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John Mayall/John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers (John Mayall): Crusade

Album Reviews:

Down Beat (p.77) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[I]t's clear the bandleader is emotionally invested in what he sings, especially his words to `The Death of J.B. Lenoir' about the social-minded Chicago bluesman he had admired so much."

Living Blues (p.67) - "For 1967's CRUSADE, Mick Taylor contributed a decidedly West Side Chicago, Buddy Guy/Otis Rush vibe on guitar."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "'Driving Sideways' is Taylor's instrumental showcase and, like the rest of the album, it entertains effortlessly."

Album Notes

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. ~ Matthew Greenwald


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