Sunday, 25 November 2018

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - A Hard Road (1967)


Released February 1967

After the departure of Eric Clapton, soon to be Fleetwood Mac guitarist Peter Green joined Mayall for this impressive UK blues/r'n'b album. The rest of the band was another future Fleetwood Mac member, John McVie, drummer Aynsley Dunbar (who played on David Bowie's 1973 "Pin Ups" amongst many other albums) and John Almond on saxophone.

The album was the now customary collection of blues covers, such as "Dust My Blues", "You Don't Love Me" and "The Stumble", and originals, some written by Mayall, some by Green. It is also notable for using a horn section on three tracks, lending a distinctly jumping, jazzy feel to numbers like the lively "Leaping Christine". Peter Green's guitar is superb throughout, reverby as opposed to Clapton's full-on attack and, although very much of its time, it is a highly recommended example of the best of late sixties British r'n'b.

Mayall painted the cover himself, apparently. The 2003 remaster has wonderful sound quality and many bonus tracks, all in the same vein.


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