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Blues From Laurel Canyon - John Mayall


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Blues From Laurel Canyon (1968) - John Mayall


    Featuring »

John Mayall

    Tracklisting »

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VacationLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 2:47
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Walking On SunsetLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 2:50
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Laurel Canyon HomeLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 4:33
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
2401Lyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 3:42
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Ready To RideLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 3:32
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Medicine ManLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 2:43
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Somebody's Acting Like A ChildLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 3:27
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
The BearLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 4:40
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Miss JamesLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 2:30
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
First Time AloneLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 5:00
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Long Gone MidnightLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 3:27
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
Fly TomorrowLyrics available
  Date Performance: 1968-08-00, Running Time: 8:59
  Comments: Recorded between August 26-28,1968 at Decca's West Hampstead Studios.
    Guest Appearances »

Colin Allen, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, Stephen/Steve Thompson

    Released »

1968-11

    Format »

Domestic Vinyl/CD Album

    Other Appearances »
Derek Varnals (Engineer), John Mayall (Producer), Mike Vernon (Producer), John Mayall (Songwriter), John Tracy (Co-Ordination), Shoot That Tiger! (Design), Adrian Martins (Assistant Engineer), John Tracy (Research), Julie Thompson (Co-Ordination Assistant), Anthony Hawkins (Re-Mastering), SteveStephen C. La Vere/LaVere (Color Photographs), Rob Bosboom (Black And White Mayall Picture Portrait), Dominique Terle (Black And White Pictures), John Mayall (Original Album Design), John Mayall (Original Album Artwork)

    Record Label »
London/Deram

    Catalogue Number »

PS-545/820 539-2

    Running Time »

48:30

    Liner Notes »

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'.

(John Mayall)
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
All rights reserved. Unauthorized copying, reproduction, hiring, lending, public performance and broadcasting prohibited.
Printed in U.S.A.

(P) 1968 (C) 1989 The Decca Record Co Ltd
London, England
AAD
Polygram
0501
0 422-820539-2
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    Reviews »
Add your review here.

4/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.04/5.0
Adventurous rocking effort
Review written by John Fitzgerald, March 6th, 2005

This is one of my favorite Mayall albums with strong lead guitar throughout the proceedings by Mick Taylor and some sensitive moments that really hit home. One of the latter is "First time alone" which includes Peter Green on tasteful backing guitar touches over the beautiful quiet organ drone, Mayall handles the vocals well too, I think it's the best track. As for the former angle mentioned, the opening "Vacation" is a galloping virtually instrumental track (save for a line or two at the beginning and end of the track by Mayall) featuring a Mick Taylor lead guitar fest as does the closing "Fly tomorrow" which starts with quiet bongos and reverbed guitars along with Mayall's vocals but then after the vocals end, it builds to a long and loud Taylor solo before getting to it's quiet reverb coda. These are both also highlights though it doesn't stop there, "Walking on sunset" is a swinging shuffle with a good bass and harp mix, "Laurel Canyon home" is a slow strolling dragger with a nice quieter feel though it's not as good as "First time alone". The stomping shouter "2401" gets us rocking again, "Ready to ride" is a mean slow strut, "Medicine man" is an effective soft tapper, "Somebody's acting like a child" is a likable funkish track, "The bear" (from what I've heard) is Mayall's nod to Canned Heat and though it's strong chiming beginning is the best part, Taylor's chirping guitar later in the track keeps us moving. "Miss James" is a perky organ led "I ain't got you" type track and "Long gone midnight" sounds rather jabbing after hearing the soothing "First time alone" but it's really just mid tempo blandness anyways so you can continue your sleep. Generally, I don't like albums that don't have spaces in between songs but this is one where you don't mind it as this album does have a nice flow and you can enjoy the songs separately as well. One of Mayall's best and most underrated albums to this day in my opinion. Highly recommended.

    Last Modified »
2010-08-03
    Tracklisting »
Discography entry submitted by Anders Linnartsson & Jeff Kenney.