John Mayall: The Turning Point (1969) 2001

The Turning Point

Track list:

01. The Laws Must Change
02. Saw Mill Gulch Road
03. I’m Gonna Fight For You J.B.
04. So Hard To Share
05. California
06. Thoughts About Roxanne
07. Room To Move
+bonus tracks [*not on original LP]
08. Sleeping By Her Side [*]
09. Don’t Waste My Time [*]
10. Can’t Sleep This Night [*]


John Mayall – guitar, harmonica, keyboards, tambourine, vocals, slide guitar, mouth percussion;
Johnny Almond – flute, alto sax, tenor sax, mouth percussion;
Jon Mark – acoustic guitar;
Steve Thompson – bass guitar.

Recorded: live at Bill Graham’s Fillmore East, New York City, July 12, 1969
Released: 1969 / 2001
Label: Polydor / Universal records (UMG)

Producer: John Mayall
Recording Engineer: Eddie Kramer


This 1969 live recording at the Fillmore East was not just a turning point in Mayall’s music but also in his career, becoming his first gold album and his most successful release.

In 2001, a re-mastered CD reissue included three additional tracks from the same performance.

When John Mayall was starting another band after the break-up of the Bluesbreakers in May 1969, he decided to have a band that would play “low volume music” – A heavy lead-guitar sound was abandoned for an intimate setup of acoustic and slide guitars, bass, sax, flute and percussion.

“I’m Gonna Fight For You, J.B.,” is a tribute to the American blues guitarist J.B.Lenoir who died in 1967 and who had a deep influence on Mayall (this was Mayall’s second such tribute to the musician; “The Death of J.B. Lenoir” appeared on his earlier Crusade album).

Two concerts took place, one on July 11 and one on 12.

All tracks are from the second gig.

The album was produced by John Mayall, who also designed the packaging and was the album’s art director.

The recording engineer was Eddie Kramer, who had engineered Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin, among others.

Earlier recordings of the same material, live from June 1969 in England, was released in 1999 on the first CD “The Masters” (the second disc contains mostly interviews).

A concert at the Marquee on June 30, 1969 has been issued with a similar playlist.

The music from the two CD’s of The Masters and the performance at the Marquee were issued in 2004 on a 2CD, entitled: “The Turning Point Soundtrack”, credited to John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers.

Part of these earlier rehearsals and performances have been filmed and released as a 25-minute black and white 1996 BBC TV documentary, “The Turning Point” (and issued on a 2003 DVD, along with abstracts of the 70th Birthday concert, as “Godfather of the Blues/The Turning Point”).