The British Beat Boom

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John Mayall - organ/harmonica/guitar/vocals (born November 29th 1933, Macclesfield, Cheshire)

Band members included:-

Guitarists - Bernie Watson, Roger Dean, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Mick Taylor

Bass guitar - John McVie, Jack Bruce, Paul Williams, Keith Tillman

Drums - Peter Ward, Martin Hart, Hughie Flint, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, Keef Hartley

Along with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated, The Bluesbreakers played a central role in British R&B. Under Mayall's unwavering commitment to the blues, they produced a generation of musicians.

The son of a keen amateur dance band musician, John Mayall put his first group, The Powerhouse Four, together while he was still at art school, studying to become a commercial artist. His next venture was the semi-professional Blues Syndicate who played gigs around the Manchester area. It was at one such gig, at the Twisted Wheel, that Alexis Korner persuaded Mayall to try his luck in London.

Mayall moved south and formed the Bluesbreakers in 1963. The first settled line-up of the band consisted of Bernie Watson (guitar), John McVie (bass) and Martin Hart (drums). This version of the Bluesbreakers lasted from July '63 to April '64 when Watson and Hart were replaced by Roger Dean and Hughie Flint respectively. It was this line-up that recorded the first single and cut an album live at a London club. These first recordings had a distinct R'n'B feel to them, but when Eric Clapton came on board from the Yardbirds early in '65 they switched to a more purist blues sound.

In 1966 they released their "Blues Breakers" album, an unexpected success commercially, the record firmly established Clapton's status as a guitar hero. Although singles would continue to be issued, Mayall became one of the first artists to concentrate on the albums market.

Clapton left in mid-66 for form the "supergroup" Cream and Mayall turned to Peter Green to replace him. Green would only remain with the group for a year before being leaving to form Fleetwood Mac and being succeeded by future Rolling Stone Mick Taylor.

Throughout their career the musicians themselves may have changed frequently but Mayall remained unconcerned about the commercial pressures of the day and stuck to a "back to the roots" policy of playing the blues.



May '64

Crawling Up A Hill/Mr. James

Decca F 11900


Oct '64

Crocodile Walk/Blues City Shakedown

Decca F 12120


Oct '65

I'm Your Witchdoctor/Telephone Blues

Immediate IM 012


Nov '65

Lonely Years/Bernard Jenkins

Purdah 45-3502


Sep '66

Parchman Farm/Key To Love

Decca F 12490


Oct '66

Looking Back/So Many Roads

Decca F 12506





Mar '65

John Mayall Plays John Mayall - Crawling Up A Hill/I Wanna Teach You Everything/When I'm Gone/I Need Your Love/The Hoot Owl/R&B Time/Night Train/Crocodile Walk/What's The Matter With You?/Doreen/Runaway/Heartache/Chicago Like

Decca LK 4680

Jul '66

Blues Breakers - All Your Love/Hideaway/Little Girl/Another Man/Double Crossin' Time/What'd I Say?/Key To Love/Another Kinda Love/Hit The Highway/Leaping Christine/Dust My Blues/There's Always Work/Same Way/Supernatural/Top Of The Hill/Someday After A While/Living Alone

Decca LK 4804




London Blues 1964-1969 - Crawling Up A Hill/My Baby Is Sweeter/Crocodile Walk/Blues City Shakedown/I'm Your Witchdoctor/Telephone Blues/Bernard Jenkins/All Your Love/Double Crossing Time/Key To Love/Parchman Farm/Looking Back/So Many Roads/Sitting In The Rain/A Hard Road/Dust My Blues/The Supernatural/Another Kinda Love/Leaping Christine/Burn Out Your Blind Eyes/All My Life/Ridin' On The L & N/Eagle Eye/It Hurts Me Too/Double Trouble/Sonny Boy Blow/Broken Wings/Oh Pretty Woman/The Death Of J.B. Lenoir/Man Of Stone/Checkin' On My Baby/Suspicions (Part 1)/Jenny/Picture On The Wall/No Reply/She's Too Young/Sandy/Walking On Sunset/The Bear/Fly Tomorrow