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» John Mayall

John Mayall
Born: November 29, 1933 in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England
Active: '50s-2010s Major
Styles: British Blues, Blues-Rock, Electric Harmonica Blues
Instrument: Harmonica Representative
Albums: "The Turning Point", "Thru the Years", "Bluesbreakers/A Hard Road" Representative
Songs: "Room to Move", "Double Trouble", "The Death of J.B. Lenoir"

UPC Type Title
4988005501998 (i) CD & the Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapto
826992001722 CD 70th Birthday Concert
801213908394 DVD 70th Birthday Concert
801213902293 DVD 70th Birthday Concert
801213333592 Blu-Ray 70th Birthday Concert
769921847421 CD Along for the Ride
731454942423 CD Back to the Roots
4988005521477 (i) CD Back to the Roots
731452020628 CD Bare Wires
602498421789 (i) CD Bare Wires
600753418178 (i) Vinyl Bare Wires
052824218420 CD Behind the Iron Curtain
4988005712240 (i) CD Best of & the Bluesbre
828765360722 (i) CD Best of John Mayall
4988005514677 (i) CD Best of John Mayall
042284478526 (i) CD Best of: As It All Began
090204685936 CD Big Man
5413992503063 CD Big Man Blues
602498418055 (i) CD Blues Alone
602498418017 CD Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
042288296720 CD Blues Breakers with Eric Clapt
090771627322 CD Blues Breakers W/Eric Clapton
690978345427 (i) CD Blues Breaker with Walter Trout
4988005430076 (i) CD Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
8013252900020 Vinyl Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
090771537119 Vinyl Blues Breakers W/Eric Clapton
042280008611 (i) Vinyl Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
042284482721 (i) CD Blues Bredless
708535172093 CD Blues Express
4988017658901 (i) CD Blues for the Last Days (Mini LP Sleeve)
602498408391 (i) CD Blues From Laurel Canyon
042282053923 (i) CD Blues From Laurel Canyon
042282053916 (i) Vinyl Blues From Laurel Canyon
636551423328 CD Blues Power
660355552625 CD Boogie Woogie Man
090771627520 CD Crusade
602498421758 (i) CD Crusade
042282053725 (i) CD Crusade
090771537317 Vinyl Crusade
602498418048 (i) CD Diary of a Band 1 & 2
5413992502035 CD Dreaming About the Blues
731452745729 (i) CD Empty Rooms
826992009629 CD Essentially
5034504134027 (i) CD Essentially
826992004525 CD Godfather of British Blues/Turning Point
801213903191 DVD Godfather of British Blues
602498096413 CD Hard Road
042282047427 CD Hard Road
090771627421 CD Hard Road
602498422250 (i) CD Hard Road
090771537218 Vinyl Hard Road
5017261204936 (i) CD Hardcore Package/Last of the Blues
5036436051526 CD Howling at the Moon
5036436088225 (i) Vinyl Howling at the Moon
826992010427 CD In the Palace of the King
731452746023 CD Jazz Blues Fusion
884501799997 CD John Mayall: Vol. 2-Historic Live Shows
884501800006 CD John Mayall: Vol. 3-Historic Live Shows
884501799980 CD John Mayall: Mayall, John: Vol. 1-Historic Live Sh..
4988005633378 (i) CD John Mayall & Blues Breakers with ER
4988005677976 (i) CD John Mayall & Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton
602498417799 (i) CD John Mayall Plays John Mayall
5013929771727 (i) CD Latest Edition
8712273110967 (i) DVD Live
5060310150081 (i) Vinyl Live 1969
760137602392 DVD Live at Iowa State University
670211505429 CD Live at the Marquee
826992012926 CD Live at the Marquee 1969
602498446652 (i) CD Live at the BBC
607396613427 CD Live From Austin Tx
607396804825 DVD Live From Austin Tx
884501595223 CD Live in London
884501516396 DVD Live in London
042282033123 (i) CD Looking Back
8712177042036 (i) CD Lost & Gone
5060230861562 (i) DVD Lost Broadcasts
826992013022 CD Masters
670211505528 CD Masters
602498187494 (i) CD Millennium Collection-20th Century Masters
5013929771628 (i) CD Moving on
5017261204929 (i) CD New Year New Band New Company/Lots of People
5017261204950 (i) CD Notice to Appear/Banquet in Blues
714298321227 CD Picking the Blues: Boogie Woogie Pioneers
752211100429 CD Return of the Bluesbreakers
826992006925 CD Road Dogs
752211106728 CD Road Show Blues
5036436082421 (i) CD Smokin Blues-Live Album From Frankfurt 1972 & 1973
600753276426 CD So Many Roads: An Anthology 1964-1975
4988017658895 (i) CD Spinning Coin (Mini LP Sleeve)
766925966929 CD Stories
5034504122321 (i) CD Stories
9120817151403 DVD Sweet Little Angel: Paris 1970
5013929771529 (i) CD Ten Years Are Gone
042284402828 (i) CD Thru the Years
826992016320 CD Tough
826992016313 Vinyl Tough
731454942324 CD Turning Point
5017261201454 (i) CD Turning Point
731452745828 CD Usa Union
4988017658888 (i) CD Wake Up Call (Mini LP Sleeve)

Biography: As the elder statesman of British blues, it is John Mayall's lot to be more renowned as a bandleader and mentor than as a performer in his own right. Throughout the '60s, his band, the Bluesbreakers, acted as a finishing school for the leading British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (of Free), John Almond, and Jon Mark also played and recorded with Mayall for varying lengths of times in the '60s.

Mayall's personnel has tended to overshadow his own considerable abilities. Only an adequate singer, the multi-instrumentalist was adept in bringing out the best in his younger charges (Mayall himself was in his thirties by the time the Bluesbreakers began to make a name for themselves). Doing his best to provide a context in which they could play Chicago-style electric blues, Mayall was never complacent, writing most of his own material (which ranged from good to humdrum), revamping his lineup with unnerving regularity, and constantly experimenting within his basic blues format. Some of these experiments (with jazz-rock and an album on which he played all the instruments except drums) were forgettable; others, like his foray into acoustic music in the late '60s, were quite successful. Mayall's output has caught some flak from critics for paling next to the real African-American deal, but much of his vintage work -- if weeded out selectively -- is quite strong; especially his legendary 1966 LP with Eric Clapton, which both launched Clapton into stardom and kick-started the blues boom into full gear in England.

When Clapton joined the Bluesbreakers in 1965, Mayall had already been recording for a year, and been performing professionally long before that. Originally based in Manchester, Mayall moved to London in 1963 on the advice of British blues godfather Alexis Korner, who thought a living could be made playing the blues in the bigger city. Tracing a path through his various lineups of the '60s is a daunting task. At least 15 different editions of the Bluesbreakers were in existence from January 1963 through mid-1970. Some notable musicians (like guitarist Davy Graham, Mick Fleetwood, and Jack Bruce) passed through for little more than a cup of coffee; Mayall's longest-running employee, bassist John McVie, lasted about four years. The Bluesbreakers, like Fairport Convention or the Fall, was more a concept than an ongoing core. Mayall, too, had the reputation of being a difficult and demanding employer, willing to give musicians their walking papers as his music evolved, although he also imparted invaluable schooling to them while the associations lasted.

Mayall recorded his debut single in early 1964; he made his first album, a live affair, near the end of the year. At this point the Bluesbreakers had a more pronounced R&B influence than would be exhibited on their most famous recordings, somewhat in the mold of younger combos like the Animals and Rolling Stones, but the Bluesbreakers would take a turn for the purer with the recruitment of Eric Clapton in the spring of 1965. Clapton had left the Yardbirds in order to play straight blues, and the Bluesbreakers allowed him that freedom (or stuck to well-defined restrictions, depending upon your viewpoint). Clapton began to inspire reverent acclaim as one of Britain's top virtuosos, as reflected in the famous "Clapton is God" graffiti that appeared in London in the mid-'60s.

In professional terms, though, 1965 wasn't the best of times for the group, which had been dropped by Decca. Clapton even left the group for a few months for an odd trip to Greece, leaving Mayall to straggle on with various fill-ins, including Peter Green. Clapton did return in late 1965, around the time an excellent blues-rock single, "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (with searing sustain-laden guitar riffs), was issued on Immediate. By early 1966, the band was back on Decca, and recorded its landmark Bluesbreakers LP. This was the album that, with its clean, loud, authoritative licks, firmly established Clapton as a guitar hero, on both reverent covers of tunes by the likes of Otis Rush and Freddie King and decent originals by Mayall himself. The record was also an unexpected commercial success, making the Top Ten in Britain. From that point on, in fact, Mayall became one of the first rock musicians to depend primarily upon the LP market; he recorded plenty of singles throughout the '60s, but none of them came close to becoming a hit.

Clapton left the Bluesbreakers in mid-1966 to form Cream with Jack Bruce, who had played with Mayall briefly in late 1965. Mayall turned quickly to Peter Green, who managed the difficult feat of stepping into Clapton's shoes and gaining respect as a player of roughly equal imagination and virtuosity, although his style was quite distinctly his own. Green recorded one LP with Mayall, A Hard Road, and several singles, sometimes writing material and taking some respectable lead vocals. Green's talents, like those of Clapton, were too large to be confined by sideman status, and in mid-1967 he left to form a successful band of his own, Fleetwood Mac.

Mayall then enlisted 19-year-old Mick Taylor; remarkably, despite the consecutive departures of two star guitarists, Mayall maintained a high level of popularity. The late '60s were also a time of considerable experimentation for the Bluesbreakers, which moved into a form of blues-jazz-rock fusion with the addition of a horn section, and then a retreat into mellower, acoustic-oriented music. Mick Taylor, the last of the famous triumvirate of Mayall-bred guitar heroes, left in mid-1969 to join the Rolling Stones. Yet in a way Mayall was thriving more than ever, as the U.S. market, which had been barely aware of him in the Clapton era, was beginning to open up for his music. In fact, at the end of the 1960s, Mayall moved to Los Angeles. Released in 1969, The Turning Point, a live, all-acoustic affair, was a commercial and artistic high point.

In America at least, Mayall continued to be pretty popular in the early '70s. His band was no more stable than ever; at various points some American musicians flitted in and out of the Bluesbreakers, including Harvey Mandel, Canned Heat bassist Larry Taylor, and Don "Sugarcane" Harris. Although he's released numerous albums since and remained a prodigiously busy and reasonably popular live act, his post-1970 output generally hasn't matched the quality of his '60s work. Following collaborations with an unholy number of guest celebrities, in the early '80s he re-teamed with a couple of his more renowned vets, John McVie and Mick Taylor, for a tour, which was chronicled by Great American Music's Blues Express, released in 2010. It's the '60s albums that you want, though there's little doubt that Mayall has over the past decades done a great deal to popularize the blues all over the globe, whether or not the music has meant much on record. ~ Richie Unterberger, Rovi