Saturday, July 25, 1970

Eric Clapton’s debut solo album charted

Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton

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.

  1. Slunky [3:34]
  2. Bad Boy [3:34]
  3. Lonesome and a Long Way from Home (Bramlett/Russell) [3:29]
  4. After Midnight (Cale) [2:51] (10/17/70, 18 US, 10 CN, 51 AU)
  5. Easy Now (Clapton) [2:57]
  6. Blues Power (Clapton/Russell) [3:09] (11/8/80, 76 US)
  7. Bottle of Red Wine [3:06]
  8. Lovin’ You Lovin’ Me [3:19]
  9. Told You for the Last Time [2:30]
  10. Don’t Know Why [3:10]
  11. Let It Rain [5:02] (9/23/72, 48 US, 42 CN, 99 AU)

Songs written by Bramlett/Clapton unless noted otherwise.

Total Running Time: 35:11

The Players:

  • Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar)
  • Delaney Bramlett (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
  • Bobby Whitlock (organ, backing vocals)
  • Carl Radle (bass)
  • Jim Gordon (drums)
  • Bobby Keys (saxophone)
  • Jim Price (trumpet)
  • Leon Russell, John Simon (piano)
  • Stephen Stills (guitar, bass on “Let It Rain,” backing vocals)
  • Tex Johnson (percussion)
  • Jerry Allison, Bonnie Bramlett, Rita Coolidge, Sonny Curtis (backing vocals)


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:

  • DMDB Encyclopedia entry for Eric Clapton
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
  • JR Jan Reid (2006). Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos. Rodale Inc.: New York, NY.

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/31/2008; last updated 11/9/2021.

Carpenters hit #1 with “They Long to Be Close to You”

They Long to Be Close to You


Writer(s): Burt Bacharach (music), Hal David (lyics) (see lyrics here)

Released: May 14, 1970

First Charted: June 5, 1970

Peak: 14 US, 12 CB, 14 GR, 12 HR, 16 AC, 6 UK, 12 CN, 13 AU, 3 DF (Click for codes to singles charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK, 1.24 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 99.02 video, 134.19 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“The Carpenters didn’t invent easy listening music…But the Carpenters took that music, with all its lush and syrupy orchestration, and fused it with the starry-eyed sensibilities of late-’60s rock. In doing so, they became a commercial juggernaut and helped to invent the somnambulant sound of ’70s studio-pop. It’s not hard to figure out why a lot of people might resent them.” SG

The brother and sister duo of Richard and Karen Carpenter were born in Connecticut, but the family moved to Los Angeles in 1963 when their parents realized the sibilings’ musical ambitions. After failed efforts with a jazz trio called the Carpenter Trio FB and a band named Spectrum, Richard and Karen signed to A&M as a duo. Their 1969 debut went nowhere, but their cover of the Beatles’ “Ticket to Ride” caught the attention of songwriter Burt Bacharach. FB

Herb Alpert, who co-owned A&M and had hits of his own, suggested the Carpenters record “They Long to Be Close to You,” FB an obscure song Bacharach wrote with Hal David for TV star Richard Chamberlain. It was released as a B-side to “Blue Guitar,” which reached #42 in 1963. Dionne Warwick, Dusty Springfield, and Alpert all recorded versions, but they were all “big, traditional showstopping ’60s orchestral-pop ballads.” SG Richard didn’t listen to any of them, instead coming up with his own piano arrangement. The Carpenters’ recording included members of the famed Wrecking Crew group of session musicians who served as the de facto house band for famous producer Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound in the 1960s.

The “lyrics are exaggerated to the point of absurdity…Birds and stars and all the girls in town are hovering around this mythical beloved figure. The day this person was born, angels sprinkled gold dust in this person’s hair and starlight in his eyes of blue.” SG THe recording is “toothache-sweet and impeccable to the point of being antiseptic” SG but Karen’s “warm, controlled delivery…manages to get across both sadness and silliness.” SG

When Albert asked Richard how he though the song would do, Carpenter said “it would either be number one of the biggest stiff the label had ever released.” FB It topped the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks and earned the Carpenters a Grammy for Best Contemporary Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus.


  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for Carpenters
  • FB Fred Bronson (2003). The Billboard Book of Number One Hits (5th edition). Billboard Books: New York, NY. Page 278.
  • SG Stereogum (1/8/2019). “The Number Ones” by Tom Breihan
  • WK Wikipedia

First posted 11/28/2022.

Creedence Clearwater Revival’s Cosmo’s Factory Debuts: July 25, 1970

Originally posted July 25, 2011.

image from

Creedence Clearwater Revival are Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and one of the Top 100 Acts of All Time according to Dave’s Music Database. Perhaps no album is more responsible for giving the band such iconic status than Cosmo’s Factory, which spent nine weeks atop the Billboard album chart. “Seven of the album’s 11 tracks turn up on Chronicle, CCR’s best hits collection” SS and the album ranks as one of the top 1000 albums of all time according to Dave’s Music Database.

Lookin’ Out My Back Door is “a charming, bright shuffle, filled with dancing animals and domestic bliss – he had never been as sweet and silly as he is here.” STE Up Around the Bend is “a searing rocker, one of their best.” STE There’s also “the menacing murkiness of Run Through the JungleSTE and the “poignant melody and melancholy undertow” STE of Who’ll Stop the Rain. “Travelin’ Band, a funny, piledriving rocker with a blaring horn section; the first indication their sonic palette was broadening.” STE On Long as I Can See the Light, singer/songwriter John Fogerty “finds solace in home, anchored by a soulful, laid-back groove.” STE

Travelin’ Band

Those six songs comprised the A and B-sides of three 1970 singles. The album also featured an 11-minute version of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. “Even if it wanders, their take on the Marvin Gaye classic isn’t unpleasant.” STE “No white group of its time could cover black music with as much natural flair.” SS

As for the non-singles, there is “the claustrophobic, paranoid rocker Ramble Tamble. Unlike some extended instrumentals, this was dramatic and had a direction.” STE “Their faithful, exuberant takes on the Sun classics Ooby Dooby and My Baby Left Me are joyous tributes.” STE

Cosmo’s is really a must-own in its entirety. No other album so adeptly laces together the various strands of the CCR sound.” SS “The band broke up two albums after the release of this, their apex LP, but Cosmo’s Factory cemented CCR’s standing as a great American band.” SS


Resources and Related Links:

Friday, July 24, 1970

Yes Time and a Word released

Time and a Word


Released: July 24, 1970

Peak: -- US, -- UK, -- CN, 22 AU

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: progressive rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed (Richie Havens, Jerome Moross) [4:45]
  2. Then (Anderson) [5:42]
  3. Everydays (Stephen Stills) [6:05]
  4. Sweet Dreams (Anderson, David Foster) [3:46] (6/19/70, --)
  5. The Prophet (Anderson, Squire) [6:31] (3/27/70, B-side of “Time and a Word”)
  6. Clear Days (Anderson) [2:03]
  7. Astral Traveller (Anderson) [5:47]
  8. Time and a Word (Anderson, Foster) [4:29] (3/27/70, --)

Total Running Time: 39:08

The Players:

  • Jon Anderson (vocals, percussion)
  • Peter Banks (guitar, backing vocals)
  • Chris Squire (bass, backing vocals)
  • Tony Kaye (keyboards)
  • Bill Bruford (drums, percussion)


2.398 out of 5.00 (average of 9 ratings)

About the Album:

The same lineup which appeared on the debut album from Yes in 1969 returned to make Time and a Word. This would be guitarist Peter Banks last album with the band. He objected to the addition of orchestra to songs on the album, complaining that rock bands such as Deep Purple and the Nice had already done it. WK He was fired before the release of the album. Steve Howe, who has since probably become the name most associated with Yes after singer Jon Anderson, came on board for the tour. A photo including Howe, even though he didn’t play on the album, is used for the U.S. album cover.

The album covered much of the same territory as the debut, mixing original material and covers by pop, jazz, and folk artists. The covers included No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed by Richie Havens and Buffalo Springfield’s Everydays, written by Stephen Stills.

Of the six originals on the album, all are written or co-written by Anderson. Some include credits to David Foster, Anderson’s bandmate in The Warriors. Lyrically, Anderson was moving away from simple love themes to topics of greater scale, described by band biographer Dan Hedges as “life, oneness and the future.” WK

The Prophet was one such song. Anderson wrote it about a man followed my many who tells them to find themselves and not follow like sheep. It also showed Anderson’s interest in incorporating classical music by borrowing a theme from Gustav Holst’s The Planets. WK

The album didn’t sell any better than the debut, although it did chart. Atlantic considered dropping the band. A review from New Musical Express hailed the album as one of the year’s best releases, citing the group’s ability “to perform intricate and highly complex ensemble passages with meticulous dexterity and precision.” WK

Notes: The 2003 remastered version of the album added alternate mixes of “No Opportunity Necessary, No Experience Needed,” “Sweet Dreams,” and “The Prophet” as well as “Dear Father,” which was the B-side of “Sweet Dreams.”

Resources and Related Links:

First posted 7/25/2021.

Saturday, July 4, 1970

American Top 40 Debuts: July 4, 1970

Originally posted July 4, 2011.

July 4, 1970: the internationally-syndicated radio countdown show American Top 40 launched. The show counted down the biggest hits in the U.S., starting with #40 and working its way to #1. The Billboard Hot 100 charts, widely considered the industry standard, were the original source material. In the early ‘90s, they based the list off the Hot 100 Airplay chart and later the Top 40 Mainstream chart. When Kasem returned in 1998, AT40 switched to Radio and Records. In 2000, Mediabase began providing the data. Those charts are currently published on Tuesdays in USA Today.

Casey Kasem was the show’s original DJ and a co-creator. He is most associated with the show, having hosted it from its inception through 1988. Shadoe Stevens hosted from 1988-1995 and then the show went on hiatus for three years. Kasem returned in 1998, hosting until 2004. Ryan Seacrest has hosted it since then.

Casey Kasem

AT40 started as a three-hour show, expanding to four hours in 1978. By the early ‘80s, the show was available in 520 stations in the United States and in 50 countries around the world.

The inaugural show aired on seven radio stations. Three Dog Night’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come” was the first #1. Both Elvis Presley and The Beatles were in the top 10.

Kasem put his stamp on the show in several ways, most notably through long distance dedications. Listeners wrote letters with emotional personal stories and requested a song. Kasem read the letter on-air and then played the song. He was also well known for his signature closing motto: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

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