Mike Vernon was the leading producer of the British blues boom in the late '60s, working on discs by John Mayall, Fleetwood Mac, Chicken Shack, Duster Bennett, Savoy Brown, and Ten Years After. Several of these recordings came out on Vernon's own Blue Horizon label, as well as the lesser-known Vernon-run labels, Purdah and Outasite, and Vernon also recorded some American artists for his companies. Although he's primarily associated with blues-rock and blues, Vernon has produced significant acts outside of the blues field as well, including David Bowie, Focus, and Bloodstone. After playing for a while in the Mojo Men, Vernon started working for Decca Records in 1963, entering production with an album by Texan blues singer and pianist Curtis Jones, and following that up with projects by better-known American bluesmen, Champion Jack Dupree and Otis Spann. At a time when John Mayall and Eric Clapton had established their names live with the Bluesbreakers but had made relatively few recordings, Vernon encouraged Mayall to make an album with the Clapton Bluesbreakers lineup for Decca, which Mayall returned to after a brief sojourn at Immediate. In 1966, Vernon was in the producer's chair for the only album the Bluesbreakers made with Clapton as guitarist, Bluesbreakers, which is roundly recognized as the best British blues album. There had been several other great blues-soaked British recordings prior to this LP by bands such as the Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, and Animals, but all of those groups were indebted to R&B, pop, and rock as well as the blues. Bluesbreakers was almost all pure blues, bringing out some of Mayall and Clapton's best performances, sometimes augmented by a horn section. Vernon also produced the Bluesbreakers' only album with Clapton's replacement, Peter Green (A Hard Road). It was while working with the Bluesbreakers that Vernon became familiar with the musicians who were to become the nucleus of the most successful British blues-rock band, Fleetwood Mac, particularly Peter Green and bassist John McVie. Vernon produced Fleetwood Mac's first few albums and singles, including the hit "Albatross," and was on board for much of their most blues-centered work. Blue Horizon made a major mistake, though, and forgot to pick up their option for a second year on Fleetwood Mac's contract, which meant that the group left Blue Horizon in early 1969.