ARTIST: Eric Clapton
TITLE: Eric Clapton
YEAR RELEASED: 1970
CHART ACTION: #13 US, #14 UK
SINGLES: After Midnight (#18), Let It Rain (#48)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Blues Power
LINEUP: Eric Clapton, Delaney Bramlett, Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, John Simon, Carle Radle, Jim Gordon, session horns and singers.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Noted UK guitarist finally records his first solo album with some decent and some so-so material and performances.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Clapton made his bones in groups, and seemed always drive his groups toward more of a blues sound than not (though his later work with Cream definitely had him favoring rock guitar), so it was a little surprising that his first solo album, made basically with Delaney & Bonnie’s band, was more rock oriented than anything,
What wasn’t surprising was Clapton’s guitar work, when he unleashed it. It seemed that the production and the songs held him back a bit. Everything here is an original (except for “After Midnight” which might as well have been) and only a hint of the blues.
Another issue, that Clapton himself has, is his vocals. While they sound adequate, they’re a bit thin, and higher pitched than his later singing. Sometimes, for me, the backing vocals seem a bit much – I’d rather have had simple productions, longer guitar workouts, and maybe more blues.
There are some good songs – the singles above and “Blues Power” are solid and the opening instrumental is very tasty, though cut off surprisingly. That, I didn’t like or expect.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Clapton, Radle, Whitlock, and Gordon formed the core of Derek & the Dominos, which started up right after these sessions.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: Yes, two different mixes and some extra songs.
GRADE: B: A few average cuts, a few great songs, but overall just an OK record in the whole.