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Eric Clapton - Complete Clapton

Complete Clapton

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 5 out of 5

ERIC Clapton needs no introduction. He is, without question, one of the greatest guitar players in rock history and a true music icon.

In a career spanning more than 40 years, he’s won 18 Grammy Awards and earned the distinct honour of being the only triple inductee into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.

It’s a career that’s featured bands such as Cream, Derek & The Dominos and Blind Faith, and collaborations with everyone from Phil Collins to BB King and JJ Cale.

My own personal recollections of Clapton stem from several of his residencies at the Royal Albert Hall (circa Journeyman), during which I would venture out on cold, sometimes snowy, January evenings with two best friends to enjoy an evening of pure, spellbinding guitar magic.

I last caught old Slowhand at the Albert Hall in 2006, when he once again left us enthralled with his brilliant guitar playing – whether acoustic or plugged in.

But the guy is something special – a timeless musician whose varied styles only seem to get better with age.

Complete Clapton is being billed as “the ultimate career CD”, a 2-disc retrospective that charts the full breadth of Clapton’s musical works for the first time. It’s being released on the day before Clapton: The Autobiography is released into stores and ought to make a perfect companion piece.

Of the songs included, most speak for themselves. CD1 is rammed full of seminal cuts, including I Feel Free, Sunshine Of Your Love, White Room, Badge and Cocaine – not to mention Wonderful Tonight, I Shot The Sheriff and Knockin’ On Heavens Door.

But purists are sure to get a kick out of Crossroad, recorded live at Winterland and a mesmerising showcase of Clapton’s guitar prowess in live form – and how it really should be seen.

Or the alternative mix of After Midnight, which was first released on Crossroads. Both are collector’s items and it’s a nice touch to have them included.

Further highlights of the first CD include Let It Rain, which unfolds into another majestic solo, the album version of Layla (all seven minutes and eight seconds of it) and the easygoing Promises.

CD2 is more up-to-date and begins with a period when Clapton enjoyed a rejuvenation of sorts with hits like She’s Waiting, It’s In The Way That You Use It (from the Colour Of Money soundtrack) and Miss You, Pretending and Bad Love.

The latter three, in particular, are brilliant solo efforts that were easy picks from the Journeyman album.

Layla crops up again in the widely acclaimed acoustic version recorded as part of the MTV series, as does the heartbreaking Tears In Heaven, while the latter part of the album brings us up to date.

Picks include Motherless Child, a thrilling little acoustic number that brims with energy, Change The World, a laidback charmer of considerable grace, the reflective My Father’s Eyes and the guitar wet dream that is Riding With The King, a mouthwatering collaboration with BB King.

But really, there isn’t a bad track among them and Clapton fans will be in hog heaven for the better part of two and a half hours. It’s a deeply rewarding collection and tailor-made for savouring while reading that autobiography!

Download picks: White Room, Cocaine, Wonderful Tonight, Layla (acoustic), Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Let It Rain, Crossorad (live), Badge, It’s In The Way That You Use It, Miss You, Pretending, Bad Love, Tears In Heaven, Running On Faith, Riding With The King, Motherless Child

Track listing:
Disc One

  1. I Feel Free [Album Version]
  2. Sunshine Of Your Love [Album Version]
  3. White Room [Album Version]
  4. Crossroads [Live At Winterland]
  5. Badge [Album Version]
  6. Presence Of The Lord [Album Version]
  7. After Midnight [Alternate Mix First Released On Crossroads]
  8. Let It Rain
  9. Bell Bottom Blues
  10. Layla [Album Version]
  11. Let It Grow
  12. I Shot The Sheriff
  13. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door
  14. Hello Old Friend
  15. Cocaine [Album Version]
  16. Lay Down Sally
  17. Wonderful Tonight [Album Version]
  18. Promises
  19. I Can’t Stand It

Disc Two

  1. I’ve Got A Rock ‘N’ Roll Heart
  2. She’s Waiting
  3. Forever Man
  4. It’s In The Way That You Use It
  5. Miss You
  6. Pretending
  7. Bad Love
  8. Tears In Heaven [Album Version]
  9. Layla [Unplugged]
  10. Running On Faith [Unplugged]
  11. Motherless Child
  12. Change The World
  13. My Father’s Eyes
  14. Riding With The King – With BB King
  15. Sweet Home Chicago
  16. If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
  17. Ride The River – With JJ Cale

  1. Clapton needs a beautiful girl with him in the rock and roll hall of fame.

    Jim Baldwin    Oct 8    #
  2. Clapton rocks. He is a living legend and a genius. Get the autobiography – it’s a great read.

    David    Oct 13    #