Bluesbreakers: With Eric Clapton
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Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton is a 1966 electric Blues album by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers featuring Eric Clapton as lead guitarist. It is often referred to as The Beano album because the photograph on the album cover shows Clapton reading The Beano, a well-known British children's comic. Apart from being one of the most overall influential albums in Blues-Rock history, it was likely the first time anyone had heard a Gibson Les Paul guitar through an overdriven Marshall amplifier; this unique sound would become particularly influential. 12 tracks.
This 1966 landmark album, along with the debut Butterfield Blues Band record that shipped the previous year, launched the blues-rock revolution of the mid-'60s. Eric Clapton, who'd skipped out on the Yardbirds to explore his deep-blues muse, was given every opportunity to shine on flash-guitar numbers like Otis Rush's "All Your Love" and Freddy King's "Hideaway." And Clapton's easy-rolling cover of Robert Johnson's "Ramblin' on My Mind" marked his debut as a lead vocalist. John Mayall may have been overshadowed by his blazing attaché, but he and the Hughie Flint/John McVie rhythm section hold their own throughout. There are better '60s blues albums, but few had greater impact. --Steve Stolder
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Top Customer Reviews
During the show, Mayall played some of his 1960s material that I haven't listened to for years. It's great stuff so, since seeing that Mayall concert, I've been revisiting and rediscovering many of these classic 1960s British blues albums.
It's easy to forget what a masterful player John Mayall was, and still is. This 1966 album with Eric Clapton on lead guitar - often called the Beano album because Clapton is reading a copy of Beano magazine in the cover photo - is a groundbreaking and very influential album in blues history. Among other things, it was the first recording of Eric Clapton doing an all blues album. Clapton had recorded previously with The Yardbirds but The Yardbirds, while certainly influenced by the blues, weren't strictly a blues band; John Mayall's band was, without doubt, a blues band.
Shortly after this album was released, Eric Clapton left John Mayall's band to form Cream with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker.
Apart from Clapton's guitar playing, this was the first album to feature a track with Eric Clapton doing lead vocals.
It's worthwhile to give John Mayall's 1960s albums a listen or a re-listen. For those of you who haven't heard Mayall's 1960s material, you should check it out. This album and Mayall's 1967 "Hard Road" album with Peter Green on guitar are, in my opinion, the best of John Mayall's 1960s albums. I would go as far as to say they are both essential recordings for any blues fan. Both are certainly worth a listen. This is a very influential album in blues history.
"Backed by a solid rhythm section that included future Fleetwood Mac namesake John McVie on bass and drummer Hughie Flint (who would go on to form McGuinness Flint with former Manfred Mann guitarist Tom McGuinness), Clapton had the necessary support to let his imagination fly. Mayall was a strict bandleader, demanding a lot from his players but here he lets Clapton become the superstar he had the potential to be."
Clapton's innovative style combined with Mayall's voice, piano and harp made this an instant classic.
The Bluesbreakers on the other hand did well but unfairly didn't climb to the top rung of the ladder like Clapton did. Mayall definitely has reached God status in his own way and that was by churning out cream of the crop blues for the last 50+ years, not too shabby. Mayall is nearing 80 years old and still going strong.
All of the songs are great, not a weak one in the bunch. Solid lyrics, great instrumentals and the first true guitarist album of all time. Clapton took this one and has been riding it ever since in all its glory. A true classic.
Beginning appropriately enough with a few notes from Clapton's Les, 'All Your Love' kicks off the album in fine style, and gives the impression that Eric is just loosening up for 'Hideaway', an instrumental which showcases his remarkable fluidity, and for my money the pick of the tracks. Also outstanding is 'Have You Ever Loved A Woman', which Clapton later resurrected for Layla, and on which he takes over the singing duties. Pity he didn't do so more often because, along with some less-than-great songs, Mayall's voice is the real weak link in the chain. As his performance on 'What'd I Say' proves, he ain't no Ray Charles
'Beano' is certainly not the best blues album ever recorded, not by a long way, but its influence on other guitarists was immeasurable, as was Mayall's on so many of the fabulous British musicians who passed through the ranks of the Bluesbreakers. Full marks to him for that.
Recommended, but only for guitar fans. If you want Clapton playing and singing great songs, buy Layla instead. You'll get extra guitar legend thrown in, too.
Most recent customer reviews
I had this L.P. 35-40 years ago. I think liked it more then as I remember, but it is still a fine record.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Classic blues from a classic British band. One gets a clear understanding of how these musicians started and how they developed their careers.Published 5 months ago by Wilfred J. Collacott
Had this on vinyl many years ago and needed to hear it again. Took at least thirty years off my age.Published on Feb. 11 2013 by Raymond Ouellette
4 1/2 Stars
This is a thorougly enjoyable blues album that I bought after Lonnie Brooks and Cub Koda recommended it as one of the 25 essential blues albums of all time in... Read more
This sounds fantastic on CD, better than the original LP. Clapton really plays his guitar very loud on some cuts. Read morePublished on April 1 2001