Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton

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Blues Breakers
Studio album by John Mayall With Eric Clapton
Released 22 July 1966[1]
Recorded March 1966 at Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London, England[2]
Genre Blues rock, Electric blues, Chicago blues, harmonica blues [3]
Length 37:39
Label Decca (UK)
London (US)
Producer Mike Vernon
John Mayall chronology
John Mayall Plays John Mayall
(1965)
Blues Breakers
(1966)
A Hard Road
(1967)
Eric Clapton chronology
Having a Rave Up with The Yardbirds
(1965)
Blues Breakers
(1966)
Fresh Cream by Cream
(1966)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[4]
About.com 5/5 stars[5]

Blues Breakers is a blues LP of 1966, the first studio album and the second overall credited to John Mayall who teamed up for the first time in a studio release with ex-Yardbird young Eric Clapton (their next and last time will be for 6 tracks of 1971's double LP "Back to the Roots").

It is also known as Beano because of its cover photograph showing Clapton reading The Beano,[6] a British children's comic. Clapton stated in his autobiography that he was reading Beano on the cover as he felt like being "uncooperative" during the photo shoot.[2]

Background[edit]

Originally, John Mayall intended for his second album to be also a live one in order to capture the guitar solos performed by Eric Clapton. A set was recorded at the Flamingo Club, with Jack Bruce (with whom Clapton would subsequently work in Cream) on bass. The recordings of the concert, however, were of bad quality and were scrapped.[7]

Recording[edit]

With the original plan of a live album now discarded, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers recorded Blues Breakers at Decca Studios, West Hampstead, London in March 1966. The guitar that Eric Clapton used during these sessions was a sunburst 1960 Gibson Les Paul Standard with two PAF humbucking pickups. This guitar (whose current whereabouts remains unknown since being stolen in 1966)[8] is also called the "Blues Breaker" or "Beano" Les Paul and a replica of which was reissued by Gibson in 2012.[8] Critics consider Clapton's guitar tone and playing on this album to be influential in the artistic and commercial development of rock-styled guitar playing.[9]

The band on this album includes Mayall on piano, Hammond organ, harmonica and most vocals; bassist John McVie; drummer Hughie Flint; and Clapton. Augmenting the band on this album was a horn section added during post-production[citation needed], with Alan Skidmore, Johnny Almond, and Derek Healey (misrepresented on the sleeve as 'Dennis Healey').

Songs and song styles[edit]

The album consists of blues standards by long-established artists such as Otis Rush, Freddie King and Robert Johnson, as well as a few originals penned by Mayall and Clapton. Most tracks serve as a showcase for the young Clapton's playing. Although he sang on several Yardbirds' recordings, "Ramblin' on My Mind" was Clapton's first recorded solo lead vocal performance, which Eric had been reluctant to record.[2]

Legacy[edit]

In 2003, the album was ranked number 195 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[10]

Apart from being one of the most influential blues albums, it also started the now-legendary combination of a Gibson Les Paul guitar through an overdriven Marshall Bluesbreaker amplifier.[6]

Track listing[edit]

Original album[3][edit]

Side one
  1. "All Your Love" (Otis Rush) – 3:38
  2. "Hideaway" (Freddie King/Sonny Thompson; interpolating "The Walk" by Jimmy McCracklin) – 3:17
  3. "Little Girl" (Mayall) – 2:36
  4. "Another Man" (Mayall) – 1:47
  5. "Double Crossing Time" (Clapton/Mayall) – 3:04
  6. "What'd I Say" (Ray Charles; interpolating "Day Tripper" by John Lennon/Paul McCartney) – 4:28
Side two
  1. "Key to Love" (Mayall) – 2:08
  2. "Parchman Farm" (Mose Allison) – 2:22
  3. "Have You Heard" (Mayall) – 5:56
  4. "Ramblin' on My Mind" (Robert Johnson/Traditional) – 3:08
  5. "Steppin' Out" (L. C. Frazier) – 2:30
  6. "It Ain't Right" (Little Walter) – 2:45

1998 remastered European reissue on the Deram label[edit]

This edition includes all tracks in both mono and stereo: 1–12 as above in mono, 13–24 as 1–12 above in stereo.

This version of the album was also issued by Universal Japan, on the Decca label, in 2001

2001 American reissue on the Deram label[edit]

This release added two bonus tracks from a single:

  1. "Lonely Years" (Mayall) – 3:21
    • Single released August 1966.[11]
  2. "Bernard Jenkins" (Clapton) – 3:48
    • Released as B-side of "Lonely Years".[11]

40th anniversary Deluxe Edition (Decca) (2006)[edit]

Disc one[edit]

1–12 Original Album in Mono
13–24 Original Album in Stereo

Disc two[edit]

  1. "Crawling up a Hill" (Mayall) – 2:08
  2. "Crocodile Walk" (Mayall) – 2:23
  3. "Bye Bye Bird" (Sonny Boy Willamson, Willie Dixon) – 2:49
  4. "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (Mayall) – 2:11
    • Single released October 1965.[11]
  5. "Telephone Blues" (Mayall) – 3:57
    • B-side of "I'm Your Witchdoctor".[11]
  6. "Bernard Jenkins" (Clapton) – 3:49
  7. "Lonely Years" (Mayall) – 3:19
  8. "Cheatin' Woman" (Mayall) – 2:03
  9. "Nowhere to Turn" (Mayall) – 1:42
  10. "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (Mayall) – 2:10
  11. "On Top of the World (stereo mix)" (Mayall) – 2:34
  12. "Key to Love" (Mayall) – 2:02
  13. On Top of the World" (Mayall) – 2:34
  14. "They Call It Stormy Monday" (T-Bone Walker) – 4:35
  15. "Intro into Maudie" (John Lee Hooker, Mayall) – 2:27
  16. "It Hurts to Be in Love" (Dixon, Toombs) – 3:22
  17. "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" (Myles) – 6:44
  18. "Bye Bye Bird" (Williamson, Dixon) – 3:51
  19. "Hoochie Coochie Man" (Dixon) – 3:53


  • 1–3: BBC Saturday Club Session
  • 4–7: appeared as singles
  • 8–10: BBC Saturday Club Session
  • 11: unreleased stereo mix
  • 12–13: BBC Saturday Club Session
  • 15–19: appeared on Primal Solos with Jack Bruce on bass

Personnel[edit]

Additional musicians[edit]

Production[edit]

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Position
22 July 1966 UK Album Chart #6[12]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Eder, Bruce. "Overview: Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 11 December 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Clapton, Eric (2007). "Chapter 4: Cream". Clapton: The Autobiography (1st ed.). United States: Broadway Books. pp. 72, 73. ISBN 978-0-385-51851-2. 
  3. ^ a b John Mayall With Eric Clapton – Blues Breakers master release, discogs.com
  4. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers: Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton [Remastered] at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  5. ^ Gordon, Keith. "Review of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton Album". About.com. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b Maloof, Rich (2004). Jim Marshall, father of loud: the story of the man behind the worlds most famous guitar amplifiers. Hal Leonard. pp. 48–49. ISBN 978-0-87930-803-2. 
  7. ^ Schumacher, Michael (1995). "Chapter 3: Deification (1965–66)". Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton (1st ed.). New York City: Hyperion. pp. 64–66. ISBN 0-7868-6074-X. 
  8. ^ a b http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-Custom/Eric-Clapton-1960-Les-Paul.aspx
  9. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/music/reviews/h94h
  10. ^ "195 Blues Breakers". Rolling Stone. 1 November 2003. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  11. ^ a b c d "Yardbirds & Bluesbreakers". The Eric Clapton Lyric Archive. eric-clapton.co.uk. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Chart Stats – John Mayall With Eric Clapton". www.chartstats.com. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 17 June 2010. 

External links[edit]