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Released: March 1966


Rating: 4.234 (average of 13 ratings)


Genre: classic British blues rock


Quotable: “Perhaps the best British blues album ever cut” – Bruce Eder, All Music Guide


Album Tracks:

  1. All Your Love (Dixon/ Rush) [3:35]
  2. Hideaway (King/ Thompson) [3:14]
  3. Little Girl (Mayall) [2:33]
  4. Another Man (Mayall) [1:44]
  5. Double Crossing Time (Clapton/ Mayall) [3:00]
  6. What’d I Say (Charles) [4:26]
  7. Key to Love (Mayall) [2:05]
  8. Parchman Farm (Allison) [2:21]
  9. Have You Heard (Mayall) [5:54]
  10. Rambling on My Mind (Johnson/ traditional) [3:07]
  11. Steppin’ Out (Bracken) [2:27]
  12. It Ain’t Right (Little Walter) [2:40]


Sales:

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


Peak:

peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 6


Singles:

  • Parchman Farm (10/66) --


Notes: “In 1998, Polygram Records issued a remastered version of this album on CD, featuring both the stereo and mono mixes of the original tracks and new notes” (Eder). The album was re-released again in 2001 with two bonus cuts (“Lonely Years”) and “Bernard Jenkins”) added to the original twelve.


Awards:

Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more.


Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers / Eric Clapton
Review:
Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton was Eric Clapton's first fully realized album as a blues guitarist — more than that, it was a seminal blues album of the 1960s, perhaps the best British blues album ever cut, and the best LP ever recorded by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. Standing midway between Clapton's stint with the Yardbirds and the formation of Cream, this album featured the new guitar hero on a series of stripped-down blues standards, Mayall pieces, and one Mayall/Clapton composition, all of which had him stretching out in the idiom for the first time in the studio. This album was the culmination of a very successful year of playing with John Mayall, a fully realized blues creation, featuring sounds very close to the group's stage performances, and with no compromises. Credit has to go to producer Mike Vernon for the purity and simplicity of the record; most British producers of that era wouldn't have been able to get it recorded this way, much less released. One can hear the very direct influence of Buddy Guy and a handful of other American bluesmen in the playing. And lest anyone forget the rest of the quartet: future pop-rock superstar John McVie and drummer Hughie Flint provide a rock-hard rhythm section, and Mayall's organ playing, vocalizing, and second guitar are all of a piece with Clapton's work. His guitar naturally dominates most of this record, and he can also be heard taking his first lead vocal, but McVie and Flint are just as intense and give the tracks an extra level of steel-strung tension and power, none of which have diminished across four decades” (Eder).

“Rarely has any single record album induced such a shift in popular music. Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton not only catapulted Clapton to the helm of the burgeoning British blues-rock scene, it likewise made significant noise on the other side of the Atlantic — where the blues had literally been born, bred, and buttered. This remastered and revisited edition boasts significantly upgraded sound quality for not only the dozen sides that comprise the original program, but also the bonus tracks. These two additional performances include the A- and B-sides of a rare 45 that Mayall and Clapton cut for producer Mike Vernon's Purdah label nearly a year before recording this disc. Taking a page from the mid-'50s Miles Davis Quintet, it became obvious for those involved that the best way to approach making a studio recording was to document the same material that was concurrently being performed by the band night after night in various London area clubs. In addition to Mayall (guitar/vocals) and Clapton (guitar/vocals), this incarnation of the Blues Breakers utilizes the talents of John McVie (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums). As a combo, this band was able to reinvent the American blues for a fresh audience whose ultimate response would give rise to subgenres such as heavy metal and other roots-related rock. While their contributions prove immeasurable, they are likewise sadly eclipsed by that of Clapton. In retrospect — unlike many of the other revolutionary changes occurring in pop music circa the mid-'60s — the Blues Breakers are infinitely more subtle in their attack. Their most obvious weapon is the advantage of documenting in-the-studio material from their live performance set. The Blues Breakers were able to incorporate originals such as Double Crossing Time and Key to Love with revered blues standards, including Freddie King's Hideaway and Robert Johnson's Ramblin' on My Mind — which features Clapton's very first lead vocal. Clapton needed precious little time to gestate the blues. His ability to express himself is uncanny, as if he were a man twice — if not three times — his age. The passionate inflections and unforgettable impressions Clapton makes upon these grooves swiftly catapulted him into both international exposure as well as legendary guitar rock idol status. Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is an invaluable touchtone into primordial pre-metal rock & roll” (Planer).


Review Source(s):


Related DMDB Links:

Previous Eric Clapton Album: Yardbird’s ‘For Your Love’ (1965) Eric Clapton’s DMDB page Next Eric Clapton Album: Cream’s ‘Fresh Cream’ (1966)


Last updated March 31, 2008.