Let me start this by saying that I am not a huge fan of Eric Clapton and I don't think everything he did or does is worthy of "God" status. Especially not his version of "Stone Free" on some Jimi Hendrix tribute from years ago. Nor do I need to hear "Wonderful Tonight" ever again, let alone for the 60,000th time.
That said, let us turn back the clock to 1966 for this little piece in which Clapton was rippin' solos for John Mayall's Blues Breakers. I'm not here to talk about the impact Clapton or Mayal had on British blues of this period, as I'm not qualified to do so. Nor, quite frankly, could I care less. What I am here to tell you is that this is one heckuva sizzlin' two-sider with Clapton's guitar work the whole show. Both songs, by the way, are taken from the album "John Mayal with Eric Clapton and The Blues Breakers," but I'm reviewing this as a single.
"All Your Love" is the A-side and it starts off on a somewhat slow mode before kicking into a tasty blues shuffle, then shifting back to the slow mode for the finale. Throughout this piece, Clapton simply gets out there and wails with that guitar. He's clearly on fire here and the band, which includes Mayal on organ and vocals and Jack Bruce on bass, gives him a raucous background in which to rip.
But if you thought Clapton was great on "All My Love," flip the record over for the Blues Breakers' version of Freddy King's "Hideaway" and he's smokin' on that, too! While I don't necessarily think this version is better than Freddy King's, it's definitely rockin' in its own right. This time, there's no vocals, it's all just pure raw-edged guitar and it's all Clapton
Personally, I don't have a thing against so-called "Classic Rock" because when you think about it, it's all classic rock. I just get tired of the same way overplayed stuff. It's like you could live 20 lifetimes without ever having to hear "Layla" again. But records like this remind us that there's a reason people like Clapton became stars. And when they're this good, that can't be faulted.
Clapton and Bruce left that year and formed Cream, and you know what happened next. Mayal, meanwhile, just kept going on with other musicians, including Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, the future germ of Fleetwood Mac among them. (NOTE: If any of my history is wrong, please leave a comment or two.)