John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

John Mayall is an English guitarist and bandleader who led multiple lineups of the Bluesbreakers. They released four albums between 1966 and 1968 on Decca. The Bluesbreakers served as a launch pad for members of Cream, Fleetwood Mac, Colosseum, and Mark–Almond.

Members: John Mayall (vocals, organ, piano, harmonica, guitar), John McVie (bass, 1963-65, 1965-67), Bernie Watson (guitar, 1963), Hughie Flint (drums, 1963-66), Roger Dean (guitar, 1963-65), Eric Clapton (lead guitar, vocals, 1965-66), Jack Bruce (bass, 1965), Peter Green (lead guitar, vocals, 1966-67), Aynsley Dunbar (drums, 1966-67), Mick Fleetwood (drums, 1967), Mick Taylor (lead guitar, 1967-69), Keef Hartley (drums, 1967-68), Chris Mercer (saxophone, 1967-68), Rip Kant (tenor saxophone, 1967), Paul Williams (bass, 1967), Keith Tillman (bass, 1967), Andy Fraser (bass, 1967-68), Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone, 1967-68), Jon Hiseman (drums, 1968), Tony Reeves (bass, 1968), Henry Lowther (cornet, violin, 1968), Stephen Thompson (bass, 1968-69), Colin Allen (drums, 1968), Jon Mark (guitar, 1969-70), Johnny Almond (saxophone, flute, 1969)


John Mayall Plays John Mayall

John Mayall released his debut long-player, John Mayall Plays John Mayall, on March 25, 1965, on Decca. It’s a live album recorded on December 7, 1964, at Klooks Kleek Club in West Hampstead, London. The tracklist features nine originals and covers of hits by Brenda Holloway (“When I’m Gone”), Little Richard (“Lucille”), and Jimmy Forrest (“Night Train”).

1. “Crawling Up a Hill” – 2:21
2. “I Wanna Teach You Everything” – 3:05
3. “When I’m Gone” (Smokey Robinson) – 3:08
4. “I Need Your Love” (Walter Spriggs, Willie Spriggs) – 4:08
5. “The Hoot Owl” – 2:35
6. “R&B Time”
   
a) “Night Train” (Jimmy Forrest, Lewis C. Simpkins, Oscar Washington)
    b) “Lucille” (Al Collins, Richard Penniman) – 2:15

7. “Crocodile Walk” – 2:26
8. “What’s the Matter with You” – 2:34
9. “Doreen” – 2:46
10. “Runaway” – 2:25
11. “Heartache” – 2:57
12. “Chicago Line” – 4:10

John Mayall – vocals, harmonica, “cembalett” (Cembalet electric piano), organ, 9-string guitar
Roger Dean – guitar
John McVie – bass guitar
Hughie Flint – drums

Nigel Stanger – tenor saxophone, slide saxophone
Producer Tony Clarke


Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers released their self-titled debut studio album, known at large as Blues Breakers With Eric Clapton, on July 22, 1966, on Decca.

1. “All Your Love” Otis Rush 3:33
2. “Hideaway” (instrumental) Freddie King, Sonny Thompson 3:15
3. “Little Girl” Mayall 2:35
4. “Another Man” Mayall 1:45
5. “Double Crossing Time” Eric Clapton, Mayall 3:02
6. “What’d I Say” Ray Charles 4:25

7. “Key to Love” Mayall 2:06
8. “Parchman Farm” Mose Allison 2:20
9. “Have You Heard” Mayall 5:55
10. “Ramblin’ On My Mind” (Clapton on vocals) Robert Johnson 3:07
11. “Steppin’ Out” (instrumental) L.C. Fraiser a.k.a. Memphis Slim 2:30
12. “It Ain’t Right” Walter Jacobs a.k.a. Little Walter 2:40)

Recorded May 1966
Studio Decca, London
Producer Mike Vernon
Gus Dudgeon – engineer

John Mayall – vocals, piano, organ, harmonica
Eric Clapton – guitar, vocals on “Ramblin’ on My Mind”
John McVie – bass guitar
Hughie Flint – drums

Horn section on tracks 7, 9, 11
Alan Skidmore – tenor saxophone
Johnny Almond – baritone saxophone (also on track 5)
Derek Healey – trumpet

UK (UK Album Chart) 6


A Hard Road

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers released their second studio album, A Hard Road, on February 17, 1967, on Decca.

1. “A Hard Road” – 3:12
2. “It’s Over” – 2:51
3. “You Don’t Love Me” (Willie Cobbs) – 2:50
4. “The Stumble” (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson) – 2:54
5. “Another Kinda Love” – 3:06
6. “Hit the Highway” – 2:17
7. “Leaping Christine” – 2:25

8. “Dust My Blues” (Elmore James, Joe Josea) – 2:50
9. “There’s Always Work” – 1:38
10. “The Same Way” (Peter Green) – 2:11
11. “The Supernatural” (Green) – 2:57
12. “Top of the Hill” – 2:40
13. “Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry)” (King, Thompson) – 3:02
14. “Living Alone” – 2:23)

Recorded 11, 12, 19 & 24 October; 11 November 1966
Studio Decca Studios, London
Produced by Mike Vernon
Recording Engineer: Gus Dudgeon

John Mayall – vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, organ
Peter Green – guitar, vocals
John McVie – bass
Hughie Flint, Aynsley Dunbar – drums

John Almond, Alan Skidmore – saxophones
Ray Warleigh – wind instruments


The Blues Alone

In November 1967, John Mayall released The Blues Alone, a 40-minute solo album recorded live on May 1 at Decca Studios. It features twelve originals self-performed by Mayall on piano, organ, harmonica, and six- and nine-string guitars. He’s backed on eight numbers by drummer Keef Hartley.

1. “Brand New Start” (3:27)
2. “Please Don’t Tell” (2:33)
3. “Down the Line” (3:44)
4. “Sonny Boy Blow” (3:50)
5. “Marsha’s Mood” (3:15)
6. “No More Tears” (3:12)

7. “Catch That Train” (2:19)
8. “Cancelling Out” (4:20)
9. “Harp Man” (2:44)
10. “Brown Sugar” (3:44)
11. “Broken Wings” (4:16)
12. “Don’t Kick Me” (3:11)

Mayall co-produced The Blues Alone with Mike Vernon.


Crusade

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers released their third studio album, Crusade, on September 1, 1967, on Decca.

1. “Oh, Pretty Woman” (A. C. Williams) – 3:40
2. “Stand Back Baby” – 1:50
3. “My Time After Awhile” (Ron Badger, Sheldon Feinberg, Robert Geddins) – 5:15
4. “Snowy Wood” (Mayall, Mick Taylor) – 3:41
5. “Man of Stone” (Eddie Kirkland) – 2:29
6. “Tears in My Eyes” – 4:20
7. “Driving Sideways” (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson) – 4:03
8. “The Death of J. B. Lenoir” – 4:27
9. “I Can’t Quit You Baby” (Willie Dixon) – 4:35
10. “Streamline” – 3:19
11. “Me and My Woman” (Gene Barge) – 4:05
12. “Checkin’ Up on My Baby” (Sonny Boy Williamson II) – 3:59)

Recorded 12 July 1967
Studio Decca West Hampstead Studios, London
Producer Mike Vernon

John Mayall – vocals, organ, piano, harmonica, bottleneck guitar
Mick Taylor – lead guitar
John McVie – bass guitar
Keef Hartley – drums


Bare Wires

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers released their fourth studio album, Bare Wires, on June 21, 1968, on Decca.

1. “Bare Wires” 1:25
2. “Where Did I Belong” 3:05
3. “I Started Walking” 2:20
4. “Open Up a New Door” 3:00
5. “Fire” 3:45
6. “I Know Now” 5:35
7. “Look in the Mirror” 2:51

8. “I’m a Stranger” 5:14
9. “No Reply” (Mayall, Mick Taylor) 3:09
10. “Hartley Quits” (Taylor) 2:55
11. “Killing Time” 4:48
12. “She’s Too Young” 2:22
13. “Sandy” 3:50)

Recorded 3, 9, 24 and 30 April 1968
Studio Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, England
Producer Mike Vernon, John Mayall
Derek Varnals – engineer

John Mayall – vocals, harmonica, piano, harpsichord, organ, harmonium, guitar

Mick Taylor – lead guitar, Hawaiian guitar
Chris Mercer – tenor, baritone saxophone
Dick Heckstall-Smith – tenor, soprano saxophone
Jon Hiseman – drums, percussion
Henry Lowther – cornet, violin
Tony Reeves – string bass, bass guitar

Pete Smith, Jan Persson – photography

France (InfoDisc) 1
UK (The Official Charts Company) 3
Norway (VG-lista) 9


Blues from Laurel Canyon

John Mayall released his first solo studio album, Blues from Laurel Canyon, in November 1968 on Decca (UK) and London Records (US).

1. “Vacation” – 2:47
2. “Walking on Sunset” – 2:50
3. “Laurel Canyon Home” – 4:33
4. “2401” – 3:42
5. “Ready to Ride” – 3:32
6. “Medicine Man” – 2:43
7. “Somebody’s Acting Like a Child” – 3:27
8. “The Bear” – 4:40
9. “Miss James” – 2:30
10. “First Time Alone” – 4:49
11. “Long Gone Midnight” – 3:27
12. “Fly Tomorrow” – 9:00)

Recorded 26–28 August 1968
Studio Decca Studios, London
Producer Mike Vernon, John Mayall
Derek Varnals – engineer
Adrian Martins – assistant engineer

John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals, artwork, design

Mick Taylor – guitar, pedal steel guitar
Colin Allen – drums, tabla
Steve Thompson – bass guitar
Peter Green – guitar on “First Time Alone”

Dominique Tarlé, Stephen C. LaVere, Rob Bosboom – photography


The Turning Point

In October 1969, John Mayall released The Turning Point, a live solo album recorded on July 12 at the Fillmore East in New York City. He’s backed on the 47-minute Polydor release by three-pieced band that includes bassist Steve Thompson, who co-wrote “California” and “Thoughts About Roxanne.”

1. “The Laws Must Change” (7:21)
2. “Saw Mill Gulch Road” (4:39)
3. “I’m Gonna Fight for You J.B.” (5:27)
4. “So Hard To Share” (7:05)

5. “California” (9:30)
6. “Thoughts About Roxanne” (8:20)
7. “Room to Move” (5:03)

John Almond – flute, saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, mouth percussion
Jon Mark – acoustic guitar
John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, tambourine, vocals, slide guitar, mouth percussion
Steve Thompson – bass guitar

Bob Gordon – photography
Suha Gur – mastering
Eddie Kramer – engineer, audio engineer
Bill Levenson – reissue producer
John Mayall – liner notes, artwork, art direction, design, photography, audio production, telecaster
Monique McGuffin – production coordination

Neil Slaven – liner notes
Tapani Tapanainen – photography
Chris Welch – liner notes
Barry Wentzell – photography
Zill – photography


Empty Rooms

John Mayall released his second solo studio album, Empty Rooms, in March 1970 in Polydor.

1. “Don’t Waste My Time” (Steve Thompson, Mayall) – 3:10
2. “Plan Your Revolution” – 2:38
3. “Don’t Pick a Flower” (Jon Mark, Mayall) – 3:53
4. “Something New” (Jon Mark, Mayall) – 4:40
5. “People Cling Together” – 2:53
6. “Waiting for the Right Time” (Jon Mark, Mayall) – 5:36
7. “Thinking of My Woman” – 2:29
8. “Counting the Days” – 5:33
9. “When I Go” – 4:46
10. “Many Miles Apart” – 2:56
11. “To a Princess” – 3:34
12. “Lying in My Bed” – 4:21

Studio De Lane Lea Studios, London; Advision Studios, London; Broadway Recording Studios, New York; Larrabee Sound Studios, Hollywood
Produced by John Mayall
Barry Ainsworth, Eddie Kramer, Eddy Offord, John Judnich – engineer

John Mayall – vocals, harmonica, lead and 12-string guitars, bass Moog synthesizer
Jon Mark – finger-style and 12-string guitar
Johnny Almond – saxophone, flute
Larry Taylor – bass
Steve Thompson – bass

Bob Gordon, Kevin McCarthy – photography

Australia (Kent Music Report) 6
United Kingdom (Official Charts Company) 9


USA Union

John Mayall released his third solo studio album, USA Union, in October 1970 on Polydor.

1. “Nature’s Disappearing” (5:58)
2. “You Must Be Crazy” (3:58)
3. “Night Flyer” (5:36)
4. “Off the Road” (2:51)
5. “Possessive Emotions” (5:22)
6. “Where Did My Legs Go” (3:48)
7. “Took the Car” (4:11)
8. “Crying” (6:30)
9. “My Pretty Girl” (4:24)
10. “Deep Blue Sea” (5:06)

Studio Larrabee Studio, Los Angeles, United States

Don “Sugarcane” Harris – violin
Harvey Mandel – guitar
John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, vocals
Larry Taylor – bass guitar

Production
Leonard Feather – liner notes
Charles Fulcher – composer
Bob Gordon – photography
John Judnich – engineer
Tapani Tapanainen – photography
Nancy Throckmorton – photography


Back to the Roots

John Mayall released the double-album Back to the Roots in March 1971 on Polydor.

Side A
1. “Prisons on the Road” (4:18)
2. “My Children” (5:10)
3. “Accidental Suicide” (6:17)
4. “Groupie Girl” (3:53)
5. “Blue Fox” (instrumental) (3:43)

Side B
6. “Home Again” (4:56)
7. “Television Eye” (7:32)
8. “Marriage Madness” (3:36)
9. “Looking at Tomorrow” (6:57)

Side C
10. “Dream with Me” (5:21)
11. “Full Speed Ahead” (5:21)
12. “Mr. Censor Man” (4:44)
13. “Force of Nature” (6:34)
14. “Boogie Albert” (instrumental) (2:15)

Side D
15. “Goodbye, December” (5:24)
16. “Unanswered Questions” (4:42)
17. “Devil’s Tricks” (7:45)
18. “Travelling” (4:42)

Recorded 15–25 November 1970
Studio Larrabee Sound Studios; IBC Studios, London
Producer John Mayall
Damon Lee-Shaw, John Judnich – engineer

John Mayall – guitar (on A3, B2, B4, C1, D1, D4), harmonica, piano, keyboards, vocals, artwork, illustration, design, photography
Johnny Almond – bass flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone
Eric Clapton – guitar (on A1, A3, B1, B4, C4, D1)
Keef Hartley – drums
Paul Lagos – drums
Harvey Mandel – guitar (on A2, A3, A4, B2, C1, C4, D1, D2)
Jerry McGee – guitar (on A5, D3)
Larry Taylor – bass
Mick Taylor – guitar (on A3, B3, C2, C3, C4, D3)
Steve Thompson – bass (on C2)
Don “Sugarcane” Harris – violin

Barrie Wentzell, Dominique Tarlé, Gered Mankowitz, Nancy Throckmorton – photography


Return of the Bluesbreakers (1985 • John Mayall)


Chicago Line (1988)


Discography:

  • Blues Breakers (1966 • John Mayall With Eric Clapton)
  • A Hard Road (1967)
  • Crusade (1967)
  • Bare Wires (1968)
  • Return of the Bluesbreakers (1985 • John Mayall)
  • Chicago Line (1988)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *