John Mayall's Bluesbreakerts

Crusade - Decca 1968

Tracks: 1. Oh, Pretty Woman / 2. Stand Back Baby / 3. My Time After Awhile / 4. Snowy Wood / 5. Man of Stone / 6. Tears in My Eyes / 7. Driving Sideways / 8. The Death of J.B. Lenoir / 9. I Can't Quit You Baby / 10. Streamline / 11. Me and My Woman / 12. Checkin' Up On My Baby / 13. Curly* / 14. Rubber Duck* / 15. Greeny* / 16. Missing You* / 17. P?lease Don't Tell* / 18. Your Funeral, My Trial* / 19. Double Trouble* / 20. It Hurts Me Too* / 21. Suspicions 1*/ 22. Suspicions 2*


In his early years with the Bluesbreakers blues veteran John Mayall would present a new guitarist for each new studio album. "Crusade" from 1968 was the third album from John Mayalls Bluesbreakers, and the new young guitar player who had to lift the legacy of Eric Clapton and Peter Green was the later Rolling Stones member Mick Taylor.

"Crusade" is a natural extension of the previous two great blues-rock albums, and apart from the different sound of the three guitarist, the three albums have much in common. Much of the credit for this obviously goes to producer Mike Vernon who produced all Mayall’s early albums. Where "Crusade" may lag slightly behind the two previous albums might be on the songwriting and perhaps also on the vocals. I believe few would claim that Mayall is a great singer, and it was therefore to be welcomed that both Clapton and Green were given some vokal parts. Moreover, Green's contribution to the songwriting in his time not unimportant .

The title "Crusade", refers, according to Mayall, to his wish of raising awareness of the musical genre for which he burned so strongly. For ”Crusade” the band has been expanded to include two saxophone players, which of course help to shape a bigger sound. The use of horns, though, was not new for Mayall who had previously with succes worked with this group of instruments .

Without being quite as profiled as his predecessors Taylor comes out solid with his tight guitar sound, not least on the instrumental "Snowy Wood" and Mayall 's fine original "Tears in My Eyes". Among the other highlights of the album are the opening track "Oh , Pretty Woman" and the delicate version of Willie Dixon's "I Can’t Quit You Babe" .

Some of the other songs are a bit ordinary and some suffers somewhat from flimsy and sometimes strained vocals by Mayall. Therefore it is a welcome addition to the album that it has been expanded with ten bonus tracks , mostly from the period of Peter Green . "Greeny" and "Missing You", both written by Green, are scoops; "Missing You" is sung by Green and the song sounds a lot like early Fleetwood Mac. Also "Curly" was written by Green, and it is an example of Green 's musical vision which went beyond just the traditional blues. The single "Double Trouble" b.w. "It Hurts Me Too” also is a very nice addition to the at album.

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