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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann