East West is The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's finest album and among the most important and influential albums of the '60s. It features plenty of spirited blues playing from guitarist Mike Bloomfield and harmonica man Paul Butterfield. Unlike the group's first album, East West features guitarist Elvin Bishop in an expanded role, trading guitar solos with Bloomfield. Most importantly, it features the title track, which pushes the music's boundaries into a modal form inspired by Indian ragas. This 13-minute exploration is a pure sign of the changing consciousness of the '60s and of pop and rock music's emergence as a serious form. Many bands would soon release extended musical jams, but few would be as musically powerful as "East West." While this single track dominates most discussions of the album, the remaining songs are extremely effective Chicago blues; a version of Robert Johnson's "Walkin' Blues" brought the Mississippi bluesman to rock audiences' attention (along with Eric Clapton's efforts in this area) and The Monkees' "Mary Mary" showed off the group's unusual taste and abilities to make anything its own.

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