The incestuous musical situation which existed in the U.K. during the late Sixties has made an Indelible stamp on the music of today. Groups would swap members for recordings, the looseness of the day permitted collaboration, and the prevailing atmosphere owed more to the music than to the music business. This was best typified in the recordings issued by Immediate Records, a company led by then Rolling Stones-manager/producer Andrew Oldham. Oldham encouraged his charges to write songs for one another, guest on each others' recordings, and bring their talented friends in to make records.
One of Andrew Oldham's talented proteges was a young session guitarist named Jimmy Page. Page had been guesting on records by The Rolling Stones and The Kinks, and was also playing in The Yardbirds during its latter stages. Page was given the chance to record his friends - most notably Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton - jamming in a no-pressure situation, trading licks with them, and getting co-compositional credit on most of the twelve-bar blues songs they laid down. All of these players were in the top of their form back then, and these one-take tossoffs now stand among the best of their work.
The personnel on these tracks varies a bit, but for the most part the rhythm section of the Clapton/Page tracks consists of Rolling Stones Bill Wyman (bass), Ian Stewart (piano), Mick Jagger (mouth harp), and Chris Winters (could this be Charlie Watts?) on drums.
The John Mayall tracks feature Eric Clapton (guitar), John McVie (bass), and Hughie Flint (drums).
The All Stars were originally Cyril Davies' group, and the one track which he is present on is one of the very few ever made, as this British Blues progenitor met an early death. However, his rhythm section of Cliff Barton (bass), Carlo Little (drums), and Nicky Hopkins (piano) was reunited a year and a half after Davies passed away to make these recordings with special guests Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Beck and Page were not in the original band, but owed much to Cyril Davies when it came down to the popularization of the genre of British Blues.
Santa Barbara Machine Head was a short-lived group whose members achieved greater notoriety long after these recordings were issued. Ronnie Wood (guitar) is now in The Rolling Stones, having served time as Rod Stewart's better half in The Faces and The Jeff Beck Group. Jon Lord is currently found in the recently reformed Deep Purple, where his distinctive keyboard approach always had a home. Kim Gardener (bass) played in various ill-fated bands, one of which was the legendary Creation, and drummer Twink made his mark in Tomorrow and the Pretty Things.
Lastly is guitarist Jeremy Spencer, a classic slide guitarist who distinguished himself in Fleetwood Mac, blew everybody's mind, and then retired from the music business.
Long out of print but never out of date, these are the sessions that were. There has never been a white blues explosion to equal this one, and there never will be. Never was so much talent contained in so small a space, but here are the results on two albums.
(P) 1985 Castle Communications Limited
271 Merton Road
Made in France by M.P.O.
This album contains early recordings which can reveal quality limitations of the tape source
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