John Mayall Album by Album thread

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

  1. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Manfred is an amazing musician. Few keyboard players can get to me like he does. Pity his perfectionism has gotten in the way for the last ca. thirty years, as far as studio releases are concerned (the band are still fantastic live). But the MMEB albums up to Somewhere in Afrika are almost all stellar, IMO. I had similar reservations but I eventually ended up buying the box set with all the Earth Band albums and I haven't regretted it. I'm still missing out on some of the rarities but the classic albums are, well, classic. The Roaring Silence is my 2nd favourite after WATCH, by the way. Sorry for getting offtopic :)
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  2. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    I'm just as guilty... :shh: just a quick reply; I did have Watch as well and thought that's a good album. I'm going to look into the box set.
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  3. jhw59

    jhw59 Forum Resident

    Rehoboth Beach DE.
    I always thought Hughie Flint was the weak link in this version of the Bluesbreakers.
  4. rgutter

    rgutter Forum Resident

    Since we're on the Bluesbreakers' 1965, I have to single out this great live track - a Clapton showcase - first released on Looking Back (1969):

    (Ignore the wrong year cited in the video title.)

    The first side of Primal Solos (1977) contain more of this show (and very little Clapton), but not "Stormy Monday". I think the 2006 double CD Beano includes them all.
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  5. Tuco

    Tuco Senior Member

    Pacific NW, USA
    That version of Stormy Monday is some of my favorite Clapton. So much energy! Fluid, yet aggressive and sizzling. Oh to have been at that place at that time.

    (Mayall's vocals there at the end are pretty cool as well.)
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  6. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Richmond, Virginia

    this is the one with jack bruce on bass right?
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  7. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    The World of John Mayall was one of my first LPs, and I can tell you that there is not much vinyl left in those grooves (due to lots of playing and the terrible record player I had at the time). It has tracks from the early albums. I obtained several more of his albums after this (and may comment when they come up on this thread, am currently listening to A Hard Road).

    I didn't get to hear the Clapton/Bluesbreakers album until last year. Some of the tracks are on the World Of.... I was not expecting the power and consistency on this album. Given the impact it had on me last year, I can now fully appreciate the impact it had when released and the reputation it now holds.
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  8. rgutter

    rgutter Forum Resident

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  9. Matthew Tate

    Matthew Tate Forum Resident

    Richmond, Virginia
    great stuff
  10. fmfxray373

    fmfxray373 Avatar Of Aspersions

    san diego
    I think the 70th Birthday Party 2CD live concert is the best of his more "recent" stuff. Clapton, Taylor, Chris Barber and Wittington are all great.
    Everything from A Hard Road through Jazz Blues Fusion is pretty great.
    Don't forget Blues Alone either. Beano is just not my cup of tea but you can't leave it out.
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  11. vanhooserd

    vanhooserd Senior Member

    Crusade is my favorite Mayall album. It's just a very good combination of tunes, rhythm section, horns & the awesomely smooth 18-year-old Mick Taylor. It's also an album I bought in a small department store c. 1968, before I had heard the records with Clapton & Green.
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  12. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Attempting to revive this thread with a few more words about the Mayall/Clapton album and the transition to the next one, "A Hard Road" with Peter Green on guitar...

    1) Early years → the “Beano” album: See above
    2) The “Beano” album → A Hard Road

    Although heavily rooted in electric Chicago post-war blues, it is Mayall’s introduction of the Hammond organ that gives the album a uniquely British slant. This instrument was foreign to just about all Chicago blues recordings. Interestingly; B.B. King replaced the piano with a Hammond organ in his band at around the same time [e.g. the ”Blues is King” album].

    After Ginger Baker had sat in with the band, he talked to Eric about forming a band, for which Clapton suggested Jack Bruce as a bass player. They tried to keep everything secret for as long as possible. When it was clear that Clapton would leave, Mayall turned to Peter Green.

    According to Mayall, it wasn't all that easy to lure Green back, because he was still angry at having been dismissed when Clapton had returned from Greece. [...] At the same time, Green had had an offer from Eric Burdon to join the New Animals and go on tour in America.

    At just 19, Green wasn’t just a fluent guitarist with a fascinating combination of blazing intensity and remarkable restraint, but also a great blues singer. Bluesbreakers’ later bassist Keith Tillman recalls that Green was also a very able harp player long before he joined Mayalls band, good enough to have worked out note-for-note “Juke”, Little Walter’s signature song.

    Hughie Flint left and John McVie was fired for drinking once again. The new rhythm section, Micky Waller and Steve Usher, lasted only a very short time.

    The first recording with Peter Green was the single “Looking Back”/”So Many Roads”. Green wasn’t happy with his performance on “Looking Back” (incidentally another song later covered by Gary Moore) and said that he felt he’d overplayed.

    Immediately after the recording, Mayall came close to losing Dunbar to a young, unknown American guitarist named Jimi Hendrix.

    Outtakes from the “Hard Road” sessions: “Sitting in the Rain” and “Out of Reach”.


    “I realize I don't have a black bluesman’s voice. But you work with what you’ve got. As long as I can get the emotion out and sing in tune, that's what I aim for, but I think I'm not always accurate, certainly in a live situation where you get carried away with the intensity of the music. So sometimes if you hear a tape, there's quite a few notes that you wish would be a little bit better in tune. But it is the emotion, really, that is most important.” – John Mayall about his singing in general

    “Unfortunately, the version found everywhere now is the stereo one. It was made as a mono record so that’s the best way it should sound” – John Mayall about the Bluesbreakers album

    “I behaved very badly, didn’t even show up to gigs sometimes. But John always forgave me. Perhaps he fined me once or twice. But I got away with it.” – Eric Clapton

    “John and I were sat in his back garden and when John read this, he was very displeased, he even went ballistic and erupted with violent fury, quoting from the paper that ‘Clapton, Bruce and Baker are rehearsing the new group in an anonymous church hall.’”- Hughie Flint

    “In my opinion, Eric Clapton is the greatest blues guitar player who ever walked on earth” – John Mayall about Eric Clapton

    "Peter's character was very pushy, and he was determined to prove himself. […] He had an aggressive attack in a good way. […] Peter was a lot easier and more reliable to play with than Eric had been.” – John Mayall about Peter Green

    “I just wish people would stop comparing me with Eric. I’d just like them to accept me as Peter Green, not ‘Clapton’s Replacement’.”- Peter Green

    “I didn’t remember anyone heckling or booing then or anything like that. Peter came in and did the job very well.” – Hughie Flint

    “Mayall called me up and said, ‘I was wondering if you’d come down and sit in with my band.’ I didn’t know who the hell John Mayall was, so I asked my wife, and she said she thought he was a country & western singer. Oh no! But he was nice enough to call me, so I thought I’d go down and listen to him.” –Aynsley Dunbar

    “We got Aynsley Dunbar when Peter was really beginning to find his feet, and because he was such an aggressive guitarist, we need e a more aggressive approach on the drums.” –John Mayall

    “High on the list of English blues fanatics was a musician named John Mayall, who trailed me home one night after he’d come down to check out one of Alexis Korner’s rehearsals. He had a Chicago blues singer named Eddie Boyd with him, who was doing some recordings with John’s band, the Bluesbreakers. I’d never heard of either of them, but John seemed pleasant enough and I was relieved he’d come to my door, because I needed to replace a light bulb and wasn’t quite tall enough. John was a bear of an Englishman, a modern, eccentric Thoreau. He wore buckskin clothes that he designed and stitched up on his sewing machine. […] John did everything, made everything, and was everybody to himself. […] He was stubborn and I was wilful and I don’t expect either of us was in love or had delusions about our affair lasting. He was an extraordinary collector of things and thought I was right for his collection. […] I know he wrote a few of the songs [for his solo album “The Blues Alone”] for me or about me, ‘Brown Sugar’, ‘Brand New Start’ and ‘Marsha’s Mood’. […] To have the opportunity of seeing how he wrote songs, managed his band and kept his eye on every aspect of the business was like taking a course […]. Sometimes he would come back from a week on the road with a hunger to see movies. He’d get out the newspaper and plot a movie marathon that would mean wed see three movies in one day, four if I was unlucky. I’d be bonkers by the time I came out of the last cinema.” –Marsha Hunt
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  13. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    Became a fan in 1969 when I went to work in a record store. First album was Blues from Laurel Canyon, and then I went forward and back from there.

    Saw him at the Whisky that same year in his "drumless" period; a great show.

    I'd say I was mildly obsessed with him for a year or two, bought everything from the Clapton album up through U.S.A. Union, then got distracted into other things. Also left the record store in 1972 and thus stopped buying so much.

    I let most of my record collection go in 1973 when I moved back to L.A. from Omaha, but I have since replaced the six 1966-1969 albums on CD, excepting The Blues Alone and Looking Back; I never had the Diary of a Band live recordings.

    Around the same time, I was a big fan of Van Morrison and Jackie Lomax; guess I was into weird voices or something . . .
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  14. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Thanks for your contributions. I hope we'll reach Laurel Canyon & Turning Point at some, er, point,--- ;)
  15. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    Bobby Bland used one here and there a few years earlier. "Two Steps from the Blues" came instantly to mind.

    Not I. Not ever.

    Revealing. I was aware of Mayall's propensity for making his own . . . clothes, guitars, etc.
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  16. Millington

    Millington Forum Resident

    I would not bother it was all downhill when he left Decca
  17. While his early period is highly regarded by most, I also like his later stuff. There were a few weaker albums here and there, but I can find something enjoyable on most of his albums. I also like his early 70's stuff up until around mid-seventies quite a bit. I think I own most of his albums, maybe missing a couple or so.
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  18. "Turning Point" wasn't on Decca, was it? I thought it was on Polydor. Wouldn't call that downhill by any stretch of the imagination.
  19. BKarloff

    BKarloff Forum Resident

    I am afraid I have to strongly disagree with this. If you dig hard enough some of Mayall's best albums are to be found in the 70s and beyond. Try the excellent 'Blues Jazz Fusion' as a starting point and then 'Moving On' both of which are superb. Mayall always surrounded himself with the finest musicians and gave them room to breathe. The playing of Blue Mitchell, Clifford Solomon, Freddy Robinson and Red Holloway on these albums is exemplary.

    Another good album is Memories which contains very personal lyrics that are quite moving in places, and features some brilliant acoustic guitar work from Gerry McGee. One of my favourite Mayall albums is 'A Hard Core Package' from 1976 which is just a great album from start to finish with excellent songwriting and fine playing.

    Fast forward to 1990 and then check out 'A Sense Of Place.' Another very strong album.

    So things were far from downhill after Decca and these albums are all well worth checking out.
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  20. Raunchnroll

    Raunchnroll Senior Member

    I was speaking of late 70's albums. His early to mid 70's while on Polydor is pretty good stuff.
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  21. Millington

    Millington Forum Resident

    Already checked them out, thanks.
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  22. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    I think the timing was a bit unfortunate, as the "Beano" album had just been released, and then people went and saw a new guitarist on stage. You can't really blame people for comparing PG for EC, since Clapton had been a main attraction and the reason a lot of fans became aware of the Bluesbreakers in the first place.
    DTK likes this.
  23. belardd

    belardd Senior Member

    Fort Worth TX
    I've always wondered... is an expanded Turning Point release possible?
  24. You mean a 2-CD set?

    There is already an expanded single CD remaster available with 3 extra songs.
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  25. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Forum Resident

    I did compare PG to EC. My assessment was favorable to PG.
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