John Mayer reveals his least favourite album he's made, and the three that he thinks are "front-to-back perfect"

THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 1844 -- Pictured: Musical guest John Mayer performs on Monday, October 2, 202
(Image credit: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images)

Following his appearances at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Festival, John Mayer has resurfaced for interviews with chat show activity ahead of his last leg of US and European solo tour dates  – including answering fan questions on Watch What Happens Live with his friend Andy Cohen. One of these saw him revealing the least favourite album from his catalogue.

Unsurprisingly, Mayer has a thought-out line of reasoning for the choice. "It's the one I spent the least amount of time on," he begins. "It's only the least favourite because other ones were just more important to my life. I like some of the songs on this album but if I had to take one out of the discography it would be Paradise Valley."

"I think there are some good songs on it but I remember making that record because at the time I was being made to go on tour, and at the time I thought at that point in my career I should not go on tour without a record. So I kind of [thought], 'Let's make a record,'" adds Mayer of the 2013 record. "I thought I was too young to go on tour without a record and be sort of a legacy act. So that record came together in about three or four months, but it gave me some really great songs I wouldn't want to lose, but compared to the other [albums] that were a little more baked, I would take out Paradise Valley."

It's interesting that in Mayer's world three or four months to make an album is considered a relatively short amount of time compared to other albums. after Cohen praised Mayer's duet with ex-girlfriend Katy Perry on the album's Who You Love, the songwriter noted its importance for what was to follow.

That was sort of like early Sob Rock prototype stuff

"I'm glad we did that. That was sort of like early Sob Rock prototype stuff. It was just at the point where I was saying, 'Why can't I make music from a different era?" Mayer notes, reflecting in light of his most recent 2021 release. "If I love a style of music and I want to make it – like a genre – why can't I make music that I was pretending was from a different era. That was sort of like a prototype to Sob Rock. I was sort of like an FM-lite radio thing, and Sob Rock is a little more realised.  I listen to that every once in a while and I like that song – I like the way she sounds on that song. She got that way of singing down and met the challenge of that song. It was so much fun."

Earlier in the interview Mayer revealed his three favourite records from his discography, and without any ounce of fake humility. "I think there's three that are like front-to-back perfect," Mayer stated. "Continuum, Born & Raised and Sob Rock – I know it looks like I'm saying my latest record [is great] but in terms of works that are complete from front-to-back, and there's not anything I'd want to take off them – those three."

Hang on John, even Why You No Love Me?!

Mayer also stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform Sob Rock cut It Shouldn't Matter But It Does solo on his stunning Grey Sunburst £20k Martin OM-45 Anniversary signature acoustic guitar.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.