Sunday, August 4, 2013

As It All Began...The Best of John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers 1964-1969

John Mayall, OBE (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, guitarist, organist and songwriter, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has included some of the most famous blues and blues rock musicians. They include Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, Don "Sugarcane" Harris, Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor, Aynsley Dunbar, Hughie Flint, Jon Hiseman, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser, Dave Navarro, Johnny Almond, Walter Trout, Coco Montoya and Buddy Whittington.

Born in Macclesfield, Cheshire in 1933, Mayall's father was Murray Mayall, a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast. From an early age, John was drawn to the sounds of American blues players such as Lead Belly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.

The band that would evolve to the Bluesbreakers in 1965 was formed in January 1963 and became an ever-evolving lineup of more than 100 different combinations of musicians performing under that name. Eric Clapton joined in April 1965 just a few months after the release of their first album. Clapton brought guitar-led blues influences to the forefront of the group; he had left The Yardbirds in order to concentrate on the blues.

"The Father of British Blues" himself chose and annotated the 20 tracks that comprise this look at his early years, and when you consider Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Paul Butterfield, Mick Fleetwood and Mick Taylor all passed through the band during this era, the honorific is well-earned!

 1. Crawling Up A Hill
 2. Mr. James
 3. Heartache
 4. Crocodile Walk
 5. Blues City Shake Down
 6. Lonely Years
 7. Bernard Jenkins
 8. All Your Love
 9. Parchman Farm
10. Looking Back
11. A Hard Road
12. Eagle Eye
13. Double Trouble
14. Broken Wings
15. The Death Of J.B. Lenoir
16. Me And My Woman
17. Suspicions
18. Picture On The Wall
19. Miss James
20. Start Walkin'

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