Review by Marpow May 10, 2015 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
|John Mayall & The Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. Stereo Only.
Quick Facts: Mayall's second album released in 1966. Clapton's first with Mayall, John McVie bass and Hughie Flint drums. This issue, UIGY 9599, released 11-26-2014. Ranked number 195 on Rolling Stones 500 greatest albums. Funny, John Mayall has been a favorite of mine ever since the 60's but I have never seen him live.
Performance: Some consider this album to be the Godfather of the British blues movement and John Mayall to be the Godfather of British blues. A variety of blues standards and covers with 1 song written Mayall/Clapton, 1 song arranged Mayall and 4 songs written Mayall. A total of 12 tracks. Great easy listening blues music that is VERY close to the sound and feel of American Black Blues in my opinion. I would guess the difference is Clapton's ability to stretch out a bit more than others except maybe for Freddie King. John Mayall does all vocals.
Stereo Sonics: I will say this, perfect but not perfect. If I consider the 1966 recording and type of music this is, then a sonic masterpiece. Very clear, wide stereo stage, great depth and very easy to hear all the parts blended together. I assume this was originally recorded in stereo? Hand clap on track 4 is clear as day. Vocals are well centered and guitar sounds great.
Now to be more critical. It is a little rough, gritty. Could use some smoothing out. Guaranteed if recorded now it would sound different.
There lies the magic. I, and I assume you, would not want it to sound any different than it does sound. This SACD captures the strength and beauty of this 1966 recording. What a great job.
Packaging: Plastic jewel case with square corners. Green ink disc. Original liner notes, additional 1998 notes by Paul Trynka. Track by track commentary by John Mayall. All fascinating reading. Mini black and white Japanese booklet with English lyrics.
What a great disc of the legendary recording and birth of British Blues. Of course I am glad to have this.
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