Blue Horizon

Need Your Love So Bad: Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon 45, 1968 # 57-3139

‘I’m just going to do a blue. Most people would call it a blues, but I choose the singular as the whole genre has only one tune. You may have heard this blue before, especially if you have any John Mayall records because it appears twelve times on all of them. The first line should be “I woke up this morning”  but that’s stupid. I never met a musician who got up before noon, so it starts “I woke up this afternoon …”’

Travelling singer in a short story in Dart Travis, I’ll Tell Everything I Know.

People study British blues bands with enthusiasm and they love this stuff. Blue Horizon is a Grade A collectable label. Over four years, 1968-72, they released about sixty singles and over one hundred albums, about 95% of them blues records.

So what’s a convincing British blues singer? The Rolling Stones convince me. Eric Burdon, Van Morrison, later Eric Clapton convince me too. We know that Van Morrison doesn’t really need someone to help him because he can’t do it all by himself on a nightly basis when he sings Help Me, no more than actors playing Hamlet genuinely contemplate suicide on a nightly basis. A performance is just that, a performance.

However, none of the Blue Horizon British roster convinced me … I saw Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, The Groundhogs, Savoy Brown. I have memories of boring, plodding stuff with strained vocals, not even in the same league as the Muddy Waters band, Otis Spann, John Lee Hooker, who I saw in the same era. A lot is in the vocal power. My record collection at the time veered to blues compilations, Sonny Boy Williamson, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker. As Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band asked, Can Blue Men Sing The Whites? OK, some can. But like my coffee, I generally prefer my blues to be black.

Do you feel that’s a false distinction? White blues and black blues? Look at the 1970 Blue Horizon double LP sampler How Blue Can We Get?:

FRONT DOOR MEN – WHITE, front side

BACK DOOR MEN – BLACK, reverse side

How Blue Can We Get? Blue Horizon 2 LP sampler 1970

That was a conscious design choice and decision. It’s also an economical label overview.

Peter Green was aware of it:

Peter Green: Most blues are about women. About nine out of ten blues are about women, not about being black.
Melody Maker 29 June 1968 (History of Rock 1968)

I’m not sure where that places Etta James, Big Mama Thornton or Janis Joplin.

You’ll notice the 1968 singles sleeve design and the 1970 design look pretty similar, but these are blues records. And most are blue. Who wants different? Smokestack Lightning, one of the greatest blues standards has one riff and no chord changes.

Blue Horizon was formed by Decca producer Mike Vernon in 1965 as a sideline. In the same year, Vernon had acted as the curator for RCA’s archive RCA Victor Race Series of EPs, bringing back to view 1928 blues recordings by the likes of the Reverend Ishman Bracey. At Decca he had been recording the likes of Curtis Jones and Champion Jack Dupree.

Mike Vernon: I’d seen a fair number of records that I’d been making for Decca doing well and I’d seen the surge of interest in the blues. There were a number of clubs that were playing blues records and we were hearing blues records on the radio, and I began to thin, ‘Well maybe I shouldn’t give Decca everything.’ Remember I was only getting a wage of £20 a week, and I thought maybe I should have some of this success for myself.
Quoted in Blues: The British Connection by Bob Brunning, 1986 and 1995

R&B Monthly: April 1965, editor “Mick Vernon” one shilling

Vernon was running R&B Monthly magazine. It sold about a thousand copies an issue. They advertised the singles in the magazine.

Hubert Sumlin, visiting the UK, did them a couple of tracks to get them started in November 1964, and Vernon had to apply the centre labels by hand. They were recorded at home on a normal Grundig tape recorder and still sound brilliant today.  Sumlin’s guitar, the sound that backed Howlin’ Wolf, is a joy. Anyone could have played the very basic 12 bar backing. It would work equally well for the Woodrow Adams single that followed. They were sold mail order at a premium 8/6d rather than the 6/8d of normal singles, and Sumlin’s solo instrumental, Across The Board, sold out right away.

Early Blue Horizon releases were restricted to 99 copies, because if you produced fewer than 100, the sales were free of purchase tax.

Mike Vernon: We sold the lot in two weeks with no effort. Those singles are now collectors items worth around £50 each because so few were pressed.

That was then. Rare Record Guide 2022 rates Across The Board at £150.

Across The Board: Hubert Sumlin, Blue Horizon 45-1000, just 99 copies

They went on to Woodrow Adams, Jimmy McCracklin, J.B. Lenoir (J.B. Lenore) and others in these limited editions. Vernon said he has one of each, so there are 98 copies out there, all worth a small fortune. Luckily, they have all been compiled on CD, often with their B-sides on The Blue Horizon Story. The Jimmy McCracklin Christmas Time (Part One) has a horn section and piano and a fade out. It doesn’t sound as home-made as the others. Some of these were licensed in … the Woodrow Adams appears to be a 1955 recording.

I wonder about the 99. Maybe they could do more than one run of 99? Discogs shows two different UK versions of J.B. Lenore’s Mojo Blues, both dated 1966:

Vernon saw Blue Horizon as being for black artists, so he then launched the stratospherically valued Purdah Records for white guys, which issued few singles; one by Tony McPhee, one by John Mayall with Clapton, one by Savoy Brown, one by Stones Masonry and another by Aynsley Dunbar. Purdah had a yellow label and a company sleeve. Outasite was another offshoot.

Mike Vernon: Purdah, as the name suggests, was kind of a veil. The idea was that the label would be for singularly British acts. All the recordings were done on the sly at Decca’s West Hampstead studios in the middle of the night when there was no one around. We recorded Someone To Love Me with Tony McPhee, Neil Slavens, Vaughan (Rees on drums who was) another Decca producer plus a bass player, released it, and that did quite well.

Vernon gave Mayall and Clapton a royalty of 50% (unknown in those days) and hoped to sell a thousand. Rare Record Guide reckons 500 of the Purdah pressing of them on Lonely Years exist, and rate it at £450. (Don’t get excited if you see it advertised for far less … Sundazed did a reissue in 2011).

The last time Tony McPhee’s Somebody To Love was sold on Discogs, it fetched £850. The average over the years is £615. Remember, there are just 98 of them. He appeared as T.S. McPhee to make it sound bluesy. Tony McPhee asked Mike Vernon (who chose the name) what T.S. stood for. ‘Tough Shit’ he was told.

Someone To Love Me: T.S. McPhee Purdah 45, 1966

They’re rare, though some Purdah tracks like John Mayall and Eric Clapton on Lonely Years / Bernard Jenkins came out on Decca Ace of Clubs Raw Blues album. Vernon was still a Decca producer in his day job.

Raw Blues: Decca Ace of Clubs 1967

Peter Green was leaving John Mayall (a Decca artist) to form Fleetwood Mac, and fancied the idea of being on a dedicated blues label. He didn’t want to be on Decca where Mayall was.

Mike Vernon: One argument too many made up Peter’s mind. “I’m going to take John (McVie) and Mick (Fleetwood) and form a new group. I want you to produce us and put the stuff out on Blue Horizon ’cause I really like the earthy, homely feel of what you’re trying to do.” I decided honesty was the best policy accordingly I booked a studio at West Hampstead to cut a handful of demo tracks with Peter’s new line up which would then be presented to Decca with a view to that company picking up the Blue Horizon mark and entering in to a licensing and marketing deal … Decca were keen to sign the band but would not entertain the idea of our own label. That was against company policy.

“a studio” would be Decca. Mick Fleetwood tells the story somewhat differently to Vernon.

Mick Fleetwood: Mike Vernon was a blues fan and staff producer at Decca Records who had supervised most of Mayall’s records, as well as an album Peter Green had done with with Chicago pianist Eddie Boyd. Vernon had started a private label for blues fans called Blue Horizon, which had had some strong sales with limited edition pressings by Mayall and Clapton (produced by Jimmy Page) as well as the earliest recordings by the Savoy Brown Blues Band. Now Vernon saw Peter (Green) as a way out of working for Decca if he could sign him to Blue Horizon. So Vernon and Davies stated working on Peter who really had no plans at all. After Peter realized that he was most comfortable out in front of the music we had recorded as a trio, he allowed himself to be convinced.
Mick Fleetwood with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood, 1990

I guess the blue sleeve surrounding it has been erroneously applied. This is pre-CBS

There is an album with Eddie Boyd and the trio of Fleetwood Mac, 7936 South Rhodes, but it’s Blue Horizon and 1968. Fleetwood must mean the pre-CBS limited run Blue Horizon single from 1967 with Eddie Boyd, It’s so Miserable To Be Alone which was Green, McVie and Aynsley Dunbar.

Fleetwood describes the demo tracks differently too.

Mick Fleetwood: Fleetwood Mac’s earliest recording sessions were illicit late night raids on the supposedly closed Decca West Hampstead studio after gigs at The Railway Hotel, about a hundred yards away. Decca had been extremely interested in signing Peter Green when Greenie left Mayall, but they wouldn’t offer their staff producer, Mike Vernon, a label dea;l for his Blue Horizon Records, for which Peter had agreed to record. So Vernon used his key to record us after hours; these were the tapes (some with Bob Brunning on bass) which were used to sell us to CBS Records.

So Vernon and Green went to CBS (Where Vernon’s brother had been working in the promotion department), Mike Vernon was only 23. Richard was 21.

Mike Vernon: We tried a lot of companies to release the label before CBS. They were the only company prepared to give us an identity.
Melody Maker, 2 March 1968 (History of Rock 1968)

CBS agreed a deal, and released the first Fleetwood Mac single, I Believe My Time Ain’t Long, with a centre print on CBS. Then they let Blue Horizon run with its own label. The first two singles, by Fleetwood Mac and Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation were recorded at CBS’s studio in Bond Street … i.e. the old Oriole / Embassy studio used for so many budget recordings.

That Fleetwood Mac single is a normal orange CBS label with CBS logo, and Blue Horizon’s circular logo is printed on the press out section. Vernon was invited to resign from Decca when they found out that he was working with CBS.

I Believe My Time Ain’t Long: Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac, CBS 45 1967

Copies with a picture sleeve list in Rare Record Guide 2022 at £120. In a normal CBS company sleeve (like mine below) a mere £20.

I Believe My Time Ain’t Long: Peter Greens Fleetwood Mac, CBS 45 1967

Rambling Pony: Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, CBS 45 1967 #3051
Warning: Anysley Dunbar Retaliation, CBS 45 1967 # 3100

The first releases were by Fleetwood Mac and Anysley Dunbar. They were linked … Mick Fleetwood had replaced Aynsley Dunbar in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, though Fleetwood only spent six weeks in the band. Peter Green had suggested Fleetwood because he and Mayall felt Dunbar was ‘playing too much.’ Fleetwood said that at the time, Dunbar was technically superior, but inclined to long solos.

CBS gave Aynsley Dunbar a picture sleeve, not that I’ve seen one (it doubles the value from £30 to £60). Picture sleeves were rare at that time … CBS gave them to Dylan (but just for one single) and Georgie Fame, so they had faith in Dunbar’s band. That was a powerful live band, with Victor Brox on organ and lead vocal.

Warning: Aynsley Dunbar Retaliation, CBS 45, 1968

Vernon also produced new recordings by Otis Spann, Hubert Sumlin, Bobby Parker , Magic Sam and Champion Jack Dupree.

The Big Boat: Eddie Boyd (with Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac): Blue Horizon 45 1968, sleeve reverse side
I’d Rather Go Blind: Chicken Shack, Blue Horizon 45 1969, A side of sleeve
Tears In The wind: Chicken Shack, B-side 1969

centre designs and demo version:

I Haven’t Done No One No Harm: Champion Jack Dupree, 1968
Bright Lights, Big City: Duster Bennett & His House Band, demo, 1969

I have my doubts about the true authenticity of some Blue Horizon material. Duster Bennett and His House Band were recorded doing Bright Lights Big City. The demo is dated July 11th 1969. It sounds live, i.e. a bit rough, but it ends with huge crowd reaction. It’s good workmanlike blues, but it’s not the Second Coming of The Beatles. The B-side, Fresh Country Jam is a very weak jam – it sounds live too.

Later Blue Horizon releases are red. Jellybread (featuring a young Pete Wingfield on vocals and piano) had several singles in 1969-1970.

Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu: Jellybread , A side of sleeve
Readin’ The Meters: Jellybread, B-side design

Vernon switched from CBS to Polydor. The design changed to blue on white, and the copies I’ve seen were in plain white sleeves (or blue CBS sleeves applied years later!)

Tommy: Focus, 1972. Polydor pressed and distributed with large centre hole

Mike Vernon: Eventually CBS got fed up with us and we went to Polydor. The move changed the outlook of what we were doing with Blue Horizon as a label, because the first major act we signed when we went to Polydor was Focus which of course had nothing to do with the blues at all: they were a heavy rock sort of classical band. I don’t know how to describe them. I mean they were Dutch, maybe that’s sufficient. They were incredibly successful : we had thre gold albums with them on Blue Horizon, and a couple of big hits, Hocus Pocus and Sylvia. They gave us financial clout and made it possible to do more recording with (e.g.) Bacon Fat.
Quoted in Blues: The British Connection by Bob Brunning, 1986 and 1995

The chart books list the Focus hit singles in the UK as Polydor, and the images on Discogs for are also with Polydor labels. Moving Waves is the only album on Discogs with a Blue Horizon label.

Making Waves: Focus, Blue Horizon LP, 1972, distributed and pressed by Polydor

Greater success came with Polydor reissues of the Blue Horizon material.

Polydor saw interest in blues waning, and did not renew their contract.

Selected Blue Horizon 45s (with UK chart positions)

If you see a Blue Horizon label in a box of 45s, the chance of it being Albatross are extremely high. If it’s not, it’ll be I’d Rather Go Blind by Chicken Shack.

Albatross: Fleetwood Mac, UK 45, 1968. UK #1
Peter Green’s Fleetwood MacI Believe My Time Ain’t Long1967
Aynsley Dunbar RetaliationWarning1967
Chicken ShackIt’s OK With Me Baby1968
Fleetwood MacBlack Magic Woman196837
Eddie Boyd w. Fleetwood MacThe Big Boat1968
Fleetwood MacNeed Your Love So Bad196831
Duster BennettIt’s A Man Down There1968
Otis SpannBloody Murder1968
B.B. KingThe Woman I Love1968
Fleetwood MacAlbatross19681
Bobby ParkerIt’s Hard But It’ Fair1969
Chicken ShackI’d Rather Go Blind196914
Duster BennettBright Lights Big City1969
Chicken ShackTears In The Wind196929
Champion Jack DupreeI Want To Be A Hippy1969
Fleetwood MacNeed Your Love So Bad (reissue)196932
JellybreadChairman Mao’s Boogaloo1969
Christine PerfectWhen You Say1969
Duster BennettI Chose To Sing The Blues1970
JellybreadRockin’ Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu1970
Slim HarpoFolsom Prison Blues1970
Chicken ShackSad Clown1970
Duster BennettAct Nice & Gentle1970
Chicken ShackMaudie1970
Mighty BabyDevil’s Whisper1971
Mike VernonLet’s Try Again1971
FocusHocus Pocus1971
FocusTommy / Focus II1972

LPs

Super Duper Blues: Sampler LP

Being distributed by CBS, Blue Horizon naturally followed the sampler cheap album route with Super Duper Blues.

How Blue Can We Get: gatefold 1970

In 1970, they released the double album set How Blue Can We Get? (see the beginning) which had two four page inserts, amounting to a full catalogue of the label in sections: Chicken Shack / Christine Perfect, Fleetwood Mac, Duster Bennett, Piano Blues. Post-War Blues, City Blues, Oldies But Goodies, B.B. King, Elmore James, Country Blues.

In Our Own Way: Oldies but Goodies compiled Blue Horizon singles.

It was followed by The Blue Horizon Story Vol. 1 as a budget retrospective on CBS’s Embassy label in 1973.

The Blue Horizon Story Vol. 1: CBS Embassy budget LP, 1973

Blue Horizon albums in the charts

Peter Green’s Fleetwood MacFleetwood Mac19684
40 Blue Fingers Freshly PackedChicken Shack196812
Mr WonderfulFleetwood Mac196810
OK KenChicken Shack19699
Pious Bird of Good OmenFleetwood Mac196918
Moving WavesFocus19722

The biggest names by far are Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack, which between them give you three-fifths of the mid-70s megastar band. That was with the addition of Lindsay Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. I saw the original line up and wondered what such a sublime guitarist as Peter Green was doing with such a plodding rhythm section. Time passed … I would say Fleetwood and McVie got much, much better later. The infectious spring of John McVie’s bass guitar in the Rumors rhythm section was not evident in the blues band.

Mike Vernon travelled to the USA and produced albums by Furry Lewis, Bukka White, Mississippi Joe Callicot. Blue Horizon then leased in selected tracks by B.B. King, Magic Sam and Elmore James. He was particularly keen on American blues band, Bacon Fat.

Fleetwood Mac albums

Mick Fleetwood: Our first session at CBS’s Bond Street studio wasn’t a big production. We went in, set up our PA, and played our live set. Our first two albums were basically Fleetwood Mac’s live show. But it was the show that was the hottest in Britain at this time, the last half of 1967. Our early grassroots success in the clubs and colleges was because we were playing hard blues loud when everyone else was going psychedelic.
Mick Fleetwood with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood, 1990

If he says so. I saw them at that time. I can think of a dozen bands that would have blown them off the stage, starting with the Jimi Hendrix Experience (for me, anyway).

Fleetwood Mac in its early incarnation not only got Blue Horizon started, they just about screwed it up. The relationship was based on trust, and Vernon found Fleetwood Mac had gone to Immediate behind his back.

Mick Fleetwood: It was the result of financial hassles between Vernon and (manager) Clifford Davies). Some of us were happy about leaving Blue Horizon, and some were not. ‘I was the last to agree to leave Blue Horizon,’ Pete(Green) told reporters, ‘I was quite happy there and I didn’t like leaving just for money. I said to the rest of the guys, “Watch out. There’ll be a comeback here.”‘
Mick Fleetwood with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood, 1990

Immediate failed to pay the promised advance, and they went to Warner Bros, after flirting with the idea of Apple.

Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac: Blue Horizon LP, 1968

Mr Wonderful came in a full gatefold sleeve in 1968.

Mick Fleetwood: Mr Wonderful was released during the summer of 1968. It was recorded in four days, and it sounds like it. Ragged, low down blues by the seat of the pants. Mike Vernon brought horns and a piano player in to the session to augment our basic sound. Just blow, Jeremy told the visitors, and away we sailed into the album with no rehearsal whatsoever.
Mick Fleetwood with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood, 1990

Mr Wonderful: Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon LP 1968

The Pious Bird of Good Omen: Fleetwood Mac, Blue Horizon LP, August 1969

Chicken Shack albums

Blue Horizon had chart success with Chicken Shack, which in those days featured Christine Perfect on piano and vocals. After I’d Rather Go Blind she was voted Female Vocalist of the Year in the NME Poll. She married John McVie of Fleetwood Mac and retired (briefly). After the first two albums, Chicken Shack (minus Christine Perfect) were dull.

Mike Vernon: We made some good records together, some very good records. But I don’t think that ACCEPT was taking the band in the right sort of direction. I think it was a little too heavy, just a bit on the heavy side. And in fact that album caused the parting of the ways as far as the band and I were concerned, because they went to Decca.
Quoted in Blues: The British Connection by Bob Brunning, 1986 and 1995

40 Blue Fingers, Freshly Packed and Ready To Serve: Chicken Shack, Blue Horizon LP 1968

OK Ken: Chicken Shack, Blue Horizon LP, 1969

100 Ton Chicken: Chicken Shack, Blue Horizon LP, 1969

Accept Chicken Shack: Chicken Shack, Blue Horizon LP, 1970

Christine Perfect

The most talented artist on the entire label by a mile. The link between Chicken Shack and Fleetwood Mac. Voted best British female vocalist. Sorry, Peter Green fans, but the 1970s and 1980s bear me out.

Christine Perfect: Christine Perfect, Blue Horizon LP, 1970

Duster Bennett

Smiling like I’m Happy was recorded in September 1968, and one which turns up almost as often as Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack albums. His ‘house band’ includes Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Fleetwood, who as a trio were virtually Blue Horizon’s house band. It was an interesting choice. As on the front sleeve, Bennett was famed as a one man band for his solo gigs. On the album he’s credited with vocal, harmonica, guitar plus bass drum and high hat (one for each foot). That was Jesse Fuller territory as on San Francisco Bay Blues.

Peter Green: There are three groups and singers who knock me out. Duster Bennett is one – he is great. He makes up his songs as he goes along. He may take someone else’s song and the first couple of lines may be from the original version, but the rest is all his.
Melody Maker 29 June 1968 (History of Rock 1968)

The next two Blue Horizon albums were him and partner Stella Sutton. His Blue Horizon output is now available as a 2 CD set -unusually for these “other” Blue Horizon artists.

Bright lights: Duster Bennett, LP 1969
12 db’s: Duster Bennett, LP 1970

… with Fleetwood Mac

The House Band continues …

7936 South Rhodes: Eddie Boyd with Fleetwood Mac, 1968 (Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood)

The Biggest Thing Since Colossus: Otis Spann with Fleetwood Mac 1969 (Peter Green, Danny Kirwan, John McVie + S.P. Leary on drums)

Long Overdue: Gordon Smith (Green, McVie, Fleetwood + Derek Hall, piano) 1968
Northumbrian blues singer

Blues Jam At Chess: Fleetwood Mac with Otis Spann, Willie Dixon, Shakey Hoton, J.T. Brown, Guitar Buddy, Honey Boy Edwards, S.P. Leary , 2 LPs 1969 (with Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Danny Kirwan, Jeremy Spencer)

This one was recorded in Chicago and Mike Vernon flew over the sessions which were cut as live as possible with their blues inspirations.

Dinky Dawson (Fleetwood Mac roadie): This was the happiest occasion I’d ever see the original Fleetwood Mac in, everyone in peak spirits for the few days of sessions … producing some of the finest blues performances Fleetwood Mac ever recorded … it was released at the end of 1969, marking the end of the band’s blues phase.
Dinky Dawson & Carter Alan: Life On The Road, 1998

Maybe that’s how they felt when they recorded it. They had moved to Reprise, changed style, and felt differently about the LP release.

Mick Fleetwood: To capitalize on the success of Then Play On in late 1969, Blue Horizon released two albums, Blues Jam at Chess and Fleetwood Mac in Chicago, much to our annoyance as this was material we had cut almost a year before. ‘The bulk of our fans won’t like it,’ Pete somewhat petulantly told the press, ‘because a lot of blues fans have dropped us because we’ve been on television and had some hits. I’m pretty angry about this old release coming out just now.’
Mick Fleetwood with Stephen Davis, Fleetwood, 1990

Tops Topham

Ascension Heights: Top Topham 1970

Other albums

These are the ones you never see. While the sampler albums are common, as are Fleetwood Mac and Chicken Shack related records, the real blues material is rare.

Presenting The Country Blues: Mississippi Joe Callicot 1969
Presenting The Country Blues: Larry Johnson 1969

Earl Hooker: Sweet Black Angel 1968
Champion Jack Dupree: When You Feel The Feeling You Was Feeling 1968
Champion Jack Dupree: Scoobydoobydoo, 1969
Curtis Jones: Now Resident in Europe 1968
Fat Mandolin: Johnny Young 1970
Memphis Hot Shots: Bukka White 1969
Last Night’s Dream: Johnny Shines 1969
The 1968 Memphis Country Blues Festival 1969
This One’s A Good ‘un (Post-War Masters) Otis Rush 1969
Magic Sam(1937-1969) 1970
Fiends and Angels Again: Martha Velez 1970

Martha Velez was a departure towards soul. Her version of It Takes A Lot To Laugh, It Takes A Train To Cry on the album is outstanding among Dylan covers.

In the end

One of the very last releases in 1972 was Mike Vernon himself with Bring it Back Home LP on which he played bass and guitar, accompanied by Rickie Hayward and Pete Wingfield. A good way to bow out. There were two singles, Let’s Try Again and Come Back Baby. The latter seems a Dutch only release and it is said Rory Gallagher plays guitar.

Come Back Baby: Mike Vernon, Dutch Blue Horizon 45, 1972

The Blue Horizon Story

US set in a nice box
UK set. Not in a nice box

CD compilation: The Blue Horizon Story Vol 1. 1965-1970 3 CD set (Sony BMG)

It is divided into three CDS: The Pre-CBS Years, The CBS Years – Part one, The CBS Years – Part Two. It includes a long, detailed and excellent sleeve booklet by Mike Vernon, with details on recording every track.

The first CD is stuffed with unobtainable elsewhere material, and worth the price of the set. It includes that John Mayall single on Purdah. The B-side, Bernard Jenkins is just John Mayall on piano and Eric Clapton on guitar. The track listing on the rear is alphabetical by artist, not a track order list.

There are CDs of The Complete Blue Horizon Sessions by Duster Bennett, Jellybread, Christine Perfect, Key Largo, Johnny Young, Curtis Jones, Top Topham, Eddie Boyd, Sunnyland Slim & Johnny Shines, Johnny Young.

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2 thoughts on “Blue Horizon

  1. Thanks Mr. Viney for this article. There were many albums in this article which – sadly enough – are buried somewhere in the basement.

    My Mantra: “British blues is underrated”. – I grew up with it, I played it back then (on lowest amateur niveau), and still enjoy it. In this time of identity politics (WOKE, if you know what I mean) my controversial opinion is that talking about BLACK or WHITE blues is just like talking about “the colour of your skin” in Bob Dylan’s ‘Oxford Town’ – just other way around.

    My special thanks to Mr. Viney for mentioning my favourite Eddie Boyd. He had the Finnish connection in his late years . You may found more about that in Finnish Wikipedia. During my student years in Helsinki he was playing in piano bars in hotels but even real blues in various clubs.
    He had Finnish spouse and is buried in a cemetery in Vantaa just outside city of Helsinki.

    Like

  2. More about Eddie Boyd and Finland: – The Finnish/Argentinian band ‘Flaming Sideburns’ playd a cover on Eddie Boyd’s ‘Praise To Helsinki’ (Just Google or – even better – DucDuckGo’a it). If this does not proof to you the great impact of Horizon Records so I don’t know what will…

    Like

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