Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton (1970 uk, classic first solo album, japan SHM 2006 double disc set)

Well, to tell you the truth, Eric, we had begun to wonder. What with all the running around you've been doing of late, we'd begun to worry that you'd become just another studio musician, hobnobbing with the rich and famous. After all, overexposure to Leon Russell has been known to turn some people into wind-up tambourine-beating rocknroll dolls.

But no. Even though it's a "supersession," even though the personnel is liberally salted with old Delaney and Bonnie Friends, it comes off as a warm, friendly record of the kind that I haven't heard since the first Delaney and Bonnie album. Of the tunes, we have some good old tambourine beaters, one beautiful all-acoustic piece authored entirely by Clapton (most of the rest are by him and Delaney Bramlett, who produced), and a bunch of simply delightful D'n'B-styled gospel-type numbers, which, unlike a lot of the recent attempts in this genre, succeed because they build sensibly to a climax rather than indulging in the type of excess that spoiled Leon Russell's album, at least for me.

Clapton's voice is a revelation. He'd been scared to use it before because he thought it was terrible, but Delaney told him that his voice was a gift from God, and if he didn't use it, maybe God would take it away from him. Which, I thought, is maybe a nice way of saying "Well, maybe it ain't too hot, but you should sing along anyway." But Clapton's voice is just fine; rough and unfinished, maybe, but it adds to the rustic quality of the music.

"Bet you didn't think I knew how to rock and roll ..."   Sure I did, Eric. And you play a mean guitar, too.
by Ed Ward, September 3, 1970

Eric Clapton's eponymous solo debut was recorded after he completed a tour with Delaney and Bonnie. Clapton used the core of the duo's backing band and co-wrote the majority of the songs with Delaney Bramlett -- accordingly, Eric Clapton sounds more laid-back and straightforward than any of the guitarist's previous recordings. There are still elements of blues and rock 'n' roll, but they're hidden beneath layers of gospel, R'n'B, country, and pop flourishes. And the pop element of the record is the strongest of the album's many elements -- "Blues Power" isn't a blues song and only "Let It Rain," the album's closer, features extended solos.

Throughout the album, Clapton turns out concise solos that de-emphasize his status as guitar god, even when they display astonishing musicality and technique. That is both a good and a bad thing -- it's encouraging to hear him grow and become a more fully rounded musician, but too often the album needs the spark that some long guitar solos would have given it. In short, it needs a little more of Clapton's personality. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Disc 1
1. Slunky - 3:33
2. Bad Boy - 3:33
3. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 3:29
4. After Midnight (J.J. Cale) - 2:51
5. Easy Now (Eric Clapton) - 2:57
6. Blues Power (Eric Clapton, Leon Russell) - 3:08
7. Bottle Of Red Wine - 3:06
8. Lovin' You Lovin' Me - 5:02
9. I've Told You For The Last Time (Bonnie Bramlett, Steve Cropper) - 3:06
10.Don't Know Why - 3:10
11.Let It Rain - 5:02
12.Blues In "A" (Eric Clapton) - 10:25
13.Teasin' (Bonnie Bramlett, Curtis Ousley) - 2:14
14.She Rides - 5:08
All songs by Bonnie Bramlett, Eric Clapton except where stated
Disc 2
1. Slunky - 3:33
2. Bad Boy - 3:41
3. Easy Now (Eric Clapton) - 2:57
4. After Midnight (J.J. Cale) - 3:17
5. Blues Power (Eric Clapton, Leon Russell) - 3:19
6. Bottle Of Red Wine - 3:06
7. Lovin' You Lovin' Me - 4:03
8. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home (Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 3:48
9. Don't Know Why - 3:43
10.Let It Rain - 5:03
11.Don't Know Why - 5:12
12.I've Told You For The Last Time (Bonnie Bramlett, Steve Cropper) - 6:46
13.Comin' Home - 3:14
14.Groupie (Superstar) (Bonnie Bramlett, Leon Russell) - 2:48
All songs by Bonnie Bramlett, Eric Clapton except where noted

*Eric Clapton  - Guitar, Vocals
*J.I. Allison - Vocals
*Bonnie Bramlett  - Vocals
*Delaney Bramlett  -  Rhythm  Guitar, Vocals
*Rita Coolidge - Vocals
*Sonny Curtis -  Vocals
*Jim Gordon - Drums
*Bobby Keys - Saxophone
*Jim Price - Trumpet
*Carl Radle - Bass
*Leon Russell  - Piano
*John Simon - Piano
*Bobby Whitlock - Organ, Vocals

With The Yardbirds
1963-68  Glimpses (five disc box set, 2011 release) 
1964  Five Live Yardbirds (2007 Repertoire digi pack) 

With The Bluesbreakers
1966  John Mayall Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton (SHM double disc set)  

With The Cream
1966  Fresh Cream (SHM remaster)
1967  Disraeli Gears (SHM remaster)
1969  Goodbye (2010 SHM remaster)
1967-68 Live Cream (2010 SHM remaster)
1972  Live Cream II (2010 SHM remaster)
1968  Wheels Of Fire (2014 japan SHM remaster) 

With Derek And The Dominos
1970  Layla (2013 platinum SHM edition) 

With Delaney, Bonnie And Friends
1969-72  D 'n' B Together (2003 extra tracks remaster) 

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