayall & Co. as they bring to life the master's scripted emotions triggered by the country he would adopt. Prepare for those BLUES FROM LAUREL CANYON...
(C) JOHN TRACY London, 1989
Manufactured and Marketed by PolyGram Records, Inc. New York, New York
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Printed in U.S.A.
(P) 1968 (C) 1989 The Decca Record Co Ltd
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