John Mayall Album by Album thread

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Sprocket Henry, Jul 22, 2015.

  1. Zeki

    Zeki Forum Resident

    I believe the thread is still officially on Memories so here goes my take.

    This is John Mayall’s life story, his autobiography from his childhood, three-year stint in the Army (sent to Korea), his return to civilian life and then his decision to dedicate his life to blues music. And it is well thought out and performed.

    Memories: rustic, country-folk. made me think of Ron Wood/Ronnie Lane’s Mahoney s Last Stand or, as I said earlier, Free’s ‘Bodie.’ Starts things off at age 11 and his parent’s divorce.

    Wish I Knew A Woman: A straightforward blues with harp and slide. Fun.

    The City: yet another country blues (Korner is probably having a heart attack). A lyrical snapshot of Mayall as a schoolboy. In the ‘like’ column.

    Home In A Tree: I think I’ll send this song to a friend of mine who lives much of the year in a tree house. Country blues.

    Separate Ways: Apple Music lyrics and song doesn’t match up. Will have to figure this one out later.

    The Fighting Line: This took a second listen before catching my attention. Describes his three year tenure in the Army nd Korea. “I’m the typewriter king, I’d make a damn good clerk.” Friends being killed, I’m sure he was glad to get back alive.

    Grandad: beautiful and sweet.

    Back From Korea: An awkward song, I think. A continuation of his life story so it is interesting in that sense.

    Nobody cares: Dialed down, sounds despondent (as the title suggests). Some nice piano. “Got my blues...something that's my own.”

    Play The Harp: That Bo Diddley thunga-thunga rhythm. Mayall declares what he wants to do with his life.

    overall, very nicely executed. I had never heard this album before so am quite pleased by this discovery. It’s a very solid album and I’ve tentatively marked five tracks for my playlist: Memories ; Wish I Knew A Woman; The Fighting Line; Grandad; and Play The Harp to my playlist.
  2. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    John Mayall ‎– Thru The Years

    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Crocodile Walk 2:14
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* My Baby Is Sweeter 2:59
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Crawling Up A Hill 2:15
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Mama, Talk To Your Daughter 2:58
    Bluesbreakers* Alabama Blues 2:29
    Bluesbreakers* Out Of Reach 4:42
    Bluesbreakers* Greeny 3:54
    Bluesbreakers* Curly 4:50
    Bluesbreakers* Missing You 1:57
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Please Don't Tell 2:26
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Your Funeral And My Trial 3:55
    John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Suspicions (Part 1) 2:47
    John Mayall Knockers Step Forward 3:12
    John Mayall Hide And Seek 2:22

    A1 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Crocodile Walk
    Written-By – Mayall*
    A2 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* My Baby Is Sweeter
    Bass – John McVie
    Drums – Hughie Flint
    Guitar – Roger Dean (2)
    Vocals, Harmonica, Organ – Mayall*
    Written-By – Dixon*
    A3 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Crawling Up A Hill
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Martin Hart
    Guitar – Bernie Watson
    Vocals, Harmonica, Organ – Mayall*
    Written-By – Mayall*
    A4 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Mama, Talk To Your Daughter
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Aynsley Dunbar
    Guitar – Peter Green (2)
    Vocals, Guitar – Mayall*
    Written-By – Lenoir*
    A5 –Bluesbreakers* Alabama Blues
    Vocals, Guitar – Peter*
    Written-By – Lenoir*
    A6 –Bluesbreakers* Out Of Reach
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Aynsley*
    Guitar – Mayall*
    Vocals, Guitar – Peter*
    Written-By – Green*
    A7 –Bluesbreakers* Greeny
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Aynsley*
    Guitar – Peter*
    Written-By – Green*
    B1 –Bluesbreakers* Curly
    Written-By – Green*
    B2 –Bluesbreakers* Missing You
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Aynsley*
    Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar – Peter*
    Written-By – Green*
    B3 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Please Don't Tell
    Written-By – Mayall*
    B4 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Your Funeral And My Trial
    Bass – John*
    Drums – Aynsley*
    Guitar – Peter*
    Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar – Mayall*
    Written-By – Williamson*
    B5 –John Mayall's Bluesbreakers* Suspicions (Part 1)
    Bass – Paul Williams (10)
    Drums – Keef Hartley
    Guitar – Mick Taylor
    Tenor Saxophone – Chris Mercer
    Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith
    Vocals, Guitar – Mayall*
    B6 –John Mayall Knockers Step Forward
    Bass – Tony Reeves
    Drums – Jon Hiseman
    Guitar – Mick*
    Organ – Mayall*
    Tenor Saxophone – Chris*, Dick*
    Trumpet – Henry Lowther
    Written-By – Mayall*, Taylor*
    B7 –John Mayall Hide And Seek
    Bass – Tony*
    Drums – Jon*
    Guitar – Mick*
    Vocals, Harmonica – Mayall*
    Written-By – Mayall*

    After 1969's "Looking Back", Decca released another compilation of non-LP singles and unreleased rarities. All the tracks were recently released as bonus tracks on the album remasters.
  3. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Crocodile Walk: We got a live recording on his first album but this is the studio version. John really sounds like he's not sure of his singing yet. Similar case to Jack Bruce's first vocals with Graham Bond around this time.

    My Baby Is Sweeter: This was apparently unreleased until 1971, it was later appended to the remaster of the debut album, and it says it was recorded in February 1965, so shortly before Clapton joined the band. Nice, spirited shuffle.

    Crawling Up a Hill: John's first single and once again, you can hear the voice not being 100% recognizable yet. Mayall said he did so many takes of it that they were really burnt out by the end. I do like the song and think this frantic version works better than Katie Melua's overly sensitive reading that was a hit a few years later.

    Mama, Talk To Your Daughter: Mayall being the big J.B. Lenoir fan he is, he tackled this song several times over the course of his career. This relatively sparse version later appeared on the remaster of "A Hard Road". I like it but it does sound like an outtake.

    Alabama Blues: From the same sessions, another JB Lenoir song but sung and played solo by Peter Green! One for all the Greeny fans. In fact, with Peter singing and/or leading the session on five tracks from this album, it's almost half a Peter Green album, especially since John's only contribution is a bit of slide guitar in "Out of Reach".

    Out of Reach: Speaking of which, still a haunting blues - one of the most depressed I've heard in the genre. Peter sounds awfully troubled here. Great, but dark.

    Greeny: A nice little instrumental blues shuffle with some subdued B.B. King licks.

    Curly: Another instrumental but I'm less crazy about this one. Kinda Cream-ish.

    Missing You: Peter singing again, and also playing harmonica! I like this.

    Please Don't Tell: Mayall back in the ring and showing the superior harmonica technique (not that PG was bad or anything)

    Your Funeral and My Trial: A somewhat sloppy sounding session, but again with great harp playing.

    Suspicions (Part 1): After Part 2 on Looking Back we now get the first half. I like this horn-laden stomp blues extravaganza with Mayall's voice climbing high, but I'd rather hear both parts in one go.

    Knockers Step Forward: Again with the horns but very much in the R&B tradition until about a minute in where Dick Heckstall-Smith turns the piece inside out. Mick Taylor follows this with a "woman tone" solo. Nice instrumental.

    Hide and Seek: Great pounding shuffle, John's vocals are a bit of a mixed bag though. But great harp and fantastic Clapton-esque playing by Mick Taylor.

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