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Looking Back

Looking Back

1 Jan 1989
4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Mayall's back catalogue is in a bit of a mess - this CD used to mop up some bits and pieces including some old Decca singles featuring Peter Green which weren't on CD anywhere else but have since been included in the deluxe editions of reissue CD albums. There is also the compilation 'Thru the Years' which has a similar (but different) selection of tracks. However, this CD does give a good overview of Mayall's 60s output and contains some great tracks of what was, in my opinion, his most creative period.

We start with two pre-Clapton tracks that demonstrate Mayall's often overlooked song-writing ability, the catchy instrumental "Blues city shakedown" and the Elmore James tribute "Mr James". We then have a live version of "Stormy Monday" featuring Clapton and Jack Bruce, not the world's best recording but a rare nice-to-have example of live Mayall & Clapton. Then come 5 indispensable Peter Green tracks- including two Otis Rush slow blues, a rocking version of Johnny Guitar Watson's "Looking back", a nice cover of "It hurts me too" and Mayall's own wonderful acoustic song "Sitting in the rain", with some great guitar from Peter. There is then half (?) of the song "Suspicions" featuring Mick Taylor and finally the Mayall single "Picture on the wall" and its flipside "Jenny", my two least favourite songs.

All-in-all a bit of a ragbag of a collection but if you haven't heard the marvellous tracks featuring Peter Green (including "Jenny") then this is a bargain way to acquire them.
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Format: Audio CD
I admit I've always been a bit biassed against this release. In Holland we were blessed with a compilation release called "So Many Roads" which had the original singles mixes of Double Touble & It Hurts Me Too, not the US-mixes that are on this "Looking Back" comp that omit Peter Green's trademark space-echo guitar sound and add an annoying tingling piano to It Hurts Me Too.
That being said, there are other treasures to be found here. Suspicion pt.1, even though pt.2 is the better track, & Jenny are welcome additions to my Mayall collection. The live recording of Stormy Monday is notable only for the line-up of the Bluesbreakers, which included both Clapton & Jack Bruce, but falls way below par in the recording department.
Still, all 'n all a pretty fair recapture of Mayall singles but once you've got yourself a copy, you really can't do without the "Through The Years" compilation .......;^)
peace,
Martin
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Best of British blues. I have all the mayall suff to mid seventies. So many good albums but this is the best. I've had the vinyl since 1968 and remembered how good it was when I bought cd for the car.
Probably the finest British musicians of the era. Absolute standout is 'it hurts me too'. New Orleans has nothing better.
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Format: Audio CD
I am a bit puzzled by the meanness of star allocation by other reviewers so let me add an alternative view. This is a collection of gems that was my original introduction to John Mayall and remains a firm favourite. It is true there is some variation in sound quality given the times in which these tracks were mastered but it does not really detract from the music. The songs culled from various single releases hang together remarkably well to create an overall charm and a sense of musicians revelling in what were then new sounds - the "white" blues.

The album mainly showcases the electric and acoustic guitar talents of Peter Green, with a smidgeon of Mick Taylor and an edge of your seat "Stormy Monday" with Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce that paved the way for Cream to follow. Not to mention contributions from Dick Heckstall Smith, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Aynsley Dunbar and Keef Hartley. There is maybe a slight over erring on the acoustic side of things but this adds pleasurable contrast when viewing the collection as a whole. For me there is not a bad track here but highlights are strong Mayall vocals throughout and tracks Stormy Monday, Looking Back, It Hurts Me Too and Jenny.
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Format: Audio CD
A storming album from John Mayall. His soulful blues voice comes out beautifully from the opening track Mr James. Unlike fellow compatriots of his time , like Rory gallagher, John Mayall never really wen down the rock road too much and this album is full of traditional blues classics. So Many Roads sums the album up with traditional routes and little credit towards the electric rock era, yet with some beautiful electric guitar playing...... My favourite track is It Hurts Me Too with some stonking piano work. Good album and should be part of your collection.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a classic album with great music for the lovers. I wish I had really listened to him when I was younger but now have the chance to enjoy what I missed.
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