First posted March 31, 2008. Last updated September 9, 2018.
From the Cradle
Released: Sept. 13, 1994
Sales (in millions):
Quotable: “one of Clapton's finest moments” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide
Eric Clapton’s 1992 Unplugged gave him the most successful album of his career. It won the Grammy for Album of the Year and has sold more than 20 million copies. Instead of stressing him, however, Clapton felt free to do whatever he wanted. He opted to record an all-blues cover album, the first in his career, despite long being associated with the genre.
Reviews were mixed. All Music Guide’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine said “If it wasn't for Clapton's labored vocals, everything would be perfect.” STE “When he sings, Clapton loses that sense of originality, choosing to mimic the vocals of the original recordings. At times, his overemotive singing is painful; he doesn’t have the strength to pull off Howlin’ Wolf’s growl or the confidence to replicate Muddy Waters’ assured phrasing.” STE
Entertainment Weekly’s Tom Sinclair considered the recordings “flawless” but boring, WK but Erlewine said “the album manages to re-create the ambience of postwar electric blues, right down to the bottomless thump of the rhythm section.” STE He asserted it was easy to overlook Clapton’s “vocal shortcomings,” STE saying “as long as he plays his guitar, he can't fail – his solos are white-hot and evocative, original and captivating.” STE
Clapton once again received a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. While he didn’t win that, he did take home the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album. He subsequently recorded more blues albums, including Riding with the King with B.B. King, Me and Mr. Johnson (a collection of Robert Johnson covers), and The Road to Escondido with J.J. Cale.