John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers: Live In 1967
Let’s get the nasty bits out of the way first. Live In 1967, despite being recorded at five different London locations in the spring of that year, basically sounds like crap. As explained in the liner notes, the original recordings were made by a Dutch fan on a one-channel reel-to-reel recorder, not by a professional recording crew. Less than ideal conditions, in other words—as anyone who’s ever heard audience-originated tapes of rock concerts from that era will understand, this is pretty rough stuff. OK, so it’s distorted and muffled and lacking in sonic clarity and dimension. Deal with it, because what you’ve got here is worth hearing anyway: more than one hour, 13 tracks, of live vintage John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, which, at this time, consisted of Peter Green on guitar, John McVie on bass and Mick Fleetwood drumming. Pretty soon, those three would go on to form something called Fleetwood Mac, but for now, they were all about burning the blues. And on familiar tracks like the Otis Rush opener “All Your Love,” Willie Dixon’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday,” that’s all that this stellar quartet does. Audiophiles may run screaming, but blues people are going to be very forgiving.