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Blues Breakers With ... John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton ~ 1966

 
 
 
 
 
 
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John Mayall and the Bluesbreakkers with Eric Clapton - Review Deluxe Edition

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton review

John Mayall's album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is not only about Clapton, as John Mayall and his band the Blues Breakers are terrifically solid. The main line-up is a four piece band, with the addition of horns on a few tracks; John Mayall sings lead on all but one song. They mix up the material, sometimes emphasizing guitar, and other times harmonica. Likewise, other songs include piano and others with organ overlays.

Since this review is within an Eric Clapton section, we'll focus more on his contributions. There are some great moments on this release that show how skilled Clapton was early in his career. It also confirms that he made the right decision to leave the Yardbirds as this material in many ways is a blueprint of things to come. The CD includes one my favorite Eric Clapton performances ever, "Hide Away," an instrumental cover song written by blues legend Freddie King. Tracks nine through eleven  really shine starting with a Mayall original, "Have You Heard," the longest track at about 6:00. It is a nice slow blues number with excellent guitar runs, and horns, both in unison as well as solo. Following that are two cover versions, "Ramblin' on My Mind" and "Steppin' Out." Both of these songs were done with other Clapton bands throughout Clayton's career, and are given solid treatment on this release. Robert Johnson's "Ramblin' on my Mind" is the first commercial recording to feature Eric Clapton on lead vocals. The song features a basic 12 bar pattern with Mayall tossing in some piano runs to make this classic more in the style of Chicago blues than its birth in the Delta. Then, the instrumental "Steppin' Out" is performed slower than the Cream versions with excellent results.

They take a stab at Ray Charles' "What I'd Say," giving drummer Hughie Flint a brief solo, after which, they mix things up by playing the Beatles "Day Tripper" riff to conclude the song. The only song with a Clapton credit is "Double Crossing Time," that has plenty of enjoyable guitar and vibrato.

John Mayall and the Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is not the best blues album or even in the top tier. However, it is a very solid piece of music and more than worthwhile. 
~ by Barry Small © 
Grade  A -

A Deluxe Edition of Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton was released. I haven't heard it yet so I can't add commentary, but a track list is noted below. Disc one includes both mono and stereo mixes of the record. The second disc includes material recording in 1965 and 1966 including BBC Recordings and closing the disc with live tracks. 

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakkers with Eric Clapton - Track List
Track List

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1. All Your Love (Rush) - 3:35
2. Hide Away (King / Thompson) - 3:14
3. Little Girl (Mayall) - 2:33
4. Another Man - 1:44
5. Double Crossing Time (Clapton / Mayall) - 3:00
6. What'd I Say (Charles) - 4:26
7. Key to Love (Mayall) - 2:05
8. Parchman Farm (Allison) - 2:21
9. Have You Heard (Mayall) - 5:54
10. Rambling on My Mind (Johnson) - 3:07
11. Steppin' Out (Frazier) - 2:27
12. It Ain't Right (Little Walter) - 2:40

Bonus tracks
13. Lonely Years  - 3:21
14. Bernard Jenkins  - 3:48

Deluxe Edition

Disc: 1 
1. All Your Love 
2. Hide Away 
3. Little Girl 
4. Another Man 
5. Double Crossing Time 
6. What'd I Say 
7. Key to Love 
8. Parchman Farm 
9. Have You Heard 
10. Rambling on My Mind 
11. Steppin' Out 
12. It Ain't Right 
13. All Your Love 
14. Hide Away 
15. Little Girl 
16. Another Man 
17. Double Crossing Time 
18. What'd I Say 
19. Key to Love 
20. Parchman Farm 
21. Have You Heard 
22. Rambling on My Mind 
23. Steppin' Out 
24. It Ain't Right 

Disc: 2 
1. Crawling Up a Hill 
2. Crocodile Walk 
3. Bye Bye Bird 
4. I'm Your Witchdoctor 
5. Telephone Blues 
6. Bernard Jenkins 
7. Lonely Years 
8. Cheatin' Woman 
9. Nowhere to Turn 
10. I'm Your Witchdoctor [Stereo Mix] [#] 
11. On Top of the World 
12. Key to Love 
13. On Top of the World 
14. They Call It Stormy Monday 
15. Intro into Maudie 
16. It Hurts to Be in Love 
17. Have You Ever Loved a Woman 
18. Bye Bye Bird 
19. Hoochie Cochie Man 

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakkers with Eric Clapton - Musicians
Musicians:       

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Eric Clapton - Guitar, Vocals
John Mayall - Organ, Harmonica, Piano, Vocals
John McVie - Bass
Hughie Flint - Drums

Track 5
John Almond - Sax (Baritone) 

Tracks 7, 9, 11
Alan Skidmore - Sax (Tenor)
John Almond - Sax (Baritone) 
Dennis Healey - Trumpet

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakkers with Eric Clapton - Notes
Notes:

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Released 1966
Several of the best songs from this collaboration are on Eric Claptonís career retrospective, Crossroads. If you have that it, you want to pass on this album. However, if you donít there are many fine moments on Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton.

Liner notes - Neil Slaven

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakkers with Eric Clapton

 

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