Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
Released: July 22, 1966
Charted: July 30, 1966
Peak: -- US, 6 UK, -- CN, -- AU
Sales (in millions): -- US, 0.1 UK
Genre: British blues rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks)
Total Running Time: 37:39
3.736 out of 5.00 (average of 19 ratings)
Quotable: “Perhaps the best British blues album ever cut” – Bruce Eder, All Music Guide
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
“Rarely has any single record album induced such a shift in popular music.” LP This was the “best LP ever recorded by John Mayall's Bluesbreakers” BE and “perhaps the best British blues album ever cut.” BE This incarnation reinvented “the American blues for a fresh audience whose ultimate response would give rise to subgenres such as heavy metal and other roots-related rock.” LP Mayall sang and played guitar and keyboards while Bassist John McVie (later of Fleetwood Mac) and drummer Hughie Flint “provide a rock-hard rhythm section” BE giving “the tracks an extra level of steel-strung tension and power.” BE
“While their contributions prove immeasurable, they are likewise sadly eclipsed by that of Clapton.” LP “His guitar naturally dominates most of this record.” BE It was his “first fully realized album as a blues guitarist,” BE coming in between his stints with the Yardbirds and Cream, but he “needed precious little time to gestate the blues.” LP His “ability to express himself is uncanny, as if he were a man twice – if not three times – his age.” LP “One can hear the very direct influence of Buddy Guy and a handful of other American bluesmen in the playing.” BE
“The passionate inflections and unforgettable impressions Clapton makes upon these grooves swiftly catapulted him” LP “to the helm of the burgeoning British blues-rock scene” LP and “international exposure as well as legendary guitar rock idol status.” LP
“It became obvious for those involved that the best way to approach making a studio recording was to document the same material that was concurrently being performed by the band night after night in various London area clubs.” LP Credit goes “to producer Mike Vernon for the purity and simplicity of the record; most British producers of that era wouldn’t have been able to get it recorded this way, much less released.” BE
The album combined “originals such as Double Crossing Time and Key to Love with revered blues standards, including Freddie King’s Hideaway and Robert Johnson’s Ramblin' on My Mind – which features Clapton’s very first lead vocal.” LP
The collection “made significant noise on the other side of the Atlantic – where the blues had literally been born, bred, and buttered.” LP In short, “Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is an invaluable touchtone into primordial pre-metal rock & roll.” LP
Notes: “In 1998, Polygram Records issued a remastered version of this album on CD, featuring both the stereo and mono mixes of the original tracks and new notes.” BE The album was re-released again in 2001 with two bonus cuts (“Lonely Years” and “Bernard Jenkins”) added to the original twelve.
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First posted 3/31/2008; last updated 11/9/2021.