Fleetwood Mac – Blues Jam In Chicago (1969/2004)

FrontCover1.jpgBlues Jam at Chess/Fleetwood Mac In Chicago/Blues Jam In Chicago Vols. 1 & 2 was the result of a recording session in early 1969, at Chess Records in Chicago (home to Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, et al.) with Fleetwood Mac, then a young British blues band, and a number of famous Chicago Blues artists from whom they drew inspiration. (by wikipedia)

This set, recorded at Chess Record’s Ter-Mar complex in Chicago, pairs Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac with some of the Windy City’s blues legends including Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, Buddy Guy, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. Put together on short notice, and recorded in one day, the sessions have something of a ramshackle feel, but the energy of the performances transcends any shortcomings on this date. Dixon oversaw the proceedings, and can be heard during the between-song banter giving directions and chastising Walter “Shakey” Horton for missing his cues.

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Since the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was so directly influenced by Chicago blues, the session acts as a kind of stylistic homecoming for the band. Bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood contribute driving rhythms while guitarists Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer lend both rhythms and the occasional lead. Green’s stunningly fluid guitar work is at the fore, as usual. But the real treat is picking out the Chess players–Otis Spann’s piano on “I Got the Blues,” J.T. Brown’s tenor sax on Elmore James’s “I Can’t Hold Out,” or Guy and Edwards, who go toe-to-toe with Green on “Red Hot Jam,” one of the session’s indisputable highlights.

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Like VOL. 1, BLUES JAM IN CHICAGO VOL. 2 documents collaborations between some of Chess Records’ most prominent bluesmen and the late-1960s version of Fleetwood Mac (the blues-rock power outfit, as opposed to the commercially successful soft-rock incarnation from the ’70s). Given that the Peter Green-led Fleetwood Mac was already deeply rooted in Chicago blues, the project proved to be a natural for the group, with Green’s blues-drenched leads and the chops of Mick Fleetwood (drums), John McVie (bass), Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer (guitars) providing a perfect framework for contributions by Willie Dixon, Otis Spann, and David “Honeyboy” Edwards, among others.

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Green and company bring an edge to the proceedings, playing with the kind of muscle and unbridled energy associated with rock music. Interestingly, VOL. 2 has greater variety in the lineup than VOL. 1, with Dixon substituting on bass for McVie on a number of tracks, along with much swapping of vocal duties. This last fact gives the second installment the edge over the first, with Edwards singing on his own tunes (“Honey Boy Blues” is a highlight), and the inimitable Spann singing “Someday Soon Baby” and “Hungry Country Girl.” This is one of the finer snapshots of British blues-rock meeting its source. (by allmusic)

This album is not only a highlight in the career of the early Fleetwood Mac, but in the history of Blues …

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Personnel:
Mick Fleetwood (drums)
Peter Green (vocals, guitar)
John McVie (bass)
Danny Kirwan (vocals, guitar)

Jeremy Spencer (vocals, guitar, slide guitar)
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J. T. Brown (saxophone)
Willie Dixon (bass)
David “Honeyboy” Edwards (guitar)
Buddy Guy (guitar)
Walter “Shakey” Horton (harmonica)
S.P. Leary (drums)
Otis Spann (vocals, piano)

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Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Watch Out (Green) 4.20
02. Ooh Baby (Burnett) 4.06
03. South Indiana (take 1) (Horton) 3.21
04. South Indiana (take 2) (Horton) 3.47
05. Last Night (Jacobs) 5.01
06. Red Hot Jam (take 1 with studio talk) (Green) 5.55
07. Red Hot Jam (take 2 – master version) (Green) 6.02
08. I’m Worried (Green) 3.47
09. I Held My Baby Last Night (James/Taub) 5.16
10. Madison Blues (James) 4.56
11. I Can’t Hold Out (James) 4.49
12. Bobby’s Rock (previously unreleased) (James) 4.00
13. I Need Your Love (John Jr.) 4.32
14. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 1 with studio chatter – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.37
15. I Got The Blues (master version with previously unreleased false start) (Horton) 4.55

CD 2:
01. World’s In A Tangle (Rogers) 5.26
02. Talk With You (Kirwan) 3.28
03. Like It This Way (Kirwan) 4.25
04. Someday Soon Baby (Spann) 7.37
05. Hungry Country Girl (Spann) 5.47
06. Black Jack Blues (Brown) 5.08
07. Everyday I Have The Blues (Slim) 4.55
08. Rockin’ Boogie (Spencer) 3.58
09. My Baby’s Gone (Edwards) 4.04
10. Sugar Mama (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Traditional) 0.49
11. Sugar Mama” (take 2 – master version) (Traditional) 6.08
12. Homework (Clark/Perkins/Rush) 3.21
13. Honey Boy Blues (previously unreleased) (Edwards) 2.20
14. I Need Your Love (take 1 – previously unreleased) (Rogers) 2.15
15. Horton’s Boogie Woogie (take 2 – previously unreleased) (Horton) 3.40
16. Have A Good Time (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.55
17. That’s Wrong (previously unreleased) (Horton) 4.13
18. Rock Me Baby (previously unreleased) (Jackson) 3.25

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British Blues Review Nr. 1 (April 1988)

FrontCoverIn the 80´s the “British Blues Net” was founded by Robert Bravington and GrahamVickery (better known as Shakey Vick) Many years later the archives of the “British Blues Net” became a part of the “British Blues Archive”.
This archive includes the “British Blues Review”, the official journal of the “British Blues Net”.

The British Blues Archive (BBA) was set up by Peter Harvie and Stevie King in 2011 and is the only archive which concentrates upon British Blues, that great music that means so much to so many people.  The archive documents the history, musicians, the venues and the instruments that make up British Blues. Eventually everything will be on this website for everyone to see but it will take many years. We will get there with the help of fellow musicians and enthusiasts.

And here´s the very first issue auf the British Blues Review from April 1988.

For all enthusiast (like me), who live the British Blues Scene …

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The backpage pages of this issue

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Cyril Davies (feat. Alexis Korner) – The Legendary Cyril Davies Album (1970)

FrontCover1Cyril Davies (23 January 1932 – 7 January 1964) was an English blues musician, and one of the first blues harmonica players in England.

Born at St Mildred’s, 15 Hawthorn Drive, Willowbank, Denham, Buckinghamshire, he was the son of William Albert Davies, a labourer, and his wife Margaret Mary (née Jones). He had an elder brother named Glyn, and the family is believed to have come from Wales.

Cyril Davies began his career in the early 1950s first within Steve Lane’s Southern Stompers, then in 1955 formed an acoustic skiffle and blues group with Alexis Korner. He began as a banjo and 12-string guitar player before becoming a Chicago-style blues harmonica player after hearing Little Walter. Working by day as a panel beater, he ran an unsuccessful skiffle club before meeting Korner, then Davies and Korner opened a London Rhythm and Blues club “England’s Firstest and Bestest Skiffle Club”, later known as the “London Blues and Barrelhouse Club”. Popular with other musicians, the club hosted gigs by blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Memphis Slim.

During this period Davies and Korner worked as session musicians, and often backed Ottilie Patterson during her featured set with husband Chris Barber’s band, using amplified instruments for the first time – which did not go down well with their blues purist audience and many fellow musicians. After closing the blues club, Davies and Korner went their separate ways, and, influenced by Muddy Waters electric sound, Davies formed his own electric blues band.

In 1961, Chris Barber recruited Davies and Korner to play harmonica and electric guitar in accompanying Barber’s band regularly at its Wednesday and Friday night sets at the Marquee Club, a popular London jazz club. This opportunity granted Davies and Korner some exposure to the London music scene, but the duo wished to focus more on blues and R&B. The two decided to found their own rhythm and blues group and, in a show of support, Barber offered them the intermission slot at the Marquee on Wednesday nights.

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Korner supplied musicians for the rhythm sections, and Davies recruited Art Wood and Long John Baldry to be the vocalists. They named the group Blues Incorporated, and their initial performances at the Marquee were very well received. However, they realized the need for additional performance opportunities and, since most jazz and folk clubs in London were wary of electric guitars, Davies and Korner decided to found their own club at which they could perform. In 1962 they founded the Ealing Club, which featured performances by both Blues Incorporated and other Trad jazz outfits popular in England at the time. The club proved to be a popular sensation in the burgeoning R&B scene, and attracted such far-flung admirers and future stars as Mick Jagger and Eric Burdon. Jagger was in the audience for the second night at the club and got up to sing “Got My Mojo Working”.

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In June 1962 they recorded R&B from the Marquee,[4] actually recorded in Decca Records’ studio. After touring the UK and headlining a residency at the Marquee,[2] by October 1962 there was musical tension in the band as some members wanted to play crowd pleasers like Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley songs while Cyril Davies and others members were blues purists who wanted to play what they saw as only genuine Chicago-style R&B.[5][6] Following his departure from Blues Incorporated in October 1962, Davies then formed the Cyril Davies All-Stars[7] in November 1962 and recorded five tracks for Pye Records, who had announced an R&B label featuring music imported from Davies’ favourite Chicago musicians (“Country Line Special”, “Chicago Calling”, “Preaching the Blues”, “Sweet Mary” and “Someday Baby”). The original line-up was largely recruited from Screaming Lord Sutch’s Savages, and featured both Long John Baldry and Davies on vocals to give Davies room to play harmonica. The band, later known simply as the All-Stars was subject to frequent personnel changes.

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After contracting pleurisy in 1963, Davies began to drink heavily to assuage the pain while undergoing a heavy touring schedule. He died in January 1964,[9] after collapsing during an engagement at a night club on Eel Pie Island, Twickenham in London.[10] The official cause of death was given as endocarditis,[11] although leukaemia is often quoted. The core band was taken over by Long John Baldry and formed the basis of his ‘Hoochie Coochie Men’.

In October 2014 the compilation entitled Preachin’ The Blues: The Cyril Davies Memorial Album was finally released on GVC Records (GVC2040) in Great Britain. (by wikipedia)

Early in the morning of January 8th, 1964, I received a telephone call from John Martin: “I’m sorry to be the one who has to tell you this, John, but Cyril died last night.” Cyril had been taken to hospital at six in the evening and within five hours was dead. I just could not believe it – he had been ill for some months, that I knew, but the suddenness of his death threw me. Some days before, as we were crossing the footbridge from our old stamping ground Eel Pie Island, he had said something that flashed back into my mind at that moment. “You know, John, I think this will be the last time I’ll walk on this bridge”.

As it happened, that particular evening at the Island was to be his last public appearance.

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The first time I ever met Cyril Davies was a few weeks before the earliest tracks on this album were recorded. I was only a young kid just out of school at that time, just playing guitar and singing a little and very much in love with the blues. Although I had been listening to records by Bill Broonzy, and Muddy Waters among others since I was twelve, I had never heard English people playing and singing the blues until the evening I walked into the Roundhouse (the pub in Soho, not Arnold Wesker’s ex-railway turntable shed) and heard Cyril and Alexis Korner. I used to go every Thursday evening and they would invite me to join them on the piece of lino between the piano and the bar, which served as the bandstand, encouraging me in my desire to be part of the blues scene. Those were great days, because apart from Cyril, Alex and myself performing, there were visits to the club by Big Bill, Muddy, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann, Ramblin’ Jack Elliot and Derroll Adams and many more.

Of course, Cyril was better known then as a twelve-string guitarist than as a harmonica player. But later, in the days of the “Blues Incorporated” and the All Stars”, he never played guitar on stage, so naturally became absolutely identified with harmonica. I have always thought it a great pity that his guitar playing was never utilized on his recordings for Decca and Pye. However, this situation can now be rectified as we listen to this collection of memorable recordings thanks to Doug Dobell.

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As I listen, I look back and think of the little black Alsatian Uschi (still alive and well and monstrous in Kent) that he gave me from the litter of his scrapyard watchdog Kim. The entire barful of dockers on Teesside for whom he bought drinks all night. The inimitable way he curbed a tribal civil war in the back of a Timpson’s coach outside Middlesbrough Infirmary. My sudden arrival back to sobriety one night in Burslem with a well-aimed harmonica hurled at my head from the stage. But there’s not enough room on this sleeve to tell it all. Perhaps Doug might let me record an album one day so that I can tell you the WHOLE story of the Legendary Cyril Davies. (by Long John Baldry, taken from the originaL liner notes)

It´s time to honour Cyril Davies, one of the first blues man in UK. Listn !

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Personnel:
Cyril Davies (guitar, vocals, harmonica)
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Jeff Bradford (mandolin, kazoo, guitar on 06. + 12.)
Mike Collins (washboard on 02., 10. + 11)
Alexis Korner (guitar, mandolin, vocals on 02., 03., 05., 08. – 11.
Terry Plant (bass on 02., 05., 10. + 11.)
Lisa Turner (banjo, vocals on 06 . + 12.)
Reg Turner (jug on 06. + 12.)

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Tracklist:
01 Leaving Blues (Ledbetter) 3.15
02- Roundhouse Stomp (Johnson) 2.53
03. Rotten Break (Taylor) 3.48
04. K.C. Moan (Blackman) 2.54
05. Skip To My Lou (Traditional) 1.54
06. It’s The Same Old Thing (Shade) 2.19
07. Alberta (Leadbelly) 2.43
08. Hesitation Blues (Handy) 2.29
09. Ella Speed (Traditional) 2.58
10. Good Morning (Leadbelly) 2.36
11. Boll Weevil (Brownwell) 3.25
12. Short Legs Shuffle (Bradford) 2.34

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John Peel – Rock Family Trees – The British R&B Boom (TV rip) (1995)

FrontCoverWhat follows is, pretty much documentary called “The British R&B Boom” which was an episode in the TV series “Rock Family Trees”

The series originates from the work of a gentleman called Pete Frame who drew family trees of various bands/artists and were, as far as I can remember, first published in the late 70’s/80’s in the UK weekly music publication “Sounds” (now defunct).  All the TV documentaries were narrated by the respected English music broadcaster, John Peel.

This documentary (with lot´s of old TV nd concert clips and many interviews) exploring  all the stories that lie behind some of the best-known bands. In this edition, John Peel narrates the story of the British R&B boom, which included two of the biggest bands of the late 60s and early 70s, Cream and Led Zeppelin. This programme charts the careers of groups as diverse as the Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann and Cream as they turned the blues into rock.

And here´s  this pretty good documentary about of the most important years of British Blues & Rock …

 

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Two legends: Pete Frame and John Peel

 

I got this very rare item from a serious record collector … I will call him Mister Sleeve … thanks a lot !

John Mayall – The Blues Alone (1967)

FrontCover1The Blues Alone is a 1967 electric blues album recorded by John Mayall on which he recorded all the parts himself, with the exception of percussion which was provided by longtime collaborator Keef Hartley.

The cover art and the original LP sleeve design are by John Mayall. Sleeve notes, including track notes, were written by noted DJ John Peel. The following quote is of interest regarding the album concept.

I was featuring his LP A Hard Road on the air and was amazed that, in addition to writing 8 of the 12 numbers on the record, playing 5 [sic] and 9 string guitar, organ, piano, harmonica and singing, he had written the sleeve notes and painted the portrait of the group on the front cover.
With this new LP, he has carried all of this to its logical conclusion and has produced a record featuring no other musician than himself except for the occasional aid of his drummer Keef Hartley.

“Down the Line” is a sparse lament featuring vocals over a cold-sounding slide guitar and piano accompaniment. “Sonny Boy Blow” is a harmonica-driven boogie tribute to the then-recently deceased Sonny Boy Williamson. “Marsha’s Mood” is a slow, deliberate and passionate piano solo constructed over a descending bass figure. “No More Tears” features rare examples of Mayall’s solo lead guitar playing. “Catch That Train” is a “train” harmonica solo over accelerating rhythms provided by a recorded steam locomotive beginning a journey. “Harp Man” is also an instrumental, adding celesta to the more traditional blues instruments of harmonica and bass. In the sleeve notes, John Peel commented: “There is no truth to the rumours that the Bluesbreakers will be using dulcimer, sackbut and psaltery. Let’s face it, guttural cries of “Let’s hear your sackbut, son!” can only lead to violence.” In fact the instrument had previously been used in jazz and piano boogie pieces by artists such as Meade Lux Lewis. “Brown Sugar” is another slide guitar piece, not related to the famous Rolling Stones track of the same name, although both songs use the expression to mean the same thing. The slow, tender track “Broken Wings”, accompanied by organ, elicited particular praise from Peel. (by wikipedia)

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With a release coming only two months after Crusade, The Blues Alone, the first Mayall “solo” album (i.e. without The Bluesbreakers), was John Mayall’s third album of 1967, or fourth, if you count the various artists compilation Raw Blues. Like Raw Blues, it was released initially on Decca’s discount Ace of Clubs label to distinguish it from a regular Mayall album, although the distinction has been lost over time. It was actually recorded prior to Crusade on May 1, 1967. Mayall played and overdubbed all instruments except drums, which were handled by Bluesbreaker Keef Hartley, which was one way of dealing with his ongoing personnel difficulties (by this time, his bassist, John McVie, had left to join Fleetwood Mac). It also served notice that, despite his band being a spawning ground for several British stars by now, the real star of the group was its leader. But it didn’t quite prove that, since Mayall, while certainly competent on harmonica, keyboards, and guitars, doesn’t display the flair of an Eric Clapton or Peter Green, and the overdubbing, as is so often the case, robs the recording of any real sense of interplay. (The Blues Alone hit #24 in the U.K. and #128 in the U.S.) (by William Ruhlmann)

“Broken Wings” was later recorded by the great Atomic Rooster !

John Mayall (1967)

Personnel:
John Mayall (vocals, guitars, harmonica, keyboards, celeste (on 09.) (track 9), drums (on 01. + 05.)
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Keef Hartley (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Brand New Start 3.27
02. Please Don’t Tell 2.33
03. Down The Line 3.44
04. Sonny Boy Blow 3.50
05. Marsha’s Mood 3.15
06. No More Tears 3.12
07. Catch That Train 2.19
08. Cancelling Out 4.20
09. Harp Man 2.44
10. Brown Sugar 3.44
11. Broken Wings 1.59
12. Don’t Kick Me 3.11

All songs written by John Mayall

 

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John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Crusade (1967)

FrontCover1Crusade is the fourth album and third studio album by the British blues rock band John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, released on 1 September 1967 on Decca Records. It was the follow-up to A Hard Road, also released in 1967. As with their two previous albums, Crusade was produced by Mike Vernon. The album was the first recordings of the then-18-year-old guitarist, Mick Taylor. (by wikipedia)

The final album of an (unintentional) trilogy, Crusade is most notable for the appearance of a very young, pre-Rolling Stones Mick Taylor on lead guitar. Taylor’s performance is indeed the highlight, just as Eric Clapton and Peter Green’s playing was on the previous album. The centerpiece of the album is a beautiful instrumental by Taylor titled “Snowy Wood,” which, while wholly original, seems to combine both Green and Clapton’s influence with great style and sensibility. The rest of the record, while very enjoyable, is standard blues-rock fare of the day, but somewhat behind the then-progressive flavor of 1967. Mayall, while being one of the great bandleaders of London, simply wasn’t really the frontman that the group needed so desperately, especially then. Nevertheless, Crusade is important listening for Mick Taylor aficionados,)

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Personnel:
Keef Hartley (drums)
John Mayall – vocals, keyboards, harmonica, bottleneck guitar)
Mick Taylor (guitar)
John McVie (bass)
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Rip Kant (saxophone)
Chris Mercer (saxophone)
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Aynsley Dunbar (drums on 13. – 18.)
Mick Fleetwood (drums on 19. – 20.)
Peter Green (guitar on 13. – 18.)
Paul Schaeffer (bass on 22.)
Paul Williams (bass on 21.)

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Tracklist:
01. Oh, Pretty Woman (Williams) 3.35
02. Stand Back Baby (Mayall) 1.46
03. My Time After Awhile (Badger/Feinberg/Geddins) 5.10
04. Snowy Wood (Mayall/Taylor) 3.37
05. Man Of Stone (Kirkland) 2.26
06. Tears In My Eyes (Mayall) 4.17
07. Driving Sideways (King/Thompson) 3.59
08. The Death Of J. B. Lenoir (Mayall) 4.24
09. I Can’t Quit You Baby (Dixon) 4.32
10. Streamline (Mayall) 3.15
11. Me And My Woman (Barge) 4.01
12. Checkin’ Up On My Baby (Williamson II) 3.59
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13. Curly (Green) 3.25
14. Rubber Duck (Green/Dunbar) 3.47
15. Greeny (Green) 3.56
16. Missing You (Green) 1.59
17. Please Don’t Tell (Mayall) 2.28
18. Your Funeral And My Trial (Williamson II) 3-57
19. Double Trouble (Rush) 3-22
20. It Hurts Me Too (London) 2.56
21. Suspicions (Part One) (Mayall) 2.48
22. Suspicions (Part Two) (Mayall) 5.31

 

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A very young Mick Taylor

Yardbirds – Five Live Yardbirds (1964)

FrontCover1.jpgFive Live Yardbirds is the live debut album by English rock band the Yardbirds. It features the group’s interpretations of ten American blues and rhythm and blues songs, including their most popular live number, Howlin’ Wolf’s “Smokestack Lightning”. The album contains some of the earliest recordings with guitarist Eric Clapton.

Recorded at the Marquee Club in London on 20 March 1964, it was released in the United Kingdom by Columbia Records nine months later. Despite several favourable retrospective reviews, the album did not reach the UK album charts. It was not issued in the United States; however, four songs were included on the Yardbirds’ second American album, Having a Rave Up.

In October 1963, the Yardbirds took over the Rolling Stones’ position at the Crawdaddy Club and had signed a management contract with club owner Giorgio Gomelsky. After touring with Sonny Boy Williamson II, the band signed a contract with Columbia Records. In 1964, they recorded two singles, “I Wish You Would” and “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”. These had limited success and Gomelsky was able to persuade Columbia to release a live album as the Yardbirds’ debut album.

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The Yardbirds were a popular live attraction at music clubs. Much of their reputation was built on their use of a “rave up” musical arrangement, an instrumental interlude that builds to a climax. Clapton credits the rave up to bassist Paul Samwell-Smith and explains: “While most other bands were playing three-minute songs, we were taking three-minute numbers and stretching them out to five or six minutes, during which time the audience would go crazy”. In was at such performances that Clapton often broke a guitar string. While he was putting on a new one, the audience would slowly clap their hands (slow handclapping). This led manager Gomelsky to nickname him “Eric ‘Slowhand’ Clapton”.

Five Live Yardbirds was recorded at the Marquee Club in London. Yardbirds’ biographer Gregg Russo describes the conditions and equipment for recording at the club was less than ideal, they were able to capitalise on their greater popularity there than at the Crawdaddy.

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He adds: The recording date for the album has been previously listed as Tuesday, March 10, 1964, but Gomelsky distinctly remembers the show taking place at Wardour Street. On March 10, the club was still at Oxford Street, and combined with the fact that the Yardbirds played on Fridays at the Wardour Street location, the March 20, 1964 recording date seems much more likely.

All of the songs that appear on Five Live Yardbirds were written by American blues and rhythm and blues artists and several of the original recordings appeared on the American record charts. The band’s early material reflects the repertoires of the early British rhythm and blues groups, such as the Rolling Stones and the Animals.[6] Clapton biographer David Bowling described the album as “a lot of straight electric blues, but at times they come close to a rock sound.” Their version of Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”, which is the album opener, is the most rock-oriented song on the album.

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18th May 1964: British rock group the Yardbirds, (left to right) lead guitarist Eric Clapton, bassist Paul Samwell-Smith, singer Keith Relf, drummer Jim McCarty, and rhythm guitarist Christopher Dreja performing on a backyard patio for British playwright Lord Willis and his daughter Sally. (Photo by Daily Express)

Several songs feature extended instrumental improvisation. Bo Diddley’s “Here ‘Tis” and the Isley Brothers’ “Respectable” are high-energy tunes, which represent the use of double-time feature of the rave up for the entire songs. AllMusic critic Matthew Greenwald describes “Here ‘Tis” as “driven by a furious “Bo Diddley” beat and rhythm … Clapton’s interplay with bassist Paul Samwell-Smith is one of the great moments in the band’s recorded history” The instrumental spotlight was also shared with singer and blues harmonica player Keith Relf. Clapton and Relf trading riffs is one of the highlights of “Smokestack Lightning”. The Howlin’ Wolf song was the Yardbirds’ most popular live number and a regular in their sets. Performances of the song could last up to 30 minutes.[10] Howlin’ Wolf reportedly referred to the group’s 5:35 album version as “the definitive version of his song”.

The slow blues standard, “Five Long Years”, features extended guitar soloing by Clapton in a style he further developed with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. Clapton and Samwell-Smith share the lead vocals on “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”, which is based on the version by the American R&B duo Don and Bob. Bo Diddley’s “I’m a Man” (which became a hit when the Yardbirds later recorded it with Jeff Beck) and songs by Slim Harpo and John Lee Hooker round out the album.

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Five Live Yardbirds was released before critical rock music journalism became popular. However, Clapton biographer Christopher Sandford notes “When Five Live Yardbirds was released that winter, to generally favourable reviews (‘Raucous interplay … great guitar …feral energy of the ensemble’) it, too, failed to materially benefit the group.” The album did not appear in the British record charts and subsequently was not issued in the US.

Later, several critics have also given the album favourable reviews. AllMusic’s Eder gave the album four and a half out of five stars and describes it as “Five Live Yardbirds was the first important—indeed, essential—live album to come out of the 1960s British rock & roll boom. In terms of the performance captured and the recording quality, it was also the best such live record of the entire middle of the decade”. In a separate review for AllMusic, Rick Clark noted “Smokestack Lightning” [and other songs] were open-ended improvisations that helped lay the groundwork for groups like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience.” Bowling calls the material “raw and powerful” and Russo adds it is “a completely faithful reproduction” of the group’s early shows. “Ultimate Classic Rock” ranked the album in the “Top 100 Live Albums, and called it an “explosive document of a British blues band fueling a decidedly American music with power, fireworks and amped-up resourcefulness. (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Eric “Slowhand” Clapton (lead guitar, co-lead vocals on 03.)
Chris Dreja (guitar)
Jim McCarty (drums)
Keith Relf (vocals, harmonica, maracas)
Paul “Sam” Samwell-Smith (bass, vocals on 03.)

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Tracklist:
01. Too Much Monkey Business (Berry) 3.49
02. I Got Love If You Want It (Moore a.k.a. Slim Harpo) 2.37
03. Smokestack Lightnin’ (Burnett) 5.35
04. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Demarais) 2.41
05. Respectable (K.Isley/R.Isley(R.Isley) 5.30
06. Five Long Years (Boyd) 5.16
07. Pretty Girl (McDaniel) 3.02
08. Louise (Hooker) 3.41
09. I’m A Man (McDaniel) 4.30
10. Here ‘Tis (McDaniel) 5.09
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11. You Can’t Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover (Dixon) 2.56
12. Let It Rock (Berry) 2.17
13. I Wish I Would (Arnold) 5.54
14. Who Do You Love (McDaniel) 5.07
15. Honey In Your Hips (Relf) 2.28
16. A Certain Girl (Neville) 2.17
17. Got To Hurry (Rasputin2.48
18. I Ain´t Got You (Carter) 1.59
19. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl (Single) (Demarais)

LabelA

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