Bare Wires - Suite:

Mayall, I dont think get’s enough credit for his influence and fostering of talent in the English Blues Rock Scene of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

Hew was among the two or three GODFATHERS of that scene, starting in the 50’s,  along with Graham Bond (Ginger Baker (Cream), John McLaughlin (Miles Davis, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, solo) played in GB’s  band “before they were well know”, etc. 

…and whose effects on modern music are still being felt. Some people to pass through Mayalls band include (again before they were widely know, less Clapton to a certain extent) Eric Clapton & Jack Bruce (before Cream, Layla, etc.), Peter Green & John McVie (founding members of Fleetwood Mac) Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), etc.

Knowing the roots of your music, will prevent you from wasting time with present carbon copies of the real thing….

=Sean Ryder Williams 

Intro starts a little slow, but the suite really builds steam and cooks…a few “Filler Songs" on Side 2, but a Great Late 60’s British Blues/Jazz Record….Enjoy

Barewires/Where Did I Belong (ABOVE)/

Start Walking…(BELOW…)

Open a New Door Fire,  etc.…BUY IT…


BAREWIRES - John Mayall  - Deca - 1968


01 Bare Wires Suite
Bare Wires
Where Did I Belong
Start Walking
Open a New Door
I Know now
Look in the Mirror
02 I’m a Stranger
03 No Reply
04 Hartley Quits
05 Killing Time
06 She’s too Young
07 Sandy


The last Bluesbreakers album Crusade saw guitarist Peter Green, who left to form Fleetwood Mac, being replaced by Mick Taylor. This album, “Bare Wires”, saw bassist John McVie, who joined Fleetwood Mac, being replaced by Tony Reeves and also drummer Hughie Flint being replaced by Jon Hiseman.


The songs “No Reply” and “She’s Too Young” were released as a single by Decca. The album’s a-side was a medley called “Bare Wire/Suite” which featured the individual songs “Bare Wire”, “Where Did I Belong”, “I Started Walking”, “Open a New Door”, “Fire”, “I Know Now”, and “Look in the Mirror" 


"Bare Wires was the first Bluesbreakers album of new studio material since A Hard Road, released 16 months before. In that time, the band had turned over entirely, expanding to become a septet. Mayall’s musical conception had also expanded – the album began with a 23-minute "Bare Wires Suite,” which included more jazz influences than usual and featured introspective lyrics. In retrospect, all of this is a bit indulgent, but at the time it helped Mayall out of what had come to seem a blues straitjacket (although he would eventually return to a strict blues approach). It isn’t surprising that he dropped the “Bluesbreakers” name after this release. The album was Mayall’s most successful ever in the U.K., hitting number three. ~ William Ruhlmann, All Music Guide


THIS IS THE ONLY OTHER MAYALL ALBUM I DIG, Some songs atleast,        (does not fall into the formulaic blues like some of the older ones, ect…)          and here are a couple… (From John Mayalls’ - Turning Point) Enjoy…


The Turning Point is a live album , recorded at a concert at Bill Graham‘s Fillmore East on July 12, 1969.

John Mayall sings and plays harmonica, slide guitar, Telecaster guitar, tambourine and mouth percussion on the album. Other musicians include Jon Mark (acoustic finger-style guitar), Stephen Thompson (bass guitar) and Johnny Almond (tenor and alto saxophones, flutes, mouth percussion).

All the songs on the album were written or co-written by John Mayall. Thompson co-wrote CaliforniaThoughts About Roxanne andDon’t Waste My Time. The third track is about the American blues guitarist J. B. Lenoir who died in 1967.

The lack of a drummer gave the album a very distinctive style that was different from previous albums by Mayall.

The engineer was Eddie Kramer and the album was released on the Polydor label with a sleeve designed by John Mayall. In Germany the album was released under the title White Blues King. (At the end of the 1980s, a reissue, part of a series, appeared under the generic name Nightrider.)

In 2001, a remastered CD reissue included three additional tracks from the same performance. Earlier recordings of the same material in England from June 1969 appear on the first CD The Masters (the second disc contains mostly interviews). A concert at the Marquee on June 30, 1969 has been issued with a similar playlist. The music from the two cds of The Masters and the performance at the Marquee were issued in 2004 on a 2CD entitled The Turning Point Soundtrack credited to John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. These earlier rehearsals and performances have been filmed and released as a 25-minute black and white documentary the Turning Point (and issued on a DVD with the 70th Birthday concert as Godfather of the Blues/The Turning Point)

Side one

  1. “The Laws Must Change” (Mayall) – 7:21

  2. “Saw Mill Gulch Road” (Mayall) – 4:39

  3. “I’m Gonna Fight For You J.B.” (Mayall) – 5:27

  4. “So Hard To Share” (Mayall) – 7:05

Side two

  1. “California” (Mayall, Thompson) – 9:30

  2. “Thoughts About Roxanne” (Mayall, Thompson) – 8:20

  3. “Room To Move” (Mayall) – 5:03

Bonus tracks (2001 reissue)

  1. “Sleeping By Her Side” – 5.10

  2. “Don’t Waste My Time” – 4.54

  3. “Can’t Sleep This Night” – 6.19


“John Mayall’s position in the British Blues world of the 1960’s was akin to Art Blakey’s position in the North American jazz scene. Both were gifted discoverers and developers of talent in addition to being notable musicians. At various times, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, John McVie, and Jack Bruce were members of Mayall’s ever changing band. In 1968, about the time when the talented blues guitarist Mick Taylor left to play for the Rolling Stones, Mayall radically reconceived his usual electric guitar led format. His live album The Turning Point was the refined result of this risk taking.

Mayall eliminated the drummer in his new mix. Perhaps this was partially inspired by the presence of the talented bassist Steve Thompson, a deeply jazz influenced musician who provided a surprisingly flexible foundation for this innovative band. Both Mayall and acoustic guitarist Jon Mark ably switched off in the rhythm guitar role, helping to highlight the intricacy of exchange among the band’s musicians. With an acoustic guitar and, at times, a flute in the mix this drummerless arrangement was ideal.

Jon Mark’s excellence on guitar was in many ways the hub of the band, bridging the strong voices of the band’s bassist and saxophonist. Whether soloing or working as an accompanist, Mark was consistently imaginative, at times displaying impressive classical technique. Johnny Almonds’ bluesy, jazz saxophone generated much of the fire. His long solos, for example on “Thoughts About Roxanne,” drove the band from above, providing a foil for Mayall?s vocals while Steve Thompson’s bass guided the band from below.This was a passionate band that listened and played intensely. Whatever his occasional shortcomings as a vocalist, when Mayall was on he was a distinctive and heartfelt singer, and that night in 1969 at the Fillmore East he was in good form. In addition, his famous harmonica work on “Room To Move” is still fresh and a pleasure to hear. The Turning Point manages somehow to be both laid back and exciting with a unique and sophisticated mix of musicians who play together like a great band is supposed to. In short, this is a blues-rock “classic” that deserves the tag.“

Mike Neely 

Published March 1, 2003