Breakers with Eric Clapton review
Mayall's album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is
not only about Clapton, as John Mayall and his band the Blues
Breakers are terrifically
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
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
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"
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.
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.
Grade 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