Main article: John Mayall discography. Retrieved 15 October London: Reed International Books Ltd. CN Archived from the original on 22 February Clapton: The Autobiography. John Mayall. Archived from the original on 26 December Retrieved 11 December Looking Back Thru the Years Farewell Concert.
Categories : John Mayall English blues musical groups Eric Clapton Decca Records artists British rhythm and blues boom musicians English blues rock musical groups Musical groups established in Musical groups disestablished in Musical groups reestablished in Namespaces Article Talk. Then we put half-transparent boards up all around it and put a microphone around two feet from the amp.
Then we draped a huge great blanket over the top of the stack and over the mic in an attempt to actually keep the sound in there.
So when they started playing, it sounded reasonably akin to how they sounded live. But the guitar was in everything. We recorded on four track, so when you opened up the drums, you definitely had guitar in it, same with the bass and vocals. We had no more isolation rooms that were usable. I want to be standing right next to the amp. But everybody had to take on board that we were going into an unknown era, nobody had ever witnessed in the Decca studios somebody coming into the studio, set up their guitar and amp and play at that volume.
People in the canteen behind the studio were complaining about the noise. Normally they would never hear it, but it was travelling round the studio complex.
People were coming down to the studio to see what was going on. What about the songs? My discussions were directly with John, he chose the material. The album was supposed to reflect the stage set at the time, and with its mixture of Chicago blues covers and Mayall compositions, for the most part it did. I was never a great soloist.
This was an image really that I was very, very keen to hang on to. The leap came in accepting that this thing was going to go onto plastic and would be recorded. Accepting that took a lot of convincing from John who really kept having to tell me that it was worth it. Many of the original Chicago blues bands used horns both on stage and on record — and Mayall himself had used Nigel Stanger on sax for the previous live album.
But the white blues purists were aghast. We were learning from people we admired and being as true to the music as possible. But we persevered and over four days or so we got it. So what did they get? By the time the album was released in July, Eric had jumped ship for Cream. I was used to people leaving, they were much younger than me and all finding their feet.
Peter Green was the next in line, that was a no-brainer. New musicians change the dynamic in a good way, you have a new impetus. Mayall never saw the album as the route to taking the band to the next level.
This was unprecedented for a British blues album and helped pave the way for other triumphs of the British blues boom era, because it demonstrated that blues sells.
But why are we still talking and writing about this album 50 years on? The simple skeleton framework of the blues allows acres of freedom inside — like a musical Tardis. So you can listen to that album now and marvel at the dexterity and confidence of the guitar playing.
So what else? But it was all still very underground; the success of the Beano album propelled the blues above ground. It gave birth to the British blues boom from which came bands that went on to lay the foundation stones of international arena rock: Cream, Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin. The album also gave young white blues wannabees permission to play the music. British efforts to ape their American heroes sounded weak and anaemic — and worse, as if they were treading sacrilegiously on holy ground.
But as a young, white musician playing the way he did on that album, he signalled to thousands of budding guitar players that they could embrace the blues as their own, to recast it in their own image and move the music on while still acknowledging the wellspring, the crucibles of the inspiration. One guitarist among many deeply influenced by the album was Gary Moore. He lent it to me and obviously he never got it back.
I wore that record out. The cover of his multi-million-selling album Still Got The Blues features two photos: the bedroom of a young boy practising guitar and the adult Gary still practising and still inspired by the Beano album lying on the floor. Another convert was Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett.
A quantum leap forward in terms of sound, finger vibrato control and the level of distortion, treble and aggression. I got to work with Brian May and he brought in some records to remind us what we were all about.
The tone was magical. The fire he puts in that solo is unbelievable. Since joining the group, his technique has improved beyond recognition, and on his best nights, Eric can make time stand still.
Because a lot of the spotlight is thrown on Eric, we tend to overlook the fact that John himself is a most capable musician. Besides doing all of the singing well almost! And perhaps this is why John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers are the only group in Britain whose music closely parallels that being produced by the blues bands of Chicago.
He throws in a tasty solo, too, including one bar where the bass and guitar climb up to the next chord in harmony. Overall, very tightly arranged and played, it makes satisfying listening. Earlier in the year Bassist John McVie had been sacked for excessive drinking, and Jack Bruce, recently ousted from the Graham Bond Organisation, replaced him, giving Clapton his first taste of working with this unusual talent. Clapton is again double-tracked, providing a striking cello-like riff which roots the song, as well as an angry, biting solo that skirts the edge of feedback.
Take that, Manfred! Move along, people, nothing to hear here. This is the well-known Mose Allison number performed as a harmonica feature, and supported by bass and drums only, though a little bit of keyboard creeps in towards the end. Well-performed, but an altogether odd choice for inclusion on an album where the guitarist is a selling feature. Perhaps Eric was off changing a string?