Charted: July 25, 1970
Peak: 13 US, 17 UK, 7 AU
Sales (in millions): 1.5 world
Genre: classic rock
Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.
Songs written by Bramlett/Clapton unless noted otherwise.
Total Running Time: 35:11
4.067 out of 5.00 (average of 16 ratings)
Awards: (Click on award to learn more).
About the Album:
After Clapton worked with Delaney & Bonnie, Delaney Bramlett was eager to help Clapton produce (and largely co-write) his first solo album. Leon Russell also played an active role in assembling the players who appeared on the album. Earlier that year, he gathered 11 musicians and 10 backup singers for Joe Cocker’s tour in 1970 which resulted in his Mad Dogs and Englishman album. That project included Dave Mason, Jim Gordon, and Carl Radle, all of whom had been on the Delaney & Bonnie & Friends’ album On Tour with Eric Clapton. Russell also recruited horn players Bobby Keys and Jim Price, who’d toured with Delaney & Bonnie, and singer Rita Coolidge, who was dating Gordon. All but Mason were on Clapton’s debut. In total, 13 different singers and musicians are credited on the album. JR-75 All but Russell and Coolidge also appeared on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass album.
In the process, Russell unknowingly broke up Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. He probably figured “a 2-month loan of musicians wasn’t going to harm any enduring act, but Russell had lured away five members of the Bramletts’ band.” JR-81 After the tour, Gordon and Radle told Delaney they wanted their old jobs back, but needed more money. He fired them. JR-88 The Bramletts didn’t last either – they divorced in 1972.
The album “sounds more laid-back and straightforward than any of the guitarist’s previous recordings. There are still elements of blues and rock & roll, but they’re hidden beneath layers of gospel, R&B, country, and pop flourishes…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.” AMG
One of the album highlights is a cover of After Midnight, written by Delaney’s friend J.J. Cale. Until Clapton made it a top-20 hit, “the reclusive Cale had never heard one of his own songs on the radio.” JR-76
“Another durable attention-getter was Blues Power, a song Clapton wrote with Leon Russell” JR-76 which “isn’t a blues song” AMG but one of the examples of the album’s strong pop element. AMG
“Ever since the solo debut, one of Clapton’s performance favorites has been the jump-beat shuffle he arranged with Bramlett, Bottle of Red Wine.” JR-76
“But the cut that showed Clapton at his guitar-playing best was the closer,” JR-76 Let It Rain. It is one of the only songs which “features extended solos.” AMG It was also “the one in which he found that sweet spot that good singers know…He and Bramlett threw out the lyrics they initially wrote for ‘She Rides’ and transformed it into one of Clapton’s most elegant and hypnotic pieces.” JR-76 Russell’s “Jerry Lee Lewis-style [piano] flourishes supplemented Clapton’s guitar beautifully in the climax.” JR-77 The song also featured backup singing from Delaney & Bonnie, Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge, and ex-Crickets Sonny Curtis and J.J. Allison. JR-77
Notes: A 2006 deluxe edition added a second version of the album as mixed by Delaney Bramlett. A 2010 rarities edition added an “essential collector’s tracks” disc.
Resources and Related Links:
Other Related DMDB Pages:
First posted 3/31/2008; last updated 11/9/2021.