Nights At The Roundtable - John Mayall's Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. Key To Love - Decca UK - 1966
One of the milestone albums tonight from one of the groups that took Rock music to a whole new dimension. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers introduced a generation of listeners to what had previously been considered a sort of "folk music" - Urban blues, and let us all know what had been missing from our somewhat insular culture. Sure, the Rolling Stones were among the groups who took the likes of Howlin' Wolf and Floyd Dixon and turned millions of screaming fans on to them. But it was John Mayall who dug deeper, went after the rural stuff, music out of the chitlin' circuit, and completed the exposure and enriched everyone's experience in the process. There really was no looking back after this point.
On top of that, Mayall was a gifted spotter of talent and the various incarnations of The Bluesbreakers feature some of the greatest musicians ever to stand in front of a microphone. Certainly this 1966 album, Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton ranks as one of the pivotal albums of the period. But Clapton was only one of the many guitarists who visited the ranks of The Bluesbreakers. To say it was a Who's Who of rock luminaries would be something of an understatement.
So tonight's track is off that 1966 gem. Key To Love is a Mayall original and it features, in addition to Clapton on guitar, John McVie (later of Fleetwood Mac) on bass, Hughie Flint (later of McGuiness-Flint) on drums and John Almond (of Mark-Almond), Alan Skidmore and Dennis Healy filling out the horn section.
Good stuff from a great album. If you don't have it, you've go to pick it up. This is history that's timeless.