John Mayall was one of the most important figures of the whole blues movement, and had a big impact through the astute use of the musicians he developed in the Bluesbreakers over a number of years, and through his own musicianship, and this atmospheric recording shows from where it stemmed.
This was the first album by John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, whose ever-changing line up had temporarily stabilized as John Mayall (vocal, harmonica, guitar, 9-string guitar), Roger Dean (guitar), John McVie (bass) and Hughie Flint (drums), and it was recorded live. Klooks Kleek was at the Railway Hotel, next door to Decca's recording studios in West Hampstead. The club's compère Johnny Gunnell, together with his brother Rik Gunnell, persuaded Decca's engineers to run cables from an open studio window into the club, enabling studio quality sound in an environment in which the band excelled, and so their gig of Monday 7 December 1964 was preserved for posterity. At the time, the band (with a different guitarist and drummer) had released only one single, Crawling Up A Hill, which opened the live set, and they also previewed Crocodile Walk, their second single, which came out in April 1965, shortly after the album was released.
For the live recording the band was augmented by Nigel Stanger on tenor sax, plus some appropriate novelty slide sax sounds on The Hoot Owl and Chicago Line. Both of these and most of the rest of the record are John Mayall songs not recorded elsewhere, mostly in Chicago and country blues styles, and there is also a strange mash up of Night Train and Lucille.
EAC Read mode : Secure with NO C2, accurate stream, disable cache
1 Crawling Up a Hill (Version 2)
2 I Wanna Teach You Everything
3 When I'm Gone
4 I Need Your Love
5 The Hoot Owl
6 R&B Time/Night Train
7 Crocodile Walk (Version 1)
8 What's the Matter with You
12 Chicago Line
John Mayall (vocal, harmonica, guitar, 9-string guitar)
Roger Dean (guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Hughie Flint (drums)
Nigel Stanger (Saxophone)