John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers

Blues Breakers - Decca 1966

Tracks: 1. All Your Love / 2. Hideaway / 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. Ramblin' on My Mind / 11. Steppin' Out / 12. It Ain't Right


Of course, it can not be discussed whether the first album with John Mayall 's Bluesbreakers is a classic or not - it is obviously . This does not mean that the album is a very homogeneous masterpiece. There highlights and numbers of less remarkable character - as on most good albums. One reason why the album has got legendary status, is not least that Eric Clapton was allowed to play as big a role as he did.

The opening track "All Your Love", written by Mayall, is a real Clapton tour de force . Fat distorted blues-rock electric guitar that in no way is second to what Jeff Beck at the same time did with The Yardbirds . "All Your Love" is a stand-out and although Mayall is no real great singer, he delivers very well on this track . Another key number is the "Key to Love" which is another blues rocker with Mayall in fine form, seasoned with a horn section that helps to give the number its great sound.

The two cover version instrumentals "Hideaway" and " Steppin 'Out " provide for Clapton opportunity to show his musical skills and both are Bluesbreakers classics. The Group's version of Ray Charles' "What I'd Say" is also sublime.

Clapton would also be allowed to step out vocally on Robert Johnson's "Rambling on My Mind" - a very heartfelt and convincing performance - a great track . Mayall 's "Little Girl" is a very personal number that shows that Mayall was able to write modern blues numbers; again a prominent Clapton performance.

The rest of the album is just solid blues, competently performed by a strong line-up with Mayall , Clapton, John McVie and Hughie Flint helped on some tracks by a horn section featuring Alan Skidmore , John Almond and Derek Healey

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