John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers are a pioneering English blues band, led by singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist John Mayall, OBE. Mayall used the band name between 1963 and 1967, but then dropped it for some fifteen years. However, in 1982 a ‘Return of the Bluesbreakers’ was announced and the name has been kept since then. The name has become generic without a clear distinction which recordings are to be credited just to the leader or to leader and his band. The Bluesbreakers have included luminaries such as:
Eric Clapton (April–August 1965, November 1965–July 1966) and Jack Bruce, who both left to form Cream,
Peter Green, who had replaced Clapton, played until August 1967, when he departed with Mick Fleetwood and then also enticed Bluesbreaker John McVie a few weeks later to form Fleetwood Mac,
Mick Taylor (August 1967–July 1969) who later joined The Rolling Stones, and reunion tours in 1982–83 and 2004,
Harvey Mandel, Walter Trout, Larry Taylor (later in Canned Heat).


The Bluesbreakers were formed in January 1963 and became an ever-evolving lineup of more than 100 different combinations of musicians performing under that name.Eric Clapton joined in 1965 just a few months after the release of their first album. Clapton brought the blues influences to the forefront of the group, as he had left The Yardbirds in order to play the blues.
The group lost their record contract with Decca that year, which also saw the release of a single called “I’m Your Witchdoctor” (produced by Jimmy Page), followed by a return to Decca in 1966. The album Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (also known as The Beano Album because Clapton is shown on the cover photo reading a copy of the comic) was released later that year; it reached the Top Ten in the UK.
Clapton and Jack Bruce left the group that year to form Cream. Clapton was replaced by Peter Green for A Hard Road, after which he left to form Fleetwood Mac. Finally, in 1969, the third Bluesbreaker-guitarist departed when Mick Taylor joined the Rolling Stones.
By the time the 1960s were over, the Bluesbreakers had finally achieved some success in the United States.