Eric Clapton

A curious case. I’m listening to “Eric Clapton”, his first solo album released in summer 1970 between Blind Faith and Derek & The Dominoes. It’s a gentle pop record, complete with Delaney & Bonnie’s gospel-style harmonies, and a harbinger of the sound of much of his post-Derek & The Dominoes career. It really is a record of its time, the post-Summer Of Love return to rock/pop basics as found in the music of almost everyone from Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones through The Band, The Byrds and Crosby, Still, Nash & Young. Anyone looking for the intensity of Cream or Blind Faith isn’t going to find it here (despite a lovely guitar workout on “Let It Rain”) and Clapton would return to that intensity with the “Layla” album later in 1970. But as an Eric Clapton pop record it stands very high. Much more enjoyable and accomplished than most of his post “461 Ocean Boulevard” output. Here at least he sounds neither too complacent nor too forced (such as his vocals on the “Out Of The Cradle” record). “461 Ocean Boulevard” might be a slightly better record overall, but not by much. In many ways this record comes across as a stronger “McCartney” with all of the charm but much less filler than you find on McCartney’s contemporary solo record.

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