From the archives of Decca Records U.K. comes the Blues Scene (1999). This 25-track anthology covers the label's copious contributions to the 1960s renaissance of rhythm & blues-influenced rock. The movement would ultimately seed heavy metal supergroups such as Cream, Led Zeppelin and the seminal incarnation of Fleetwood Mac. Fittingly, the revolving-door personnel of John Mayall's assorted Bluesbreakers are particularly worthy of note. They not only commence and conclude this compilation, but more importantly, Mayall also provided an entrée for a host of promising young talent such as Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Eric Clapton, and Aynsley Dunbar all of whom would eventually become internationally recognized icons. Among the Bluesbreaker's offerings presented here are the powerful instrumental "Curly," as well as "The Supernatural," which boasts the distinctive fretwork of Peter Green, "Steppin' Out" featuring Eric Clapton, and an incendiary early live take of "I Need Your Love." Another interesting facet is the wide spectrum of American legends whose association with Deccabrought their music to new generations and audiences. Selections from Eddie Boyd ("Key to the Highway," "Blue Coat Man," and "Dust My Broom"), Otis Spann ("Pretty Girls Everywhere"), as well as Champion Jack Dupree ("24 Hours," "Barrel House Women," and "Third Degree") are among the highlights. In the case of the latter title, Dupree had a little help from both Mayall and Clapton on this 1966 recording. The label also heralded artists such as Alexis Korner ("Early in the Morning" and "Night Time Is the Right Time") and Savoy Brown ("Taste & Try Before You Buy," "Train to Nowhere," and "Train to Nowhere") who would have a much stronger impact in Europe than in the States. As such, Blues Scene (1999) is a worthwhile assessment of Decca's vaults, and a valuable primer for the novice. Interested parties should also note the other entries in this series -- including the R&B Scene (1999) and the Northern Soul Scene (1999).
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer