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John Mayall - Bare Wires

The last record Mayall put out as the Bluesbreakers, this 1968 release was the second to feature Mick Taylor. It completed a run of four transformative blues records which had also featured Eric Clapton and Peter Green. This was his first hit album in America, peaking at 59 on the Billboard chart. It reached 3 in UK and 1 in France. Perhaps this represents Mayall at the peak of his commercial success.

The first side is a 22-minute song suite and, like the cover, you can hear psychedelia's influence. After Clapton and Green, Taylor might have felt justified in being compared unfavourably, but nothing could be further from the truth. A brilliant guitarist, he shines throughout this records. Also worth mentioning jazz-rock innovator and stalwart, Dick Heckstall-Smith's contribution on saxophone. He is another core musician in the British blues boom.

An original copy of this on red Decca with an unboxed logo is said to command £40 in mint. However, I see Mayall records all the time and with the exception of the Beano and A Hard Road, they rarely fetch big money. My copy is a first pressing but I would expect to get more than £15 for it.