Tuesday, June 22, 2021

John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers: A Hard Road 1967 (2CD Expanded Edition 2003) + Crusade 1967 (Expanded Edition 2007)

Throughout the '60s, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers acted as a finishing school for the leading

British blues-rock musicians of the era. Guitarists Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Mick Taylor joined his band in a remarkable succession in the mid-'60s, honing their chops with Mayall before going on to join Cream, Fleetwood Mac, and the Rolling Stones, respectively. John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, Jack Bruce, Aynsley Dunbar, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Andy Fraser (of Free), John Almond, and Jon Mark also played and recorded with the band for varying lengths of times in the '60s.

Mayall's personnel tended to overshadow his own considerable abilities. Only an adequate singer, the

multi-instrumentalist was adept in bringing out the best in his younger charges (Mayall himself was in his thirties by the time the Bluesbreakers began to make a name for themselves). Doing his best to provide a context in which they could play Chicago-style electric blues, Mayall was never complacent, writing most of his own material, revamping his lineup with unnerving regularity, and constantly experimenting within his basic blues format.                                                                                 



A Hard Road is the third album (and second studio album) recorded by John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released in 1967. It features Peter Green on lead guitar, John McVie on bass, Aynsley

Dunbar on drums and John Almond on saxophone. Tracks 5, 7 and 13 feature the horn section of Alan Skidmore and Ray Warleigh. Peter Green sings lead vocals on "You Don't Love Me" and "The Same Way". The album reached #8 on the UK album charts which is Mayall's third biggest chart next to Bare Wires and Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton which reached #3 and #6, respectively.
The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by Mayall. In 2003 and 2006 two different expanded versions of the album were released.

[AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
Eric Clapton is usually thought of as John Mayall's most important right-hand man, but the case could also be made for his successor, Peter Green. The future Fleetwood Mac founder leaves a strong stamp

on his only album with the Bluesbreakers, singing a few tracks and writing a couple, including the devastating instrumental "Supernatural." Green's use of thick sustain on this track clearly pointed the way to his use of guitar riffs with elongated, slithery tones on Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" and "Black Magic Woman," as well as anticipating some aspects of Carlos Santana's style. Mayall acquits himself fairly well on this mostly original set (with occasional guest horns), though some of the material is fairly mundane. Highlights include the uncharacteristically rambunctious "Leaping Christine" and the cover of Freddie King's "Someday After a While (You'll Be Sorry)."]

Recorded in October and November of the previous year, A Hard Road was released on the Decca label in February 1967. In addition to the leader on vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, and organ, Green on guitar, John McVie (soon to contribute the third syllable to Fleetwood Mac) on bass, either Hughie Flint or Aynsley Dunbar on drums, this version of the Bluesbreakers also packed brass in its pocket. John Almond and Alan Skidmore added sax while Ray Warleigh contributed ‘wind instruments’.

A Hard Road is a solid sixties British blues album. Mayall’s vocals were never the slam-you-against-the-wall kind, but he truly sings with character. Eight of the fourteen tracks are Mayall originals with Green getting onto the scoreboard with two songs. Indeed, where this LP really flies is when Peter Green steps forward, as on the instrumental number “The Stumble” and his own “The Super-Natural”, two highlights. The latter piece is worth the price of admission alone. In fact the sustained opening note of “The Super-Natural” is worth the entry fee.


Original album

John Mayall – vocals, guitar, harmonica, piano, organ
Peter Green – guitar, vocals
John McVie – bass
Hughie Flint, Aynsley Dunbar – drums
John Almond, Alan Skidmore – saxophones
Ray Warleigh – wind instruments

2003 expanded edition Same as above with the addition of:

Colin Allen
– drums
Paul Butterfield – harmonica, vocals
Mick Fleetwood – drums
Henry Lowther – trumpet
Nick Newell – saxophone

John Mayall And The Bluesbreakers ‎– A Hard Road
Label: Deram ‎– B0001083-02, Chronicles ‎– B0001083-02
Series: Blues Classics Remastered & Revisited –
Format: CD, Album, Reissue
Country: US
Released: 2003
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Electric Blues, Chicago Blues, Harmonica Blues



01. A Hard Road     3:08
02. It's Over     2:48
03. You Don't Love Me  (Vocals – Peter Green/Written-By – Cobbs)  2:48
04. The Stumble  (Written-By – King, Thompson)  2:51
05. Another Kinda Love     3:04
06. Hit The Highway     2:15
07. Leaping Christine     2:22
08. Dust My Blues  (Written-By – James, Josea)  2:46
09. There's Always Work     1:37
10. The Same Way  (Vocals – Peter Green/Written-By – Green)  2:09
11. The Super-Natural  (Written-By – Green)  2:55
12. Top Of The Hill     2:39
13. Some Day After Awhile (You'll Be Sorry)  (Written-By – King, Thompson)  3:00
14. Living Alone     2:23

Bonus Tracks

15. Evil Woman Blues (From Raw Blues)     4:02
16. All Of My Life     4:23
17. Ridin' On The L&N     2:27
18. Little By Little     2:45
19. Eagle Eye     2:52

MP3 @ 320 Size: 124 MB
Flac  Size: 307 MB



01. Looking Back (Single A-Side)     2:34
02. So Many Roads (Single B-Side)     4:46
03. Sitting In The Rain (Single A-Side)     2:56
04. Out Of Reach (Single B-Side)     4:42
05. Mama, Talk To Your Daughter (Session Outtake)     2:37
06. Alabama Blues (Session Outtake)     2:32
07. Curly (Single A-Side)     4:49
08. Rubber Duck (Single B-Side)     3:57
09. Greeny (Session Outtake)     3:54
10. Missing You (Session Outtake)     1:57
11. Please Don't Tell (Session Outtake)     2:26
12. Your Funeral And My Trial (Session Outtake)     3:54
13. Double Trouble (Single A-Side)     3:19
14. It Hurts Me Too (Single B-Side)     2:55
15. Jenny (Single A-Side)     4:46
16. Picture On The Wall (Single B-Side)     3:01
17. First Time Alone (From Blues From Laurel Canyon)     5:00

MP3 @ 320 Size: 139 MB
Flac  Size: 352 MB



Crusade is the fourth album and third studio album by the British blues rock band John Mayall & the

Bluesbreakers, released on 1 September 1967 on Decca Records. It was the follow-up to A Hard Road, also released in 1967. As with their two previous albums, Crusade was produced by Mike Vernon. The album was the first recordings of the then-18-year-old guitarist Mick Taylor.

[AllMusic Review by Matthew Greenwald
The final album of an (unintentional) trilogy, Crusade is most notable for the appearance of a

very young, pre-Rolling Stones Mick Taylor on lead guitar.
Taylor's performance is indeed the
highlight, just as Eric Clapton and Peter Green's playing was on the previous album. The centerpiece of the album is a beautiful instrumental by Taylor titled "Snowy Wood," which, while wholly original, seems to combine both Green and Clapton's influence with great style and sensibility. The rest of the record, while very enjoyable, is standard blues-rock fare of the day, but somewhat behind the then-progressive flavor of 1967. Mayall, while being one of the great bandleaders of London, simply wasn't really the frontman that the group needed so desperately, especially then. Nevertheless, Crusade is important listening for Mick Taylor aficionados.]


John Mayall – vocals, organ, piano, harmonica, bottleneck guitar
Mick Taylor – lead guitar
John McVie – bass guitar (except tracks 21–22)
Keef Hartley – drums
Chris Mercer – tenor saxophone (except tracks 13–20)
Rip Kant – baritone saxophone (except tracks 13–22)
Peter Green – lead guitar (tracks 13–20)
Aynsley Dunbar – drums (tracks 13–18)
Mick Fleetwood – drums (tracks 19–20)
Paul Williams – bass guitar (tracks 21–22)
Dick Heckstall-Smith – tenor and soprano saxophone (tracks 21–22)

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers ‎– Crusade
Label: Decca ‎– 984 217-5
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered
Country: Europe
Released: 2007
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock



01. Oh, Pretty Woman  (Written-By – A.C. Williams)  3:35
02. Stand Back Baby  (Written-By – John Mayall)  1:45
03. My Time After Awhile  (Written-By – Robert L. Geddins, Ronald Dean Badger)  5:09
04. Snowy Wood  (Written-By – John Mayall, Mick Taylor)  3:37
05. Man Of Stone  (Written-By – Eddie Kirkland)  2:26
06. Tears In My Eyes  (Written-By – John Mayall)  4:17
07. Driving Sideways  (Written-By – Beverly Bridge, Freddy King, Sonny Thompson)  3:58
08. The Death Of J.B. Lenoir  (Written-By – John Mayall)  4:24
09. I Can't Quit You Baby (Written-By – Willie Dixon)  4:31
10. Streamline  (Written-By – John Mayall)  3:15
11. Me And My Woman  (Written-By – Gene Barge)  4:01
12. Checkin Up On My Baby  (Written-By – Sonny Boy Williamson (2)  3:56

Expanded release

13. Curly  (Written-By – Peter Green)  3:25
14. Rubber Duck  (Written-By – Aynsley Dunbar, Peter Green)  3:46
15. Greeny  (Written-By – Peter Green)  3:55
16. Missing You  (Written-By – Peter Green)  1:58
17. Please Don't Tell  (Written-By – John Mayall)  2:28
18. Your Funeral, My Trial  (Written-By – Sonny Boy Williamson (2)3:56
19. Double Trouble  (Written-By – Otis Rush)  3:22
20. It Hurts Me Too  (Written-By – Melvene R. London)  2:55
21. Suspicious (Part One)  (Written-By – John Mayall)  2:48
22. Suspicious (Part Two)  (Written-By – John Mayall)  5:31

MP3 @ 320 Size: 181 MB
Flac  Size: 462 MB