Monday, February 26, 2024

VA - Crawling Up a Hill- A Journey Through the British Blues Boom 1966-71 (3 x CD)


Previously posted April 28, 2021

VA - Crawling Up a Hill- A Journey Through the British Blues Boom 1966-71 (3 x CD)

By 1965, the British R&B boom was over. Cyril Davies was dead, Alexis Korner was employed as MD on a children's TV show, and the legion of young acolytes the two men had inspired had drifted away from the blues and into mainstream pop stardom. The more "purist" individuals were out in the cold: Brian Jones was marginalized in the Stones by the emergence of the Jagger/Richards songwriting team, while Eric Clapton had stormed out of the most blues wailing Yardbirds in protest at their recording of winsome pop ditty 'For Your Love'. But things were about to change. In April 1966, club band John Mayall's Blues Breakers - prominently featuring a still-simmering Clapton - recorded their debut studio album with the aid of producer Mike Vernon. Released in July, the LP was a huge, entirely unexpected success, reaching the UK Top Ten and remaining in the charts for an impressive 17 weeks. Suddenly, an astonishing number of virtuoso young British (and Irish) blues guitarists, all of whom rejected the trappings of pop success as fervently as the young Eric, were inspired to form their own bands. In the wake of Clapton, his Yardbirds replacement Jeff Beck and Peter Green (Eric's replacement in Mayall's band after he'd split to form Cream) came the likes of Kim Simmonds, Jeremy Spencer, Stan Webb, Paul Kossoff, Alvin Lee, Clem Clempson, Rory Gallagher, Gary Moore and Mick Ronson. Within a year or two of Mayall's unexpected breakthroughs, the second wave of the British blues boom was in full, glorious bloom. Featuring all of the above names, Crawling Up A Hill chronicles the development of the British blues scene during that relatively brief but halcyon period, covering both the electric blues bands (Mayall's Blues Breakers, Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, Ten Years After etc) and the acoustic country blues acts (Jo-Ann Kelly, Mike Cooper, Ian A. Anderson and others). In addition, we feature a number of more obscure bands from the era, including Levee Camp Moan (responsible for two of the most feverishly collected albums of the era), pre-Faces outfit Quiet Melon and The Zany Woodruff Operation, now receiving their first-ever public exposure. (Amazon)

Crawling Up A Hill is a fascinating document of a genre that, though relatively short-lived, would have a seismic influence on the subsequent development of rock music.






Track lists


01 John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton All Your Love 3:36

02 Zany Woodruff Operation Crawling Up a Hill 2:05

03 Anderson Jones Jackson Louise 5:13

04 Graham Bond Organisation I Love You 2:55

05 Yardbirds I'm a Man (live) 6:41

06 Spencer Davis Group Don't Want You No More 3:11

07 Ten Years After I Can't Keep from Crying, Sometimes 5:25

08 Duster Bennett Jumping at Shadows (demo version) 4:10

09 Deviants Charlie 3:53

10 Jeff Beck You Shook Me 2:30

11 Jo-Ann Kelly Ain't Nothin' in Ramblin' 3:15

12 Fleetwood Mac Love That Burns 5:05

13 Love Sculpture Wang Dang Doodle 3:32

14 Alexis Korner Operator (feat. Robert Plant) 4:41

15 Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band Can Blue Men Sing the Whites 2:47

16 Dr. K's Blues Band Walking 3:24

17 Shakey Vick Little Woman You're So Sweet 5:56

18 Climax Chicago Blues Band A Stranger in Your Town 4:16

19 Downliners Sect Lord of the Rings 3:42


01 Free Sweet Tooth 4:56

02 Mike Cooper Death Letter 3:15

03 Taste Blister on the Moon 3:27

04 Levee Camp Moan I Just Can't Keep from Crying 3:52

05 Sam Apple Pie Sometime Girl 4:01

06 John Dummer Blues Band Skin Game (alternative version) 3:52

07 Quiet Melon Diamond Joe 3:48

08 Killing Floor Nobody by My Side 4:53

09 Blodwyn Pig Dear Jill (live) 4:57

10 Icarus There's an Easy and a Hard Way of Living 3:42

11 Chicken Shack Tears in the Wind 2:42

12 Bakerloo Bring It on Home 4:19

13 Jaklin The Same for You 3:11

14 Frozen Tear Train Comes, Train Goes 3:14

15 The Rats Telephone Blues (aka Talk to Me Baby) 4:08

16 Angel Pavement Madison Blues 2:37

17 Christine Perfect It's You I Miss 3:48

18 Medicine Head This Love of Old 3:14

19 Jasper Baby Please Don't Go 7:25


01 Liverpool Scene I've Got Those Fleetwood Mac Chicken Shack John Mayall Can't Fail Blues 5:39

02 Brunning Sunflower Blues Band Ride with Your Daddy Tonight (feat. Peter Green) 3:30

03 Red Dirt Time to Move 3:21

04 Savoy Brown A Hard Way to Go (live) 2:27

05 Jeremy Spencer Mean Blues 4:10

06 Black Cat Bones Chauffeur 5:18

07 Siren Gardener Man 3:33

08 Blue Blood Dupree Blues 4:34

09 Steamhammer Passing Through 5:21

10 Stone the Crows Raining in Your Heart 5:08

11 Edgar Broughton Band Old Gopher 3:52

12 Stack Waddy Roadrunner 3:27

13 Heavy Jelly Take Me Down to the Water 7:33

14 Skid Row The Man Who Never Was 2:32

15 Brett Marvin & The Thunderbolts Take Your Money 2:37

16 Mungo Jerry The Sun Is Shining 3:41

17 Linda Hoyle Backlash Blues 5:53

18 Status Quo Railroad 5:33




  1. Funny to see the Bonzo's in the middle of this. Thanks BB

    1. I think the track title had a lot to do with it, lemonflag.

  2. Wonderful cover: a granny and a "god" - great collection, however, too. Thanks a lot, BB, and best: TC

    1. HI TC,
      I have that cover on the booklet of an EC and Otis Rush bootleg box set as well (except no granny).

    2. Is the dog peeing on the wall?

    3. Yes. It's a bad joke...

  3. Great collection - many I'm not familiar with but that's the beauty of these compilations.

    1. Hi Dr Roberrt.
      Always good to find new music that you can dig into. Enjoy.

  4. The Liverpool Scene track that leads off disc 3 has been a "sit down, shut up, and listen to this" standard for me since 1971. Most who have "moved on" from that era think it's on the level and hence downright horrible. Those with ears to hear know it's the funniest satire on U.K blues rock ever recorded .... if there was another one. I can no longer hear "Jethro Tull" without its natural rhyme "bellyful."

    1. Thanks Johnathan F. King.
      It is a great song that always makes me laugh. What is horrible n music? Not much IMO.