Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton

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Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
Bluesbreakers John Mayall with Eric Clapton.jpg
Studio album by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers
Released 22 July 1966 (1966-07-22)[1]
Recorded March-April 1966
Studio Decca, London[2]
Genre Blues rock,[1] blues[3]
Length 37:39
Label Decca
Producer Mike Vernon
John Mayall chronology
John Mayall Plays John Mayall
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
A Hard Road

Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton (a.k.a. The Beano Album) is a 1966 blues/blues rock album recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton as part of the band. It is the second album credited to John Mayall after the live John Mayall Plays John Mayall. Clapton left to form Cream after this recording, though would team up again in 1971 for the double LP Back to the Roots.

It is also known as The Beano Album because of its cover photograph showing Clapton reading The Beano,[4] a British children's comic.[5] Clapton stated in his autobiography that he was reading The Beano on the cover because he felt like being "uncooperative" during the photo shoot.[2] The photographer was Derek Wedgbury and the location was near the Old Kent Road.


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.[6]


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 (which was stolen in 1966; its whereabouts remain unknown)[7] is also called the "Blues Breaker" or "Beano" Les Paul and a replica of which was reissued by Gibson in 2012.[7] 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.[8]

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 the then-Secretary of State for Defence, 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 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]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 5/5 stars[9] 5/5 stars[3]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5/5 stars[10]
BBC (Highly Positive)[11]
Music Story 5/5 stars[12]

In 2003 the album was ranked number 195 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[13] The album was included in Robert Dimery's 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.[14]

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.[4]

Track listing[edit]

Original album[1][edit]

Side one
  1. "All Your Love" (Otis Rush) – 3:38
  2. "Hideaway" (Freddie King, Sonny Thompson) – 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) – 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) – 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.[15]
  2. "Bernard Jenkins" (Clapton) – 3:48
    • Released as B-side of "Lonely Years".[15]

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.[15]
  5. "Telephone Blues" (Mayall) – 3:57
    • B-side of "I'm Your Witchdoctor".[15]
  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 (A and B sides)
  • 8–10: BBC Saturday Club session
  • 11: unreleased track (stereo mix)
  • 12–13: BBC Saturday Club session
  • 15–19: live tracks from Primal Solos


Additional musicians


Year Chart Position
22 July 1966 UK Album Chart #6[16]


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17]
1998 Release
Gold 100,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ a b c Eder, Bruce. "Overview: Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers". AllMusic. United States. 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 Gordon, Keith. "Review of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton Album". Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ The Beano comic is #1242 and dated 7 May 1966
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ a b "Gibson Eric Clapton 1960 Les Paul". Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  8. ^ "Music – Review of John Mayall – Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton". BBC. 1 January 1970. Retrieved 13 June 2014. 
  9. ^ Planer, Lindsay. "John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers: Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton [Remastered] at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  10. ^ Larkin, Colin (30 September 2013). "The Virgin Encyclopedia of The Blues". Random House. Retrieved 13 November 2017 – via Google Books. 
  11. ^ Jones, Chris. "BBC - Music - Review of John Mayall - Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton". Retrieved 13 November 2017. 
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 27 October 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2017. 
  13. ^ "195 Blues Breakers". Rolling Stone. 1 November 2003. Retrieved 19 March 2010. 
  14. ^ ^ Robert Dimery; Michael Lydon (23 March 2010). 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition. Universe. ISBN 978-0-7893-2074-2.
  15. ^ a b c d "Yardbirds & Bluesbreakers". The Eric Clapton Lyric Archive. Retrieved 27 September 2011. 
  16. ^ "Chart Stats – John Mayall With Eric Clapton". Retrieved 17 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "British album certifications – John Mayall & Eric Clapton – Blues Breakers". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 January 2016.  Enter Blues Breakers in the search field and then press Enter.

External links[edit]