John Mayall / John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers

Thru the Years

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Thru the Years Review

by Richie Unterberger

A grab bag of rare tracks from the '60s, some of which stand among Mayall's finest. His debut 1964 single "Crawling Up a Hill" is one of his best originals; this comp also includes a couple of 1964-1965 flipsides. The eight songs featuring Peter Green include some top-notch material that outpaces much of the only album recorded by the Green lineup (A Hard Road), particularly the Green originals "Missing You" and "Out of Reach," a great B-side with devastating, icy guitar lines and downbeat lyrics that ranks as one of the great lost blues-rock cuts of the '60s. The set is filled out with a few songs from the Mick Taylor era, the highlight being the vicious instrumental "Knockers Step Forward."

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