The obvious standout of a batch of four reissues of John Mayall's early albums for Decca is this 40th-anniversary edition of the epochal Bluesbreakers, one of the most influential records of the Sixties, responsible for the emergence of Chicago blues as a serious pursuit of British musicians. That was largely due to the presence of Eric Clapton, the emergent guitar god of R&B, who had abandoned The Yardbirds on the cusp of their chart success because he wanted to be a bluesman rather than a pop star - the seriousness of which ambition was signalled by his inability to crack a smile at The Beano in the album's emblematic cover shot. The music is similarly iconic, with tracks built on borrowed riffs, in the manner of the time ("Little Girl" based on "Forty-Four", "Another Man" based on "Baby Please Don't Go"), and with Clapton's signature guitar style emerging from its chrysalis. This expanded edition comes in mono and stereo mixes, with a disc of contemporary live tracks, radio sessions and out-takes.
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