Top 10 John Mayer Albums

John Mayer was born October 16, 1977 in Bridgeport, Connecticut but grew up in Fairfield. He began playing guitar at the age of 13 and soon after discovered Stevie Ray Vaughan. While he attended High School he played in local venues around town and even became part of a band called “Villanova Junction.”

After enrolling in at the Berklee College of Music to please his parents in 1997 he lasted there a year before he decided to move to Atlanta to pursue a career in music. In 1999 he released an EP titled Inside Wants Out and in 2001 Room For Squares, his first studio album, was released on the Columbia Record label. The debut album skyrocketed on the charts and became triple platinum by the time his second album Heavier Things in 2003 came out. Over the next two decades, Mayer released eight studio albums, seven live albums, and three compilations. At the same time, he ascended to pop rock god icon status with phenomenal songwriting, ability, an amazing voice, and superior capability on both acoustic and electric guitars.

Blues Rock Review lists its top 10 John Mayer albums.

10. Sob Rock

Mayer’s eighth studio album was released in July 2021 and contained tracks recorded between 2017 and 2021. The album title throws the critics complaints about his previous release back in their faces with frosting on top. After the poor critical reception of Search For Everything, Mayer employed Don Was again to produce the album on a half dozen cuts, along with Chicago DJ, R&B, and hip hop producer No I.D. songs run the gamut from reaching back to the sound of his early days on “New Light” to the Jerry Garcia sounding guitar style on “I Guess I Just Feel Like.”

(Buy on Amazon)

9. Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert

Try is a live album that Mayer recorded at the House of Blues on September 22, 2005, in Chicago while he was on tour with the Rolling Stones. The album blows the lid off the idea that Mayer is a low key sensitive singing crooner accompanied by an acoustic guitar. Instead, stellar bassist Pino Palladino along with drummer and co-producer Steve Jordan form a blues rock power trio that explodes with an intensity driven by Mayer’s stratospherically incendiary guitar playing.

(Buy on Amazon)

8. Born and Raised

Born and Raised is John Mayer’s fifth studio album and was released in 2012 after having four previous albums reach the top 10 of the Billboard 200, and it was the third to reach #1 and stayed there the longest. He experiments with a variety of different styles and it is considered to be one of Mayer’s most diverse albums. Don Was co-produced the album with Mayer and guest musicians included David Crosby and Graham Nash. It was released during a dark period where he was unable to sing because of developing a granuloma near his vocal cords, which required muted treatment for months.

(Buy on Amazon)

7. Battle Studies

When Battle Studies was released in 2009 it was the follow up album to 2006’s huge success of Continuum. Some reviews found it disappointing because it didn’t take the direction that they anticipated. It covered everything from pop with Taylor Swift on “Half of My Heart” to a short pithy rendition of “Crossroads,” Robert Johnson’s seminal blues song about a “deal with the devil,” that every serious blues artist covers.

(Buy on Amazon)

6. Heavier Things

In 2003, Mayer recorded his second album, Heavier Things at Avatar Studios in New York and it sold over 300,000 units the first week and debuted on the Billboard 200 at #1. He won two Grammys for both “Song of the Year” and “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance” for the song “Daughters.” The album itself has a more somber and jazzier tone to it and the album title is best expressed through the philosophical meandering of the song “Wheel” that concludes with a Karmic view on life and love.

(Buy on Amazon)

5. The Search for Everything

In 2017, Mayer released his seventh studio album The Search For Everything and critics chastised him for being too personal in his lyrics. Mayer produced the album himself which included two previously released four-song EPs in between headlining his own tour and touring with Dead and Company. The overall mood of the album is whimsical to counterbalance the intensity of the lyrics.

(Buy on Amazon)

4. Paradise Valley

Paradise Valley was released in 2013 and is Mayer’s sixth studio album and sounds connected to the country/folk sound of the previous 2012 release Born and Raised. The similar musical direction can be attributed to the fact that he was now living in Montana as a result of moving there during his recovery period from his temporary vocal disability. Don Was once again produced the album whose sound was inspired by the 1960s zeitgeist that came from artists like the Byrds, CSN&Y, John Mayall, and others escaping the bustle of L.A. by moving to Laurel Canyon. The album features everything from intimate autobiographical tunes to J. J. Cale’s country blues cover of Call Me the Breeze.

(Buy on Amazon)

3. Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live in Los Angeles

Mayer is like many artists that you have to hear live to get a complete picture of what they are capable of. It was that way with the Grateful Dead who shined with stellar live performances but failed to impress on their albums. In John Mayer’s case, he hits it out of the park in both areas but live electric performances exponentially augment his demonstrably amazing guitar playing prowess. The live performance on 2008’s Where the Light Is with songs like Hendrix’s “Wait Until Tomorrow” and “Out of My Mind” blow the mind. It’s a double CD containing an acoustic set, a blues rock power trio set and a full band set giving you the best of three formats.

(Buy on Amazon)

2. Room For Squares

The title of John Mayer’s 2001 debut album is a modification of jazz bop saxophonist Hank Mobley’s 1963 album title No Room For Squares. At 23 the title indicates that Mayer is aware that he has a way to go before he can declare himself hip on a level anywhere close to Mobley but at the same time is walking the path. The album sold almost 4 ½ million units and produced the radio hit “Your Body Is a Wonderland” which won his first Grammy in 2003 for “Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

(Buy on Amazon)

1. Continuum

In 2006 when his third album Continuum was released, Mayer continued to blow minds and expand his audience with another amazing set of songs with more fabulous guitar work. He demonstrated that his earlier success wasn’t just a fluke but that he was a master craftsman when it came to songwriting. He won two Grammys for Continuum, “Best Pop Vocal Album” and “Best Pop Vocal Performance” for “Waiting on the World to Change” and it was nominated for “Album of the Year.”

(Buy on Amazon)

 

Bob Gersztyn

As a teenager in Detroit, Michigan during the early 1960’s Bob Gersztyn saw many Motown and other R&B artists including Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. After his discharge from the army in 1968 he attended school on the GI Bill and spent the next 3 years attending concerts and festivals weekly. It was the seminal period in Detroit rock & roll that Bob witnessed spawning the MC5 and Stooges along with shows featuring everyone from Jimi Hendrix and the “Doors” to B. B. King and John Lee Hooker. In 1971 He moved to Los Angeles, California to finish his schooling where he became an inner city pastor promoting and hosting gospel concerts. He moved to Oregon in 1982 and began photographing and reviewing concerts for music publications. Since that time he has published myriads of photographs, articles, interviews, and contributed to 2 encyclopedias and published 6 books on everything from music to the military. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bob%20Gersztyn His rock & roll photo art is available for sale on Etsy @: https://www.etsy.com/shop/ConcertPhotoImages?ref=seller-platform-mcnav Bob may be contacted personally at bobgersztyn@gmail.com

6 thoughts on “Top 10 John Mayer Albums

  • August 12, 2021 at 4:27 pm
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    Hi…

    Reply
  • August 12, 2021 at 4:52 pm
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    You’ve written and song wrote alot of music
    I like the sounds of your voice.

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  • August 13, 2021 at 12:44 pm
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    Whoever ranked this isn’t doing it right lol in no way shape or form should paradise valley be in the top 5, imo it should be at least last or second to last. Also, room for squares DOES NOT belong 2nd, if anything it belongs to Born and Raised

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  • August 17, 2021 at 7:30 am
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    1, 2 and 3 positions are justified. Continuum is his best album. Belief from abbey road studios live his best song performance, live he if in mood he is great, a very fluid natural guitar player. Would love to see him take on traditional blues covers like Black Keys with Delta Kream and make them JM style.

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  • August 17, 2021 at 7:34 pm
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    Hi there! Thanks for preparing this content! I’d like to say I disagree a bit, but deeply, as Born and Raised cannot be in 8th place NEVER IN A LIFETIME. This is, in my point of view, his third best, after Continuun and Room for Squares. Thank you, keep posting about him! 🙂

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  • September 15, 2021 at 4:16 pm
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    I agree with Continuum at #1 I’d have Sob Rock at 2 or 3 though. There are really no weak albums but the Try stuff is covered on Where the light is so I’d place it last just for that reason…. if I’m perfectly honest it’s Continuum 1 and everything else joint second! Lol

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