Full performer name: John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers.
John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers: John Mayall (vocals, piano, organ, harmonica); Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); John McVie (bass); Hughie Flint (drums).
Additional personnel: Alan Skidmore (tenor saxophone); John Almond (baritone saxophone); Dennis Healey (trumpet).
Includes original release liner notes by Neil Slaven & reissue liner notes by Paul Trynka.
1966's BLUESBREAKERS WITH ERIC CLAPTON is full of portent, as some of its participants would become superstars after its release. Future Cream guitarist Eric Clapton was highly rated enough in the UK blues-rock scene to score second billing, but it wasn't until this recording that he'd had the opportunity to truly stretch out in the studio and show off his awesome soloing skills. Clapton's earlier stint in the Yardbirds had found his ideas largely shouted down by pop-oriented producer/manager Giorgio Gomelsky, but here kindred spirit/producer Mike Vernon simply let Clapton play as he wished. The sympathetic rhythm section of Hughie Flint and future Fleetwood Mac founder John McVie, along with Mayall's best-ever vocals and organ, make BLUESBREAKERS WITH ERIC CLAPTON one of the all-time great British blues albums.
Q (p.156) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his was the record that sealed his guitar-hero status and, for the first time, put a blues album in the UK Top 10."
Q - Recommended
Down Beat (8/95, p.55) - 4.5 Stars - Very Good/Excellent - "...Clapton displays enough control and buoyant enthusiasm in his playing to justify the scrawling of `Clapton is God' on London walls....Mayall, meantime, explores the upper range of his pale voice with urgency and conviction..."
Musician (4/95, p.76) - "...Clapton blazes with a maturity beyond his years, and his tone pierces and rumbles with a freedom he's rarely evoked since....shows how even the greats can be elevated by the right rhythm section..."
Living Blues (p.67) - "Clapton's fire on cuts like the Freddy King instrumental standard 'Hideaway' and Robert Johnson's 'Ramblin' On My Mind' shaped the scholarly blues exposition Clapton would display most of his career."
Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] classic of its time that hasn't dated. While your ears expect a guitar-fest, it's Mayall's assured vocal that hits first."