John Mayall – Bluesbreakers (w/ Eric Clapton)
The period of time during which I listened to this album was a pretty short one, but it was a really important landmark on my journey backwards into the country blues.
I started, like a lot of people do, with Eric Clapton. That got me back to Cream, and then The Yardbirds. From there, this album. Which got me back to Chicago, and so forth.
It’s actually not my favorite Mayall disc (Crusade is!), and I was never a Les Paul player (save for one epic session in SF when I got to record w/ a mid-60s Gold Top through a Crybaby into a Marshall!), but all the same, I dug this intensely for the short while that I dug this intensely.
Favorite on here was always All your Love (great Otis Rush tune!) …
Cream – Fresh Cream
If you’ve been following #365DaysOfAlbumRecommendations at all, you’ve probably figured out that I have an abiding interest in debut albums. I’m rather obsessed with them—the good ones, the bad ones, the ones that sound nothing like later albums, and the ones that pretty much deliver everything the artist had to offer.
This is the debut album from a band that was pretty important to my musical upbringing. Thanks to my parent’s dynamite LP collection when I was growing up, I was able to work back through Clapton, Cream, The Yardbirds, John Mayall, and on back to Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, et al, and Cream definitely helped me get there, thanks in no small measure to their cover of “Spoonful” that sits on this album.
This is not the Spoonful of Charley Patton, mind you, this is the Willie Dixon vis a vis Howlin’ Wolf version, but Cream really does wonders with it, with all the menace and heat and power it ought to have.
It’s not Cream’s best record; that was still to come, but it’s a pretty remarkable debut.