Bassist John McVie left the Bluesbreakers in 1967, to join fellow allumni Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood in their new group Fleetwood Mac. With a few more lineup changes, John Mayall's band soon consisted of Mayall himself with Mick Taylor (lead guitar), Dick Heckstall-Smith (tenor & soprano sax), Chris Mercer (tenor & baritone sax), Paul Williams (bass) and Keef Hartley (drums). Heckstall-Smith was a veteren of the British blues scene, having previously played with both Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and The Graham Bond Organization. Williams didn't last long on bass, and was replaced by Keith Tillman.
Whilst on tour throughout 1967, Mayall recorded the band's performances with a portable 2-track tape recorder. From over sixty hours of tape, a live album was put together, released as two seperate LPs in 1968 - Diary Of A Band Vol 1 and Vol 2. It had a rough bootleg feel to it, with long extended solos and jams in an intimate club setting. The songs themselves were interspersed with on-stage dialogue and interviews with the band (where they discussed their new find in young Mick Taylor, and how various members had left to form their own groups). Together with the rough sound quality, it hardly made for a conventional live album. However it does give glimpses of some wonderful playing from all six members, and today serves as a really interesting look into the British blues scene of the 60s.
This version has both original LPs put together into a double album.
The Blues Alone (1967) <|> Bare Wires (1968)
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