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62 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2006
I first listened to this disc as a fifteen year-old and music was never the same thereafter. I started hunting straight away for the original US musicians who had inspired first Mayall and then the unbelievably young Clapton. And I'm still listening to the fruits of that search. Meantime it opened me up to the expanding British Blues scene and subsequently other new British genres, all the way from Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack, to The Groundhogs, Steeleye and Fairport. The music itself is quite simply inspired, mainly by the fusion of the very different talents of the individuals involved. I'm not sure that Mayall ever wrote, sang or played as well again 'though Clapton went on to far greater things. Just listen to Track 5, Double Crossin' Time, written by the both of them, which displays their different talents perfectly. This disc is one of those very rare seminal recordings which brings as much pleasure now as on the day it came off the presses.
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69 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on 13 February 2002
Although John Mayall used a series of lead guitarists for his Bluesbreakers band in the 60s and 70s, including Peter Green and Mick Taylor, it was Clapton who really shone, as his guitar talent had already been formed with the Yardbirds. However, this is not an Eric Clapton album, as the main performer, and band leader, was Mayall himself who was an experienced and exciting blues player. Additionally, strong backing support was provided on bass guitar by John McVie (later Fleetwood Mac) and Hughie Flint on drums to what is going on out front. This one of the two best Mayall recordings, and Clapton features very strongly throughout. Indeed, his work here is probably stronger than the later Cream recordings. This is essential rhythm and blues from a period when good R & B bands were a dominant feature of the UK music scene (Rory Gallagher; Victor Brox: etc), and where Mayall represented the pinnacle. If you like blues and/or Clapton do not miss this one.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 8 February 2007
The best guitar player of the time on top of his game. Classic tracks. The perfect combination of guitar and amp. Incredible solos... Listening to this album it is easy to see why rock took the directions it did. This is the blueprint for pretty much every rock/blues album that followed, and in my opinion the closest Clapton ever got to this ever again is on Layla... This is Essential.
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68 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2002
Few albums have had greater impact than the landmark John Mayall With Eric Clapton "Blues Breakers." Released by the Decca label in Britain on 22 July 1966, literally days after Clapton quit the Bluesbreakers and just a week before Cream's debut, it went all the way to #6, a pretty mean feat since Mayall's band had never had a hit single. This may have been a first in Britain.
Of course, this is the album that set the blues and guitar worlds aflame and established Eric Clapton's name worldwide as the most passionate of musical interpreters. If you haven't yet heard "Beano" (as the album is affectionately known, because Clapton is pictured reading "The Beano" comic book on its cover), then you ain't heard nuthin' yet!
From the album's first notes, you realize that you're in guitar heaven, as "Slowhand" shows us the way electric guitar can and should be played. Clapton's virtuoso playing is white-hot throughout. Playing with maturity beyond his 21 years, the young Eric Clapton was so influential that Gibson eventually reissued the (out-of-production since 1960) Les Paul model guitar, which Clapton then played.
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers served--and still serves today--as a finishing school for great musicians and sidemen (Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, Coco Montoya and others). Mayall's proselytizing the blues (he's 69 years old!), his songwriting skills, and his other musical talents should not be ignored nor taken lightly.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2005
This is the album that launched the Gibson Les Paul + Marshall amp combination that has defined the sound of rock for so long. It is worth buying for that alone. Absolute, pure, smooth but crunchy, toney goodness! Thankfully, the music is top notch, ranging from the energetic opener to the instrumental "Steppin Out", to the drum solo and tribute to the Beatles' "Day Tripper" on "What'd I Say?". Excellent stuff.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 12 June 2001
This studio recordings of John Mayall's band are really good!! And, in my opinion, owe it all to a certain Mr. Clapton. His guitar tone was ground breaking in those days (he was the first to record in the studio at full stage-volume) and his playing 35 years ago still influences the aspiring guitar player today. At this stage he was near his peak as an innovative guitarist and is really (at the age of 21) a pretty accomplished blues player. So, the selections are very good, the playing is phenomenal (except for a drum solo we all could live without), and the sound is excellent. Still, I won't give it 5 stars because of John Mayall's weak vocals. It certainly is a relief everytime I get to one of the last tracks "Rambling On My Mind", the classic Robert Johnson cover which Eric delivers solo, and though his singing is still a bit insecure, he sure does sound charming and, as he will do from now on in his career, feeling every single word he's singing. So, you guessed right, Eric is for me, the highlight of the cd, but if you don't believe me just check out "Rambling On My Mind" and the way the man solos on "Have You Heard", and that should be enough to convince you... This is a must for all Clapton lovers as well as for the blues aficionado.
I love you, Esther.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 28 May 2006
On a week's holiday with my parent's in Littlehampton in Sussex during the summer of '66, as ever, I found a record shop. Without much money as I was still at school, (just), I had the choice, in my mind anyway, between two albums; The Mother's Of Invention's 'Freakout,' and 'Bluesbreakers.' Maybe there had been a lot of publicity at the time about 'Freakout,' I can't remember, but for some reason I was torn between which one to buy. Probably the fact that I was a Yardbirds fan and had listened to 'Five Live' a great deal made up my mind, and I plumped for 'Bluesbreakers.' It was to be the wisest move and the best purchase I ever made. As a then, and still now, 'would-be' guitarist, this album, for its time in rock history, had everything you wanted and more, and has pretty much stayed that way over the ensuing years. To play with this degree of skill and feeling at Clapton's age of 21 at the time, was and is incredible. At 15, he was almost an old man to me being 6 years older, yet even so, the bluesmen I had heard were in their 30's and over, (really old men!), and even now this album begs the question "Why was Clapton so great at such a young age?" We will never know, and if put to the question, probably neither would he? It was just something he was drawn to and did, and has had the good fortune to do so for the rest of his life. If you're a guitarist, Clapton fan, blues enthusiast, whatever, and you don't own this album, simply buy it now - it will remain a classic for as long as planet Earth keeps turning.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2002
Few albums have had greater impact than the landmark John Mayall With Eric Clapton "Blues Breakers." Released by the Decca label in Britain on 22 July 1966, literally days after Clapton quit the Bluesbreakers and just a week before Cream's debut, it went all the way to #6, a pretty mean feat since Mayall's band had never had a hit single. This may have been a first in Britain.
Of course, this is the album that set the blues and guitar worlds aflame and established Eric Clapton's name worldwide as the most passionate of musical interpreters. If you haven't yet heard "Beano" (as the album is affectionately known, because Clapton is pictured reading "The Beano" comic book on its cover), then you ain't heard nuthin' yet!
From the album's first notes, you realize that you're in guitar heaven, as "Slowhand" shows us the way electric guitar can and should be played. Clapton's virtuoso playing is white-hot throughout. Playing with maturity beyond his 21 years, the young Eric Clapton was so influential that Gibson eventually reissued the (out-of-production since 1960) Les Paul model guitar, which Clapton then played.
John Mayall's Bluesbreakers served--and still serves today--as a finishing school for great musicians and sidemen (Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor, John McVie, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, Coco Montoya and others). Mayall's proselytizing the blues (he's 69 years old!), his songwriting skills, and his other musical talents should not be ignored nor taken lightly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 17 May 2015
It is 1966 and Giorgio Gomelsky has the bright idea of making the band he managed, The Yardbirds, into a pop act, they released 'For your Love' ...and the lead guitarist, one E. Clapton, left, hating pop and yearning to emulate the likes of Buddy Guy (Cream was to be, Eric averred, "Buddy Guy with a rhythm section"). Eric practised and practised, aching with the pain of his own dedication in solitude and illegitimacy and joined Mayall. This is the result, the album that got 'Clapton is God' painted on a wall at Highbury Corner in '66. It is a brilliant and astonishing album. I was spellbound when I heard the fierceness of the playing, on 'Key to Love', fast but with feeling, he really attacks the Gibson. 'Have You Heard' is probably the standout, but this is truly an embarrassment of riches, surprisingly even Mayall with his nearly-uncontrollable high notes, complements McVie and Flint in the engine room; his best ever singing. 'Parchman Farm', 'Hideaway'., 'Steppin' Out' vindicate the attempt to do justice to the Bluesmen they all adored. You can tell they're steeped in it and determined to do the stuff justice. They manage that alright, and more: Clapton, not confident but willing, bravely acquits himself even on his first vocal, 'Ramblin' on My Mind'. I need not go through every track, but it still sounds fresh, somehow both raw with feeling and sophisticated. One of the pinnacles of Clapton's career, with 'Layla' (album rather than the track), the greatest achievement of Eric's short half-decade of genius. Then, like a star, he burnt out: the intensity, the heroin, the women; he was never quite the same again. But what a legacy, echoes of whose brilliance can be heard on Cream's best STUDIO tracks but matched only when he teamed up with Duane Allman in what I regard as the finest duelling guitars it has ever been my pleasure to hear. If forced to take one track of EC's to my Desert Island? Well 'Have You Heard' of course. Indispensable
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 4 April 2014
We always have to remember: this album was recorded in spring '66 and released in the summer of 1966. It is indeed one of those rare albums that induced and created such a shift in popular music. Just think about about how electric guitars sounded on records before the blues breakers, on this Blues Breakers and after this one. Even if you dimiss Clapton for his work in the middle seventies and later on, you have to praise Clapton for this one.

Try to imagine a world of music without the sound of the britrock, of the punk, of the Led Zeppelin, of the CSNY, of the Allman Brothers Band, of the punk, of the glamrock, of the Woodstock generation. Try to imagine a world of music like that. Picture yourself in the year of 1966, a time where friends gather around because your friend had bought an brand new exciting record. Try to imagine your expectations, your thrill, your curiosity.

Then listen to the opening guitar cords on 'All you love'. I am not the biggest Clapton fan, but those opening guitar notes are mindblowing, the most powerful and the strongest notes to be heard on an opening track. And it is not only the opening track. What the band did was to record just like they played live. A praise for producer Mike Vernon, who experienced something that had never been done before, but still believed in the project and kept going on.

Still after 50 years the power is there.

We are listening to start of bluesrock, rock and the ignition of hardrock. John Mayall, Eric Clapton, John McVie and Hughie Flint have delivered a classic, a standard, a very special one.
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