Friday, June 18, 2021

John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers: Bare Wires 1968 (Remastered 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.

Bare Wires was the first Bluesbreakers album of new studio material since A Hard Road, released 16

months before. In that time, the band had turned over entirely, expanding to become a septet. Mayall's musical conception had also expanded -- the album began with a 23-minute "Bare Wires Suite," which included more jazz influences than usual and featured introspective lyrics. In retrospect, all of this is a bit indulgent, but at the time it helped Mayall out of what had come to seem a blues straitjacket (although he would eventually return to a strict blues approach). It isn't surprising that he dropped the "Bluesbreakers" name after this release. The album was Mayall's most successful ever in the U.K., hitting number three.

John Mayall’s teenage obsessions: ‘I lived in a tree house until I got married’

John Mayall's Bluesbreakers ‎– Bare Wires
Label: Decca ‎– 984 217-8, Decca ‎– 9842178
Format: CD, Album, Reissue, Remastered: 2007
Country: Europe
Released: 1968
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock



Bass [String Bass], Bass Guitar – Tony Reeves
Cornet, Violin – Henry Lowther
Design [CD Package] – Phil Smee
Drums, Percussion – Jon Hiseman
Engineer – Derek Varnals
Guitar, Guitar [Hawaiian] – Mick Taylor
Lead Guitar – Peter Green  (tracks: 8, 9)
Liner Notes, Research, Compiled By, Reissue Producer – Mark Powell
Producer – Mike Vernon
Remastered By – Paschal Byrne
Research [Assistance With Tape Research] – Jayne Byrne
Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone – Chris Mercer
Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone – Dick Heckstall-Smith
Vocals, Harmonica, Piano, Harpsichord, Organ, Harmonium, Guitar [Assorted Guitars], Producer – John Mayall
Written-By – John Mayall, Michael John Taylor



Bare Wires Suite     (22:59)
01.1  Bare Wires    
01.2  Where Did I Belong    
01.3  I Started Walking    
01.4  Open A New Door    
01.5  Fire    
01.6  I Know Now    
01.7  Look In The Mirror
Another Side

I'm A Stranger     5:13
03. No Reply     3:09
04. Hartley Quits     2:55
05. Killing Time     4:48
06. She's Too Young     2:22
07. Sandy     3:48

Bonus Tracks

08. Picture On The Wall     3:03
09. Jenny     4:40
10. Knocker's Step Forward     3:13
11. Hide And Seek     2:23
12. Intro - Look At The Girl     6:46
13. Start Walkin'     8:23

MP3 @ 320 Size: 169 MB
Flac  Size: 428 MB


  1. Many thanks for the FLAC version of this gem!

  2. The track included on the classic "Wowie Zowie" budget price sampler LP
    might have helped sales ?