John Mayall's Bluesbreakers

A Hard Road - Decca 1967

Tracks: 1. A Hard Road / 2. It's Over / 3. You Don't Love Me / 4. The Stumble / 5. Another Kinda Love / 6. Hit the Highway / 7. Leaping Christine / 8. Dust My Blues / 9. There's Always Work / 10. The Same Way / 11. The Supernatural / 12. Top of the Hill / 13. Someday After a While / 14. Living Alone / 15. Looking Back* / 16. So Many Roads* / 17. Mama, Talk to Your Daughter* / 18. Alabama Blues* / 19. All My Life* / 20. Ridin' on the L&N* / 21. Eagle Eye* / 22. Little By Little* / 23. Sitting in the Rain* / 24. Out of Reach* /25. No More Tears* / 26. Ridin' on the L&N* / 27. Sitting in the Rain* / 28. Leaping Christine*


Although I 've never been a big fan of John Mayall, partly because of his vocals, I must, of course, admit that "A Hard Road" is an important and interesting album; characterized by fine songwriting with a solid foundation in the blues. For me though, it is especially Peter Green's presence that makes the album so special - like Clapton’s was on the first Bluesbreakers album.

Green's guitar playing is as impressive as on the first Fleetwood Mac albums and several songs could easily be mistaken for early Fleetwood Mac - especially when Green is allowed to take the lead vocal.

On the original album, which here is supplemented with 14 fine bonus tracks, it's songs like "A Hard Road", "The Same Way" and "Top of the Hill" that may stick with you. Also the two sublime instrumentals "The Stumble" and "The Supernatural" give the album weight.

Generally you get some fine and well played white blues, as it is known from Mayall and his band, which in this case consiste of Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar and John McVie.

Among the bonus tracks there are also a variety of goodies to find. The catchy single "Looking Back" is one of the most commercial songs Mayall has released , and the number is both well arranged and played with a twinkle in the eye. "Alabama Blues" is a nice little Peter Green thing which originally was first released in 1971 on the "Thru ' the Years" album.

An great EP released with Paul Butterfield is included in its full length, and especially "Ridin 'on the L & N" is a treat.

Another very fine single from January 1967 "Sitting in the Rain " / "Out of Reach " is worth noting. "Sitting in the Rain" is a stripped-down blues song, much in the style of Fleetwood Mac's ”Leaving Town Blues", while "Out of Reach" is a pure Peter Green blues ballad .

Finally , there are four BBC studio recordings which sound surprisingly great. A very recommendable release, for everybody who has even just the slightest interest in the blues.

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