24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2001
Saw the review below, & I must say that Peter Green sounds absolutely NOTHING like Clapton. You can say he influenced him, but the way Green uses his tone & dynamics... added with his singing.... you begin to wonder if Peter Green might not be the GREATEST blues guitarist from England. The old saying of "more is less" is the school he came from, & he really makes every note count. I don't think Clapton has/had the restraint that Green had...
This album is somewhat inconsistent in its material, but the devastating track "Supernatural", will make up for any inconsistencies. The use of feedback on this song is totally different from say.... Hendrix, & it's really... "worth the price of admission" as they say. Clapton's Bluesbreaker album is probably more consistent, but the high points on Hard Road eclipses the highpoints on the "beano" album. If you ever wondered where Santana got his style from......
This album NEEDS to be re-mastered!!! Recommended.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 1999
This album was the crucial follow up to the landmark Bluesbreaker record with Eric "slowhand" Clapton. On "A Hard Road" we see Peter Green carving his own niche as one of the most influential British blues guitarists. His tone makes the devil melt and on songs like "Someday after a while (you'll be sorry)", you hear some of the most gut wrenching sorrowful solos you could hope to hear. You will also hear Green's achingly poignant blues voice for the first time on recording. A true lost legend, this is Green coming into his own before forming Fleetwood Mac and outselling The Beatles in 1969. Mr. Mayall himself keeps shaking thing up with added instruments that would lead up to his eventual big band leaning ala B.B. King. A must have for Peter Green fans as well as Bluesbreaker fans.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2001
I can still remember the chills that hit me when I heard John Mayall's piano and Peter Green's guitar on the opening track. Paul Butterfield's first album punched me in the gut and John Mayall's 'Hard Road' delivered the uppercut that hit me in the jaw and knocked me out to the blues ever since. I prefer this album over the Eric Clapton beano album (just) because it highlights John Mayall much more, showing how good he on harp, piano, organ and guitar. The other factor is Peter Green! His simplicity of style and playing demonstrates that you do not need to play notes at a million miles an hour. The feeling he gets on many tracks from a single note, particularly the 'supernatural' is unsurpassed. It was a great pleasure to hear Mayall redo 'A Hard Road' on his recent album 'Padlock on the Blues'.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2000
I'm a fan of both Green and Mayall. And in both these senses my expectations were more than satisfied with "A Hard Road". There's a sense of professionalism in the album which I didn't notice even in "Beano"(maybe due to Green whose talents go beyond his guitar playing) and the sound is lean and mean - I think they did away with the horn section which used to be an integral part of the original Mayall sound. Mayall's vocals is in fine form and there is a conscious effort to take the music beyond the basic blues form. the opening track is a killer and so are the interpretations of the two blues standards - you dont love me and dust my blues. Green's guitar playing just flows (much more aggressive than his playing with fleetwood mac) and probably as a followup to "hideway" by clapton in beano, green electrifies with freddie king's the stumble. but the highlight of the album is his haunting instrumental "Supernatural" which is as moody and atmospheric as it gets in rock music (clapton had a very good feel for his guitar - such good responses! - but green had a better feeling for feeling, which is much more important in blues). Green has also sung one of the tracks in the album. Very good specimen of white boy blues, this.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
It seemed as though everyone was trying to outdo themselves back then. We knew the next Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Who, or Yardbirds record whould at least try,(and often succeed), to be different and better than their previous release. But who would have thought that Mayall could do that without Clapton? Enter Peter Green, after 37 years, still the greatest white electric blues lead guitarist -ever-, (apologies to Bloomfield, EC, and SRV fans).
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2000
4 Star record 5 Star playing by Peter Green. Like most Mayall recordings reviews revolve around the featured musician in the subject recording. Under the circumstances one is compelled to discuss Peter Green he makes Hard Road a real spooky soulful blues album. Had he not come in the wake of Clapton he would have reached at least the same status as his playing/writing/singing surpasses Clapton's. Just listen to the "Supernatural" and you can feel that Clapton and his imitators had a long way to go to match to Peter in 1966-67.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2008
I recently received this cd and like basically everything on it.It really shows how talented Peter Green was at the beginning of his career. The title track shows Peter's use of restraint and taste to avoid "overplaying".
The next two tracks, "It's Over" and "You Don't Love Me" (now I see where The Allman Bros. got some of their inspiration) are good but one might think "Where's the guitar?". Then "The Stumble" comes on and knocks you out.
"Another Kind Of Love" is another outstanding track with a slightly ominous feel to it.
Joe Bonamassa covered this tune on his latest CD "Sloe Gin" and I usually like how Joe reworks tunes when he covers them (You Upset Me Baby and Had To Cry Today come to mind) but this time the cover doesn't come close to the original and I usually just skip it.
The real show-stopper is "The Super-Natural", with an unbelievable use of controlled feedback.
Gary Moore did a great version of this song on his Blues For Greeny cd.
This particular reissue of "A Hard Road" is also worth having for the bonus tracks it has especially "So Many Roads", perhaps my favorite song on any John Mayall album and has been since I bought "Looking Back" in 1973 (I would also recommend Joe B's version on "You and Me" and The Climax Blues Bands version on FM Live-"Pete Haycock on the Guitar!"). Peter takes a ripping solo on this one.
Here's the 3rd time deal. I first bought "A Hard Road" on cd back in 1995 with the standard 14 tracks but never really connected with it mainly because of the sound quality which seemed to accentuate the reverb in the mix, so I traded it away.
I found a copy on Clean vinyl a couple of years ago and was in love but it fell on one of my stomp boxes and a chunk containing the first song broke off.
I discovered this 2006 reissue here on Amazon and I am 100% satisfied. The sound quality is awesome and the bonus tracks are great. This has everything I need and nothing I don't.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on March 4, 2002
So how could anyone have ever replaced a guitarist like Eric Clapton and still mantain their popularity? John Mayall did it by hooking up with an even better guitarist. His name: Peter Green.
A Hard Road is just another milestone for John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and for the blues in general because it gave Britain at large their first look at the man the man they called "better than God", God being Eric Clapton.
There are obviously two men who dominate the recording; John Mayall and Greeny. (Though the rhythm section of John McVie and Aynsley Dunbar is exceptional) Without a doubt Mayall is the dominant figure here. He shows much more development and improvement as a musician than on the previous album. As for his vocals, well, what can you say about someone with a voice so soulful? This is a step backwards in terms of songwriting, but when you made such great songs on your previous albums it ain't gonna be easy to do better on 'em.
Then there's Greeny. He was good, but he could have been better. One thing that made the Beano album so great was that Clapton wasn't afraid to show off his abilities as a guitarist. Here, however, Green seems a little shy and content to keep the rhythm for Mayall. (With an exception in the Green-instrumental Supernatural, in which he plays with pure venom) Nevertheless he certainly shows his abilities as a songwriter, and his ability to make a normal blues songs great. When he formed Fleetwood Mac he would prove why he is a better guitarist than Clapton.
Bottom Line if you are looking for great British blues, or just great blues in general, then A Hard Road is a nice addition. While you're at it buy Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton, and an album by Cream or the Original Fleetwood Mac. If you're a blues album they'll be the sugar in your coffee.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 2013
Although I 've never been a big fan of John Mayall, partly because of his vocals, I must, of course, admit that "A Hard Road" is an important and interesting album; characterized by fine songwriting with a solid foundation in the blues. For me though, it is especially Peter Green's presence that makes the album so special - like Clapton’s was on the first Bluesbreakers album.
Green's guitar playing is asd impressive as on the first Fleetwood Mac albums and several songs could easily be mistaken for early Fleetwood Mac - especially when Green is allowed to take the lead vocal.
On the original album, which here is supplemented with 14 fine bonus tracks, it's songs like "A Hard Road", "The Same Way" and "Top of the Hill" that may stick with you. Also the two sublime instrumentals "The Stumble" and "The Supernatural" give the album weight.
Generally you get some fine and well played white blues, as it is known from Mayall and his band, which in this case consiste of Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar and John McVie.
Among the bonus tracks there are also a variety of goodies to find. The catchy single "Looking Back" is one of the most commercial songs Mayall has released , and the number is both well arranged and played with a twinkle in the eye.
"Alabama Blues" is a nice little Peter Green thing which originally was first released in 1971 on the "Thru ' the Years" album.
An great EP released with Paul Butterfield is included in its full length, and especially "Ridin 'on the L & N" is a treat.
Another very fine single from January 1967 "Sitting in the Rain " / "Out of Reach " is worth noting. "Sitting in the Rain" is a stripped-down blues song, much in the style of Fleetwood Mac's ”Leaving Town Blues", while "Out of Reach" is a pure Peter Green blues ballad .
Finally , there are four BBC studio recordings which sound surprisingly great.
A very recommendable release, for everybody who has even just the slightest interest in the blues.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2007
This short-lived John Mayall band line-up includes Peter Green, John McVie, and Mick Fleetwood, which are the original bandmembers, minus Jeremy Spencer (and later Danny Kirwan), of Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac. (To those who are unfamiliar with early Fleetwood Mac, this is the original line-up of a quitessential britis blues band, probably one of the best of its kind.) Although Mayall does the vocals and harmonica, and the album owes a certain adherence to forms taken by his early Bluesbreaker albums, I consider this to be perhaps the greatest Fleetwood Mac album; although considering their more famous pop output, that is a lot less of a compliment than it should be.