Monday, May 7, 2012

Mayall USA Part One

JOHN MAYALL-Jenny/Pictures On The Wall U.S. London 45-20037 1968

Prior to his legendary LP "Blues Breakers featuring Eric Clapton" John Mayall was not a name anyone in the American record buying public was familiar with. Today's topic was his 10th U.K. single (his 11th if you count the two different issues of "I'm Your Witch Doctor", more on a U.S. pressing of that next), being released in the U.K. as Decca F 12732 in February 1968.  If my estimates are correct "Jenny" was his third U.S. 45. It was not an LP track but harks from the period of his "Bare Wires" LP, his last to bear the "Bluesbreakers" moniker and also the last to feature Peter Green.

The first time I heard "Jenny" it blew me away.  It was almost eerie.  Very bare bones, just guitar with some blues licks overdubbed (by Peter Green).  The eerie part is the echo on it all and Mayall's odd murmurings.  I think it's one of his finest vocal tracks, totally soulful.

May 5, 1968  Zurich, Switzerland
Eric Burdon, Stu Leathwood (Koobas) , Keith Ellis (Koobas), Roy Wood (Move), Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding, Carl Wayne (Move), John Mayall, Steve Winwood, Trevor Burton (Move) and Roy Morris (Koobas).

"Pictures On The Wall" is too countrified for me.  Maybe it's the dobro, maybe it's the "down on the farm" feel/beat, but it just leaves me cold.

Both tracks are available as bonus cuts on the Cd reissue of Mayall's 1968 LP "Bare Wires".

Hear "Jenny":

1 comment:

JZ said...

Mick Taylor was the guitarist on "Bare Wires". Peter Green did help Mayall out with "Jenny", purely out of friendship for John. Peter played on the Bluesbreakers "A Hard Road" LP and a few singles, but left circa June 1967 to form Fleetwood Mac. Mick Taylor took over, staying through "Blues From Laurel Canyon" which came out in late 1968. For more information, see Fleetwood Mac's "Blue Horizon Years" box (I think this came out in the late 1990's) which has excellent liner notes that go over a lot of Peter and John's history.