Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

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Matt Wilson
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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Matt Wilson » 21 Feb 2021, 22:32

All right, I've finished the '60s (almost), and feel like jotting down some notes.

John Mayall Plays John Mayall
Decent first LP. Live, with average/good songs. Representative of a certain kind of British obsession with the Blues which permeated the culture for the rest of the decade.
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
The most famous album Mayall ever had anything to do with. Slowhand is fresh from the Yardbirds with his Les Paul cranked up to eleven, pre-psych and no rawk posterings. If Brit Blues rock is your thing it doesn't get any better than this.
The Hard Road
Enter Peter Green. Less aggressive and more moody than E.C. This is actually almost as good as the previous record and probably should be the second LP of Mayall's you pick up.
Crusade
Again, almost as good as the last album with a teenage Mick Taylor blasting out of the gate much like the two guitarists before him. These three albums form the basis of the Bluesbreakers trilogy from which John's legacy rests.
The Blues Alone
Mayall decides to go it alone, playing everything but drums. Nothing exceptional, but stuff like "Brand New Start" is quite memorable.
Diary of a Band Vols. 1 & 2
So-so sound quality (are there any well-recorded live British rock albums before 1969?), but excellent playing from the Taylor era.
Bare Wires
Even though this is the last LP to carry the Bluesbreakers name, it's really the first Mayall solo LP in that his concerns thematically, dominate the proceedings. More jazzy than what we're used to, and John's rather pervy predilection for underage girls is becoming more apparent. Much more of that comes later.
Blues from Laurel Canyon
Still living in the UK, he made this record about a stay in California, which would become his permanent home the next year. Songs about Zappa, Canned Heat, and you guessed it, underage girls abound. Taylor's last album before joining the Stones in '69.
The Turning Point
Live, acoustic blues with long, jazzy solos is the order of the day with this new group. Recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore East (with a song called "California" which the New Yorkers give polite applause to).
Looking Back
Collection of 45s (mostly B-sides) with one new live Clapton cut. Mostly pretty damn good and with all three guitarists represented (mostly Green though), this is the first time you could buy an album with all three of those guys included.

All of the above save perhaps the two solo offerings are good/great and represent the recordings he's most known for. Sound quality is good and complete LP reproductions in cardboard CD sleeves are included. There are also CDs of the All My Life EP and the I'm Your Witchdoctor" and "Lonely Years" 45s included for completists.

One of the selling points is the inclusion of a bunch of live stuff from the Bluesbreakers era in the '60s with all three guitarists represented. Club dates, jazz festivals, BBC sessions, colleges, etc. I've made it through a few of them and the performances are uniformly excellent with so-so sound quality not unlike that of the massive King Crimson boxes a lot of us know. I listened to Bromley Technical College 1967 and Live 1967 (both with Green/McVie/Fleetwood - basically Fleetwood Mac with Mayall singing) and the latter in particular is a revelation, performance-wise. I also heard National Jazz & Blues Festival, Windsor 1967 with Taylor and it also kicked ass.
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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby C » 22 Feb 2021, 10:17

Matt Wilson wrote:All right, I've finished the '60s (almost), and feel like jotting down some notes.

John Mayall Plays John Mayall
Decent first LP. Live, with average/good songs. Representative of a certain kind of British obsession with the Blues which permeated the culture for the rest of the decade.
Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton
The most famous album Mayall ever had anything to do with. Slowhand is fresh from the Yardbirds with his Les Paul cranked up to eleven, pre-psych and no rawk posterings. If Brit Blues rock is your thing it doesn't get any better than this.
The Hard Road
Enter Peter Green. Less aggressive and more moody than E.C. This is actually almost as good as the previous record and probably should be the second LP of Mayall's you pick up.
Crusade
Again, almost as good as the last album with a teenage Mick Taylor blasting out of the gate much like the two guitarists before him. These three albums form the basis of the Bluesbreakers trilogy from which John's legacy rests.
The Blues Alone
Mayall decides to go it alone, playing everything but drums. Nothing exceptional, but stuff like "Brand New Start" is quite memorable.
Diary of a Band Vols. 1 & 2
So-so sound quality (are there any well-recorded live British rock albums before 1969?), but excellent playing from the Taylor era.
Bare Wires
Even though this is the last LP to carry the Bluesbreakers name, it's really the first Mayall solo LP in that his concerns thematically, dominate the proceedings. More jazzy than what we're used to, and John's rather pervy predilection for underage girls is becoming more apparent. Much more of that comes later.
Blues from Laurel Canyon
Still living in the UK, he made this record about a stay in California, which would become his permanent home the next year. Songs about Zappa, Canned Heat, and you guessed it, underage girls abound. Taylor's last album before joining the Stones in '69.
The Turning Point
Live, acoustic blues with long, jazzy solos is the order of the day with this new group. Recorded at Bill Graham's Fillmore East (with a song called "California" which the New Yorkers give polite applause to).
Looking Back
Collection of 45s (mostly B-sides) with one new live Clapton cut. Mostly pretty damn good and with all three guitarists represented (mostly Green though), this is the first time you could buy an album with all three of those guys included.

All of the above save perhaps the two solo offerings are good/great and represent the recordings he's most known for. Sound quality is good and complete LP reproductions in cardboard CD sleeves are included. There are also CDs of the All My Life EP and the I'm Your Witchdoctor" and "Lonely Years" 45s included for completists.

One of the selling points is the inclusion of a bunch of live stuff from the Bluesbreakers era in the '60s with all three guitarists represented. Club dates, jazz festivals, BBC sessions, colleges, etc. I've made it through a few of them and the performances are uniformly excellent with so-so sound quality not unlike that of the massive King Crimson boxes a lot of us know. I listened to Bromley Technical College 1967 and Live 1967 (both with Green/McVie/Fleetwood - basically Fleetwood Mac with Mayall singing) and the latter in particular is a revelation, performance-wise. I also heard National Jazz & Blues Festival, Windsor 1967 with Taylor and it also kicked ass.


Excellent notes Matt - thanks!

For me, the big three of the 60s and probably the whole Mayall catalogue are Bare Wires, Laurel Canyon and The Turning Point.

I find the Bluesbreakers album overrated - I always have done.

Laurel Canyon and TTP are my favourite Mayall brace.

I must be naive or stupid - or both but I have never considered the age of his sexual exploits.

Many were the GTOs - were they underage at the time?

Enlighten me please - with evidence where possible....





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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Feb 2021, 16:00

"She's Too Young"

Sixteen, she is still in school
I've got to learn to keep it cool
She's too young, but not for me
So with a bit of luck
She will find a way to come to me

Why do people always intervene?
Very soon she'll be seventeen
She's too young to skip town
She was born to be loved
And I can't wait to bury her down

She's beautiful and waits for me
Will our plans ever come to be?
She's too young, so people say
But with the opportunity
She would run to me today

The clue was in the title, C.
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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby C » 22 Feb 2021, 16:43

Matt Wilson wrote:"She's Too Young"

Sixteen, she is still in school
I've got to learn to keep it cool
She's too young, but not for me
So with a bit of luck
She will find a way to come to me

Why do people always intervene?
Very soon she'll be seventeen
She's too young to skip town
She was born to be loved
And I can't wait to bury her down

She's beautiful and waits for me
Will our plans ever come to be?
She's too young, so people say
But with the opportunity
She would run to me today

The clue was in the title, C.


Fair point

Ten Years After did Good Morning Little School Girl.

But like Mayall it's not prolific

I suppose that was my point...



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kath wrote:(editor's note: the frank bouncebouncebounce for me is different and distinct from all other bouncebouncebounces.)

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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Neige » 22 Feb 2021, 18:09

C wrote:
Ten Years After did Good Morning Little School Girl.

But like Mayall it's not prolific

I suppose that was my point...



.


The TYA song was originally by Sonny Boy Williamson, also covered by dozens of bluesmen as well as The Yardbirds, Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter. But you've got a point.

I found this in Wikipedia

English group Ten Years After updated the song with a blues-rock arrangement for their 1969 album Ssssh. In an album review, Jim Newsom noted the seven-minute version included "reworked lyrics leaving little doubt as to what the singer had in mind for the title character"


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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby C » 22 Feb 2021, 18:56

Neige wrote:
C wrote:
Ten Years After did Good Morning Little School Girl.

But like Mayall it's not prolific

I suppose that was my point...



.


The TYA song was originally by Sonny Boy Williamson, also covered by dozens of bluesmen as well as The Yardbirds, Grateful Dead, Johnny Winter. But you've got a point.

I found this in Wikipedia

English group Ten Years After updated the song with a blues-rock arrangement for their 1969 album Ssssh. In an album review, Jim Newsom noted the seven-minute version included "reworked lyrics leaving little doubt as to what the singer had in mind for the title character"


We really live different times today.


Yes we do Felix

Sonny's original lyrics:

Hello, little school girl
Good morning, little school girl
Can I go home with you?
Can I go home, later wit' you?

Now, you can tell yo' mother an' yo' father, mm
That Sonny Boy's a little school boy, too

I woke up this morning
I woke up this morning
Lord, and I couldn't make me no
Lord, I couldn't make me, no town

Well, said I didn't have no blues, woman
But I was all messed up, anyhow

Now, you be my baby, mm
Come on an' be my baby, mm
I'll buy you a diamond
I'll buy you a diamond ring
etc

Alvin's:

Good morning little schoolgirl
Can I go home, home with you?
Good morning little schoolgirl
Can I go home, home with you?
Tell your mama and your papa
Big be schoolboy, too
I won't bore you, yeah
Baby, I won't bore you all night long
Yes, I do
Baby, I wanna ball you
I wanna ball you all night long

Tell your mama and your papa
Baby, baby, doing nothing wrong, child
I'm doing nothing wrong, yeah
I won't bore you, yea, yea, huh
Baby, I wanna ball you all night long
Yes, I do, child
etc


A slightly different connotation methinks....




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kath wrote:(editor's note: the frank bouncebouncebounce for me is different and distinct from all other bouncebouncebounces.)

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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Feb 2021, 19:12

They mean the same thing though. An African American was going to have to watch what he said in song lyrics in 1937. Someone like Alvin Lee, a white musician during the sexual revolution in the counter culture era, could get away with those lyrics whereas Sonny Boy couldn't. Probably not even in the late '60s.

The meaning didn't change though.
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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby robertff » 22 Feb 2021, 19:13

Whilst the 'Beano' album was definitely groundbreaking in its day and I did like it one heck of a lot at the time, all four of the following albums trounce that for me, Hard Road, Crusade (his most 60s underrated IMO), Bare Wires and Laurel Canyon, the last being my favourite. I rarely play the more straight blues Clapton one (still and excellent album) but regularly play the others mentioned and I never understand why Crusade doesn't get a better billing than it does, the first of Mick Taylor's trilogy of albums with Mayall and what an incredible starting point, superb.



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Last edited by robertff on 22 Feb 2021, 19:20, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Matt Wilson » 22 Feb 2021, 19:16

Yeah, Crusade is great. Can't believe Mick was like 18 or something like that when he recorded it.
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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby robertff » 22 Feb 2021, 19:19

Matt Wilson wrote:Yeah, Crusade is great. Can't believe Mick was like 18 or something like that when he recorded it.




Saw the Laurel Canyon band play in a tiny club in Catford, near Bromley, and that was one of the best gigs I've ever seen, the band was on fire and Mick Taylor was utterly brilliant.


Noticed that one of the CDs in the new set was at Bromley Tech. didn't know he played there did it give a date Matt? Saw quite a few bands at Bromley Tech as I lived just round the corner from there. Saw Mayall three times during the 60s.

Actually just looked at the live '67 LPs and it says Bromley April '67, so I guess I've just answered my own question.


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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby Charlie O. » 22 Feb 2021, 20:04

C wrote:Alvin's:

I won't bore you, yeah
Baby, I won't bore you all night long

Don't believe him, little school girl!
Image

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Re: Massive John Mayall 35-disc box set

Postby frimley_greener » 23 Feb 2021, 08:07

35 c.d set? I have never heard a single Blues breakers album to date....
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