Back to the Roots

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
It's a sign of either how far downhill music has gone in 30 years, or how underrated he was as a singer in the first place, but John Mayall's voice comes off extremely well in this long-delayed CD reissue of Back to the Roots. The original double-LP set was an immediate favorite with Mayall fans, a relatively small but hardy bunch scattered around the globe -- but Polydor in the U.S., apparently anticipating a lot of demand probably owing to the presence on the album of Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor, then in the first flush of major stardom as a full-fledged member of the Rolling Stones, who had just reached the pinnacle of their careers as well, pressed far too many copies. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
It's a sign of either how far downhill music has gone in 30 years, or how underrated he was as a singer in the first place, but John Mayall's voice comes off extremely well in this long-delayed CD reissue of Back to the Roots. The original double-LP set was an immediate favorite with Mayall fans, a relatively small but hardy bunch scattered around the globe -- but Polydor in the U.S., apparently anticipating a lot of demand probably owing to the presence on the album of Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor, then in the first flush of major stardom as a full-fledged member of the Rolling Stones, who had just reached the pinnacle of their careers as well, pressed far too many copies. The result was that it became a perennial in cut-out bins for years afterward. Ironically, it was that availability, at $1.99 to $3.99 in the early '70s -- which did nothing for Mayall's or Polydor's respective ledger sheets -- that turned Back to the Roots into the second-most-common way for prospective fans to discover the man's music the most common was -- and likely always will be -- Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. The recording at hand holds up extremely well on CD, and not only because Mayall's voice seems more appealing today than it did in 1971. At least in the U.S., the original release always seemed to suffer from cheap, noisy pressings, which detracted from the subtlety of the playing; and depend upon in, on tracks like "Accidental Suicide," which featured Clapton, Taylor, and Harvey Mandel on lead guitar not to mention Mayall on rhythm guitar, there were lots of subtleties to appreciate. And the remastering does add some measure of richness and expressiveness to Mayall's singing that wasn't as evident in 1971 -- with Johnny Almond on sax and flute and Sugarcane Harris on violin, this is practically a super-session recording. The producers have also thrown on eight of Mayall's 1988-vintage remixes from his reshaped
emastered reissue, Archives to Eighties. Those are generally cleaner and slicker, and come off here as though they were conceived with a smooth sound, if not digital playback's clarity, in mind. They're less interesting than the originals, if only because they're more calculated in what they're doing -- the original sessions were spontaneous music-making, whereas this was Mayall updating a legacy 17 years or so later; but they're a welcome addition, as they now share space with the originals rather than supplanting them. The original booklet has been re-created for this CD, which also reprints Mayall's notes from Archives to Eighties, explaining the latter album's origins.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/13/2001
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • UPC: 731454942423
  • Catalog Number: 549424
  • Sales rank: 85,499

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Prisons on the Road
  2. 2 My Children
  3. 3 Accidental Suicide
  4. 4 Groupie Girl
  5. 5 Blue Fox
  6. 6 Home Again
  7. 7 Television Eye
  8. 8 Marriage Madness
  9. 9 Looking at Tomorrow
Disc 2
  1. 1 Dream With Me
  2. 2 Full Speed Ahead
  3. 3 Mr. Censor Man
  4. 4 Force of Nature
  5. 5 Boogie Alert
  6. 6 Goodbye December
  7. 7 Unanswered Questions
  8. 8 Devil's Tricks
  9. 9 Travelling
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Mayall Primary Artist, Guitar, Harmonica, Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Harvey Mandel Guitar
Mick Taylor Guitar
John Almond Bass Flute, Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone
Keef Hartley Drums
Larry Taylor Bass, Guitar
Eric Clapton Guitar
Paul Lagos Drums
Jerry McGee Guitar
Steve Thompson Bass
Joe Yuele Drums
Technical Credits
John Mayall Composer, Producer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Back to "Back to the Roots"

    John Mayall's Back To The Roots album is a Great blues album and a wonderful reflection of its time (1971). Even the added remixed versions from the 1988 CD have their merit. This CD contains the whole 1971 original version double album along with 8 remixed songs. The song Accidental Suicide is Mayall's tribute (and cautionary tale for us) to Jimi Hendrix who had so recently died. The song is straightforward without pretension, very much in keeping with the whole album. I was one of those persons the editorial reviewer mentioned who bought the original album out of a bargain bin in the '70 and then bought the remix CD when it came out in the '80's. I was so happy to see this version come out with both the original album and the better remixes as well, it has not disappointed me in any way. This is one of my all time favorite albums. This CD does not have the original book that came with the 1971 album, but that does not take anything away from the greatness of these CDs.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews