John Mayall Album by Album thread

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

  1. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    Late to this thread, but A Hard Road is my favourite Mayall album. I don't know what I can add about the sound over what others have already written, but there's something about it that strikes me harder over the Beano album. Yes, that's a harder rocking record, but A Hard Road's got a bluesier vibe IMO, and The Supernatural...wow. Unparalleled and clearly ahead of its time. A Hard Road is a better recorded album, too, at least as it sounds on my mono copy.
     
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  2. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    How would you describe the differences between the mono and stereo?
     
  3. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    Somewhere back in the archives someone put forth the theory that all the UK Decca mono albums from 1967 onwards were fold-downs, based on some pretty thorough examinations. I believe there's something to it. It became apparent that if true, they were engineered to fold-down correctly and sound good. I have most of them (UK Decca monos) through Looking Back and I love 'em in mono. They don't sound like cheap fold-downs at all.
     
  4. EdogawaRampo

    EdogawaRampo Senior Member

    I'm getting ready for work at the moment so I'll have to come back to this, but generally I find the mono more solid and that makes for a more satisfying listen to me. Seems I remember liking the tonality better on the mono as well, but it's been a long time since I've heard the stereo mix of either the Beano album or A Hard Road. Guitarists will probably prefer stereo for the discrete separation, but I think the monos are plenty clear on that score.

    Having said that, I don't think the differences are huge, I just prefer the monos, but for people who love the band either will do I think.
     
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  5. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Has anybody heard the Sundazed mono reissue of A Hard Road?
     
  6. Bullis

    Bullis Forum Resident

    Location:
    Buffalo
    tunes with coco Montoya.
     
  7. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    And you have. :) :thumbsup:.

    Thank you for posting this, it made enjoyable and interesting reading. I'm going to give the album another listen when I'm at a friend's house tomorrow... I think he heard it the once when I played it him some years ago (like many other things he loves Greeny, early 'Mac' and straight through their career along with a lot of music from the era). Each time I play it, it gets better and better. I've probably said that earlier in the thread already but it is true!
     
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  8. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Location:
    Germany
    You're right, there was a lot of fluctuation!

    I'll try to get some more quotes for the next albums but in the meantime, you're all welcome to move on with discussion should you feel so :)
     
  9. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Location:
    Germany
    Some of these line-up changes are funny. Like, Peter didn't like Aynsley so Aynsley was fired, then Peter didn't like Keef either but this time Peter left. Lol. (OK, there was more to it, I shortened some quotes - apaprently PG wanted to go to Chicago but this didn't materialize.)
     
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  10. cdb3

    cdb3 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milton Keynes, UK
    An interesting thread, even if the chronological element has become a bit haphazard.

    My memory of the Beano album was waiting for what seemed like weeks and weeks for it to arrive in the shop. For those who weren't around then you need to imagine how marginal this sort of music was - just snippets in the music press that was more oriented to pop. So we had no idea when this was going to come out - we had just picked up that it was coming. And when it did arrive it was such a powerful record - there really was nothing much like it from British musicians (and supposedly Hendrix picked up on it in the States).

    As an aside from Mayall but relevant to Clapton's coming and going in the period is What's Shakin', fronted by recordings by Lovin' Spoonful for Elektra but also containing Clapton's first collaboration with Steve Winwood. The Clapton tracks were recorded in early 1966 and I presume he must have been already thinking about leaving Mayall. The Powerhouse were Clapton, Winwood (vocals), Jack Bruce, Ben Palmer, and Paul Jones (harmonica).
    Clive


    [​IMG]
     
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  11. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    I'm surprised there's not more traffic on this thread as these albums are so great and the run from Beano to Canyon (including Blues Alone) rivals any other act especially with all the line-up changes.

    Anyway. I just bought the Sundazed mono cds of Road and Crusade for a tenner each which is good for those in the UK.
    I'd obviously love them or the mono originals on vinyl but that's a bit rich for me!
     
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  12. NumberEight

    NumberEight Came too late and stayed too long

    From Beano To Canyon: great title for a retrospective. Or maybe a novel.
     
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  13. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Location:
    Germany
    Me too! :shrug:
     
  14. pbuzby

    pbuzby Senior Member

    Location:
    Chicago, IL, US
    I found Back to the Roots at a thrift recently. Some good Clapton and Mick Taylor.
     
  15. luckyno13

    luckyno13 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Received my Sundazed mono cds of Hard Road and Crusade today and they sound great.

    As EdogawaRampo said, the mono mixes are more solid. Everything feels more cohesive when there isn't that strange stereo spread so prevalent at that time. The band sounds tougher.

    In the digipack, behind each cd, Sundazed show the front of each Decca mono master tape box.
    This and comparison with the stereo mixes switched to mono, suggests to me that neither of these monos are fold-downs though it's quite possible that mono vinyl (re)pressings of the time were fold-downs from the stereo version especially in the case of Crusade.
     
  16. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Location:
    Germany
    This thread's like a slow train crawling up a hill...

    Ever since the Gorts implemented the (IMO unnecessary) rule of locking every thread that hasn't been active for some months, this thread is in constant danger of being locked before we even reach the 70s. Would be good if we set up some standard like posting at least one album per month...

    I can do The Turning Point but we've still got some ways to go until we reach that, um, point.
     
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  17. Sprocket Henry

    Sprocket Henry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Since I started this thread I think I need to take on a bit of responsibility and kick it along. I should have a quiet evening later this week so we can continue the steep climb through the discography. :)
     
  18. Sprocket Henry

    Sprocket Henry Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Righto, cobbers - let's get this rolling again. :wiggle: Again, my apologies for dropping the ball for a while there...a shame if we can't make it through to the mid-1970's 'funk years' at the very least.

    John Mayall - The Blues Alone (1967)
    Ace Of Clubs (subsidiary of Decca)

    Recorded May 1, 1967 at Decca Studios in West Hampstead.

    [​IMG]

    1. Brand New Start
    2. Please Don't Tell
    3. Down the Line
    4. Sonny Boy Blow
    5. Marsha's Mood
    6. No More Tears
    7. Catch That Train
    8. Cancelling Out
    9. Harp Man
    10. Brown Sugar
    11. Broken Wings
    12. Don't Kick Me

    JM: vocals, guitars (6- and 9-string), harmonica, piano, organ, celeste (track 9), drums (tracks 1, 5)
    Keef Hartley – drums (tracks 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12)

    Notes via Wikipedia:

    On this album he chose to record all the parts himself with the exception of percussion, which was provided by longtime collaborator Keef Hartley.

    The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by John Mayall. Sleeve notes, including track notes, were written by noted DJ John Peel. The following quote is of interest regarding the album concept.

    "I was featuring his LP A Hard Road on the air and was amazed that, in addition to writing 8 of the 12 numbers on the record, playing 5 [sic] and 9 string guitar, organ, piano, harmonica and singing, he had written the sleeve notes and painted the portrait of the group on the front cover.With this new LP he has carried all of this to its logical conclusion and has produced a record featuring no other musician than himself except for the occasional aid of his drummer Keef Hartley."

    ----------------------------

    A fine spartan album, this one. First time I've dug it out in ages. Quite a bit of blues-for-blues-sake padding here and there, but there's some excellent material and performances - "Brand New Start", "Sonny Boy Blow", "Broken Wings", "Don't Kick Me".

    Discuss!

    Later, Mick Taylor enters the fold:
    John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers - Crusade (1967)




     
  19. kollektionist

    kollektionist Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    Needless to say it's tough to follow up classic albums like the ' Beano' and 'Hard Road'. Blues Alone is a step down and I don't think he'll ever reach the heights of those two classics again, but it's not all downhill from here. Blues Alone is a transitional album and soon more highlights will follow ! It's a shame great line-ups with people like Clapton and Green only recorded one album but more talent is on its way !
     
  20. OneStepBeyond

    OneStepBeyond Nuttier than a Snickers bar

    I've been continuing to pick his albums up, sort of randomly. :)

    I got this a few months ago or so and listened to it on headphones first; I don't know if that would be the best way to approach it because that way it certainly came across quite raw and maybe rather rough also - like home demos for the most part. Which I found very interesting! Some may find it a bit too distracting unless they play it on speakers. Personally, I don't mind things like wide stereo for a time but will end up usually going for the mono if possible.

    Anyway - I got really into it quite a bit, playing it again a couple of days later and once again soon after that. In fact, I've only heard it on headphones so far, I don't know completely why but maybe it's that I like to 'immerse' myself in something like this. With so much music I buy regularly, that's pretty good going for me - playing it more than twice in the same week.

    He pours his heart out on a lot of tracks here but doesn't he always?? That's why his music draws us in. :righton:
     
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  21. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Turning point is my favorite.....but so many, tough choice.
     
  22. kollektionist

    kollektionist Forum Resident

    Location:
    EU
    Well, we're not quite there yet !
     
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  23. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    Oh, I know..
     
  24. JulesRules

    JulesRules Operational, partially functional

    Location:
    Germany
    Only two more albums between, I think!
     
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  25. Mike Campbell

    Mike Campbell Forum Resident

    Location:
    Minnesota, USA
    sorry for jumping the gun. hadn't had my coffee yet.
     
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