Monday, April 18, 1988

Eric Clapton: A Retrospective, 1963-1988

First posted 11/18/2020.

A Retrospective: 1963-1988

Eric Clapton

A Brief History: He was born Eric Patrick Clapp on March 30, 1945 in Ripley, England. While still a teenager, he started making a name for himself as a guitarist with the British blues-rock band the Yardbirds. After a few years, he recorded an album with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers before forming what some consider the greatest rock trio of all time – Cream. After a three-year stint with that group, he did another one-off album, this time in the supergroup Blind Faith. In 1970, he launched a solo career, although he did also form another supergroup that year with Derek and the Dominos, which also produced the most iconic hit of his career with “Layla.”

Over the next eighteen years, Clapton released ten studio albums as a solo artist, including the celebrated 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974) and Slowhand (1977) albums. He delivered memorable covers of Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff,” Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” and a pair of J.J. Cale songs with “After Midnight” and “Cocaine.” He also penned album rock staples like “Lay Down Sally,” “Wonderful Tonight,” “Promises,” and “I Can’t Stand It.”

This page covers the following studio albums from Clapton, highlighting those songs featured on Crossroads:


The Studio Albums:


Compilations:

The above compilations are spotlighted on this page. The snapshots of the studio albums indicate all songs featured on these compilations, noted with the codes above. Appearing after song titles are the songwriters in italicized parentheses, running times in brackets, and when relevant, the date the song was released as a single and its peaks on various charts. Click for codes to singles charts.


The Yardbirds For Your Love (1965):

  • “A Certain Girl” (Naomi Neville) [2:17] (5/64, --) CR
  • “Good Morning, School Girl” (H.G. Demarais) [2:45] (10/64, 18 CL, 44 UK) CR
  • “I Ain’t Got You” (Calvin Carter) [1:59] (10/64) CR
  • “For Your Love” (Graham Gouldman) [2:29] (2/28/65, 6 US, 6 CB, 4 HR, 4 CL, 3 UK, 1 CN, 22 AU) CR
  • “Got to Hurry” (Oscar Rasputin) [2:35] (2/28/65, --) CR


John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton (1966):

  • “Ramblin’ on My Mind” (Robert Johnson) [3:07] CR
  • “Hide Away (instrumental)” (Freddie King/Sonny Thompson) [3:14] CR
  • “All Your Love” (Willie Dixon/Otis Rush) [3:34] CR


Cream Fresh Cream (1966):

  • “I Feel Free” (Jack Bruce/Pete Brown) [2:52] (12/15/66, 6 CL, 11 UK, 53 AU) CC, CR
  • “Spoonful” (Willie Dixon) [6:30] (8 CL) CR


Cream Disraeli Gears (1967):

  • “Strange Brew” (Clapton, Felix Pappalardi, Gail Collins Pappalardi) [2:46] (6/10/67, 5 CL, 17 UK, 23 AU) CR
  • “Sunshine of Your Love” (Clapton, Bruce, Brown) [4:10] (1/6/68, 5 US, 6 CB, 4 HR, 1 CL, 25 UK, 3 CN, 18 AU) CC, CR
  • “Tales of Brave Ulysses” (Clapton, Martin Sharp) [2:46] (10 CL, 23 AU) CR


Cream Wheels of Fire (1968):

  • “White Room” (Bruce, Brown) [4:56] (9/28/68, 6 US, 5 CB, 7 HR, 1 CL, 28 UK, 2 CB, 1 AU) CC, CR
  • “Crossroads (live)” (Robert Johnson) [4:14] (1/25/69, 28 US, 17 CB, 17 HR, 2 CL, 13 CN, 45 AU) CC, CR


Cream Goodbye (1969):

  • “Badge” (Clapton, George Harrison) [2:43] (3/29/69, 60 US, 65 CB, 56 HR, 4 CL, 18 UK, 49 CN, 43 AU) CC, CR


Blind Faith Blind Faith (1969):

  • “Presence of the Lord” (Clapton) [4:48] (8 CL) CC, CR
  • “Can’t Find My Way Home” (Steve Winwood) [3:15] (4 CL) CR


Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour with Eric Clapton (1970):

  • “Coming Home” (Bonnie Bramlett) [3:13] (12/20/69, 84 US, 74 CB, 73 HR, 20 CL, 16 UK) CR


Eric Clapton Eric Clapton (1970):

  • “After Midnight” (J.J. Cale) [3:17] (10/10/70, 18 US, 13 CB, 16 HR, 2 CL, 10 CB, 51 AU) TP, CC, CR
  • “Let It Rain” (Clapton, Bramlett) [5:01] (9/16/72, 48 US, 57 CB, 52 HR, 5 CL, 42 CB, 99 AU) CC, CR
  • “Blues Power” (Clapton, Leon Russell) [3:06] (live: 11/8/80, 76 US, 9 CL) CC, CR


Derek and the Dominos Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970):

  • “Tell the Truth” (Clapton, Bobby Whitlock) [3:23] (8/70, --) CR
  • Layla(Clapton, Jim Gordon) [7:07] (3/20/71, 10 US, 14 CB, 12 HR, 8 AC, 1 CL, 9 AR, 4 UK, 9 CB, 100 AU) TP, CC, CR
  • “Bell Bottom Blues” (Clapton) [5:02] (2/13/71, 78 US, 95 CB, 91 HR, 5 CL, 100 AU) CC
  • “Key to the Highway (live)” (Big Bill Broonzy, Charlie Segar) [6:27] (1970, original studio recording) CR


Eric Clapton 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974):

  • “I Shot the Sheriff (live)” (Bob Marley) [7:48] (studio version: 7/13/74, 1 US, 1 CB, 1 HR, 1 RR, 33 RB, 1 CL, 9 UK, 1 CN, 11 AU) TP, CC, CR
  • “Willie and the Hand Jive” (Johnny Otis) [3:28] (10/26/74, 26 US, 40 CB, 44 HR, 15 CL, 31 CN) TP
  • “Let It Grow” (Clapton) [4:56] TP, CC, CR
  • “Motherless Children” (traditional) [4:51] (15 CL) CR


Eric Clapton There’s One in Every Crowd (1975):

  • “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (traditional, arranged by Clapton) [3:29] (5/10/75, 25 CL, 19 UK) TP
  • “Better Make It Through Today” (Clapton) [4:05] CR
  • “The Sky Is Crying” (Elmore James) [3:57] CR


Eric Clapton No Reason to Cry (1976):

  • “Hello Old Friend” (Clapton) [3:34] (10/16/76, 24 US, 28 CB, 56 HR, 15 CL, 37 CB, 54 AU) CC, CR
  • “Double Trouble (live)” (Rush) [8:01] (original studio recording: 1976) CR
  • “Sign Language” (with Bob Dylan) (Dylan) [2:56] CR


Eric Clapton Slowhand (1977):

  • “Lay Down Sally” (Clapton, Marcy Levy, George Terry) [3:50] (12/13/77, 3 US, 3 CB, 8 HR, 3 RR, 25 AC, 2 CL, 39 UK, 3 CN, 57 AU) TP, CR
  • “Wonderful Tonight” (Clapton) [3:42] (5/13/78, 16 US, 24 CB, 25 HR, 39 AC, 2 CL, 30 UK, 15 CB, 53 AU) TP, CC, CR
  • “Cocaine” (Cale) [3:35] (6/14/80, 30 US, 36 CB, 35 HR, 1 CL, 3 CB, 57 AU) TP, CC, CR


Eric Clapton Backless (1978):

  • “Promises” (Richard Feldman, Roger Linn) [3:00] (10/14/78, 9 US, 11 CB, 18 HR, 14 RR, 6 AC, 4 CL, 37 UK, 7 CN, 26 AU) TP, CC, CR
  • “If I Don’t Be There by Morning” (Dylan, Helen Springs) [4:34] CR

Timepieces

Eric Clapton


Released: May 22, 1982


Recorded: 1970-1978


Peak: 101 US, 20 UK, -- CN, 28 AU


Sales (in millions): 7.0 US, -- UK, 13.5 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks: (1) I Shot the Sheriff (2) After Midnight (3) Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (4) Wonderful Tonight (5) Layla (6) Cocaine (7) Lay Down Sally (8) Willie and the Hand Jive (9) Promises (10) Swing Low, Sweet Chariot (11) Let It Grow


Total Running Time: 44:52

Rating:

4.156 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

About Timepieces:

This compilation gathered songs from Clapton’s six solo albums from 1970 to 1978 as well as “Layla” from his one-off album with Derek and the Dominos. It also included his cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door,” not previously featured on a Clapton solo effort.


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • Eric Clapton “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” (Bob Dylan) [4:21] (8/16/75, 9 CL, 38 UK, 99 AU) TP, CC, CR


Eric Clapton Another Ticket (1981):

  • “I Can’t Stand It” (Clapton) [4:09] (2/27/81, 10 US, 13 CB, 13 HR, 8 RR, 6 CL, 1 AR, 15 CN) CC, CR

The Cream of Clapton

Eric Clapton


Released: March 7, 1995


Recorded: 1966-1981


Peak: 80 US, 3 UK, -- CN, -- AU


Sales (in millions): 2.0 US, 0.9 UK, 7.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks: (1) I Feel Free (2) Sunshin of Your Love (3) White Room (4) Crossroads (live) (5) Badge (6) Presence of the Lord (7) Blues Power (8) After Midnight (9) Let It Rain (10) Bell Bottom Blues (11) Layla (12) I Shot the Sheriff (13) Let It Grow (14) Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (15) Hello Old Friend (16) Cocaine (17) Wonderful Tonight (18) Promises (19) I Can’t Stand It


Total Running Time: 78:00 (U.S. version)

Rating:

4.499 out of 5.00 (average of 10 ratings)


Awards:

About The Cream of Clapton:

This compilation essentially served as an expanded edition of Timepieces, omitting “Willie and the Hand Jive” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” in favor of five songs from Cream (I Feel Free, Sunshine of Your Love, White Room, Crossroads, and Badge), one from Blind Faith (Presence of the Lord), and another Derek and the Dominos’ cut (Bell Bottom Blues). The collection also added solo songs Blues Power, Hello Old Friend, and I Can’t Stand It.


Eric Clapton Money and Cigarettes (1983):

  • “The Shape You’re In” (Clapton) [4:09] (4/23/83, 75 UK) CR


Eric Clapton Behind the Sun (1985):

  • “She’s Waiting” (Clapton, Peter Robinson) [4:55] (3/30/85, 11 AR) CR


Eric Clapton August (1986):

  • “Miss You” (Clapton, Greg Phillinganes, Bobby Columby) [5:05] (1/24/87, 9 AR) CR

Crossroads

Eric Clapton


Recorded: 1963-1987


Released: April 18, 1988


Peak: 34 US, -- UK, -- CN, 68 AU


Sales (in millions): 3.0 US, -- UK, 4.0 world (includes US and UK)


Genre: classic rock


Tracks:

Disc 1: (1) Boom Boom (2) Honey in Your Hips (3) Baby What’s Wrong (4) I Wish You Would (5) A Certain Girl (6) Good Morning, School Girl (7) I Ain’t Got You (8) For Your Love (9) Got to Hurry (10) Lonely Years (11) Bernard Jenkins (12) Hide Away (13) All Your Love (14) Ramblin’ on My Mind (15) Have You Ever Loved a Woman (live) (16) Wrapping Paper (17) I Feel Free (18) Spoonful (19) Lawdy Mama (live at the BBC) (20) Strange Brew (21) Sunshine of Your Love (22) Tales of Brave Ulysses (23) Steppin’ Out (live at the BBC)”

Disc 2: (1) Anyone for Tennis (2) White Room (3) Crossroads (live) (3) Badge (4) Presence of the Lord (5) Can’t Find My Way Home (6) Sleeping in the Ground (7) Coming Home (8) Blues Power (9) After Midnight (10) Let It Rain (11) Tell the Truth (12) Roll It Over (13) Layla (14) Mean Old World (15) Key to the Highway (live)” (16) Crossroads (live)”

Disc 3: (1) Got to Get Better in a Little While (2) Evil (3) One More Chance (4) Mean Old Frisco (5) Snake Lake Blues (6) Let It Grow (7) Ain’t That Lovin’ You (8) Motherless Children (9) I Shot the Sheriff (live) (10) Better Make It Through Today 11) The Sky Is Crying (12) I Found a Love (13) (When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too (14) Whatcha Gonna Do (15) Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (16) Someone Like You

Disc 4: (1) Hello Old Friend (2) Sign Language (3) Further on Up the Road (live) (4) Lay Down Sally (5) Wonderful Tonight (6) Cocaine (7) Promises (8) If I Don’t Be There by Morning (9) Double Trouble (live) (10) I Can’t Stand It (11) The Shape You’re In (12) Heaven Is One Step Away (13) She’s Waiting (14) Too Bad (15) Miss You (16) Wanna Make Love to You (17) After Midnight (re-recording)


Total Running Time: 293:03

Rating:

4.745 out of 5.00 (average of 13 ratings)


Quotable: “No other Clapton album accurately explains why the guitarist was so influential, or demonstrates exactly what he accomplished.” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Awards:

About Crossroads:

Eric Clapton’s career was perfect for a box-set treatment. At this point, he had a 25-year run which included stints with the Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, Derek and the Dominos, and his solo work. The box set touched on all of them, while including live cuts and rarities along the way.

Crossroads manages to sum up Clapton’s career succinctly and thoroughly, touching upon all of his hits and adding a bevy of first-rate unreleased material (most notably selections from the scrapped second Derek and the Dominos album.” AMG While “none of his work as a session musician or guest artist is included…every truly essential item he recorded is present.” AMG “No other Clapton album accurately explains why the guitarist was so influential, or demonstrates exactly what he accomplished.” AMG

Fans and critics alike responded well. Bob Dylan’s Biography had been successful two years earlier, but Crossroads was “a bona fide blockbuster.” AMG It was the fastest-selling box set ever released at the time, racking up nearly a quarter million in sales in its first few weeks and ultimately four million worldwide. WK It also scooped up a couple of Grammys. Billboard noted the production work and that “compiler Levenson has unearthed some superb rarities for the set, and Anthony DeCurtis contributes intelligent annotation. Classy package and bounty of unheard material will attrack Slowhand’s legion of fans.” WK


Tracks Not on Previously Noted Albums:

  • The Yardbirds “Boom Boom” (John Lee Hooker) [2:25] (3/63, --) CR
  • Yardbirds “Honey in Your Hips” (Keith Relf) [2:18] (3/63, --) CR
  • Yardbirds “Baby What’s Wrong” (Jimmy Reed) [2:40] (1963) CR
  • Yardbirds “I Wish You Would” (Billy Boy Arnold) [2:19] (5/64, --) CR
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers “Lonely Years” (John Mayall) [3:17] (1965) CR
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers “Bernard Jenkins” (Eric Clapton) [3:47] (1965) CR
  • John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers “Have You Ever Loved a Woman (live)” (Billy Myles) [6:41] (recorded 4/30/66, 18 CL) CR
  • Cream “Wrapping Paper” (Jack Bruce/Pete Brown) [2:21] (10/20/66, 34 UK) CR
  • Cream “Lawdy Mama (live at the BBC)” (traditional) [1:50] (recorded 1966) CR
  • Cream “Steppin’ Out (live at the BBC)” (James Bracken) [3:31] (recorded 1966) CR
  • Cream “Anyone for Tennis” (Clapton, Sharp) [2:37] (5/11/68, 64 US, 83 CB, 59 HR, 33 CL, 40 UK, 37 CN, 64 AU) CR
  • Blind Faith “Sleeping in the Ground” (Sam Myers) [2:50] CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Roll It Over” (Clapton, Whitlock) [4:29] (8/70, --) CR
  • Eric Clapton with Duane Allman “Mean Old World” (Walter Jacobs) [3:50] (recorded 10/2/70) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Crossroads (live)” (Johnson) [8:17] (recorded 10/23/70) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Got to Get Better in a Little While” (Clapton) [5:31] (recorded 5/31/71) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Evil” (Dixon) [4:25] (recorded 5/31/71) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “One More Chance” (Clapton) [3:17] (recorded 5/31/71) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Mean Old Frisco” (Arthur Crudup) [4:02] (recorded 5/31/71) CR
  • Derek and the Dominos “Snake Lake Blues” (Clapton, Whitlock) [3:33] (recorded 5/31/71) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Ain’t That Lovin’ You” (Jimmy Reed) [5:26] CR
  • Eric Clapton “I Found a Love” (Leon Russell) [3:38] (recorded 9/30/74) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Whatcha Gonna Do” (Peter Tosh) [3:01] (recorded 9/30/74) CR
  • Eric Clapton “When Things Go Wrong It Hurts Me Too” (Mel London) [5:34] (recorded 9/30/74) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Further on Up the Road (live)” (Joe Medwich Veasey, Don D. Robey) [6:18] (recorded 6/25/75) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Someone Like You” (Arthur Louis) [4:30] (8/16/75, 99 AU) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Heaven Is One Step Away” (Clapton) [4:09] (1985, from Back to the Future soundtrack) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Too Bad” (Clapton) [2:37] (2/85, --) CR
  • Eric Clapton “Wanna Make Love to You” (Jerry Lynn Williams) [5:43] (recorded 1/31/87) CR
  • Eric Clapton “After Midnight (re-recording)” (Cale) [4:05] (4/30/88, 4 AR) CR


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