Tuesday, September 13, 1994

Sept. 13, 1994: Eric Clapton released From the Cradle, his first blues album

First posted March 31, 2008. Last updated September 9, 2018.

From the Cradle

Eric Clapton

Released: Sept. 13, 1994


Sales (in millions):
US: 3.0
UK: 0.1
IFPI: 1.0
World (estimated): 6.5


Peak:
US: 11
UK: 11
Canada: 2
Australia: 6

Quotable: “one of Clapton's finest moments” – Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide


Genre: blues


Album Tracks:

  1. Blues Before Sunrise (Carr) [2:58]
  2. Third Degree (Boyd/Dixon) [5:07]
  3. Reconsider Baby (Fulson) [3:20]
  4. Hoochie Coochie Man (Dixon) [3:16]
  5. Five Long Years (Boyd) [4:47]
  6. I’m Tore Down (Thompson) [3:02] (9/10/94, #5 AR)
  7. How Long Blues (Carr) [3:09]
  8. Goin’ Away Baby (Lane) [4:00]
  9. Blues Leave Me Alone (Lane) [3:36]
  10. Sinner’s Prayer (Fulson/Glenn) [3:20]
  11. Motherless Child (traditional) [2:57] (10/22/94, #23 AR)
  12. It Hurts Me Too (James) [3:17]
  13. Someday After a While (King/Thompson) [4:27]
  14. Standin’ Round Crying (Waters) [3:39]
  15. Driftin’ (Brown/Moore/Williams) [3:10]
  16. Groaning the Blues (Dixon) [6:05]

Singles/Hit Songs:

Click here for the chart codes for singles/hit songs.

Review:

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.


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Saturday, August 27, 1994

Boyz II Men spend 1st of 14 weeks at #1 with “I’ll Make Love to You”

First posted 3/28/2020; last updated 4/20/2020.

I’ll Make Love to You

Boyz II Men

Writer(s): Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds (see lyrics here)


Released: July 26, 1994


First Charted: August 5, 1994


Peak: 114 US, 113 CB, 14 RR, 13 AC, 19 RB, 5 UK, 13 CN, 12 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 1.63 US, 0.45 UK, 2.14 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 2.0 radio, 153.3 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Boyz II Men emerged in 1991 with their debut album Cooleyhighharmony, featuring top-five hits “Motownphilly” and “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.” They followed up the album with “End of the Road,” a cut from the Boomerang soundtrack which topped the Billboard Hot 100 for 13 weeks, the most in the history of the chart at that time. They didn’t hold the record for long. Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” logged 14 weeks at the pinnacle in 1992-93.

However, Boyz II Men shot back with “I’ll Make Love to You,” the lead single from their 1994 album II. It matched Houston’s 14 weeks at #1. That record wouldn’t last long either. In 1995-96, Mariah Carey spent 16 weeks at #1 with “One Sweet Day” – a song featuring none other than Boyz II Men. That gave the R&B group the incredible distinction of singing on three of the four biggest #1 songs in the first 40 years of the history of the Billboard Hot 100.

Boyz II Men tapped Babyface, who’d co-written “End of the Road,” as the producer for their second album because of his experience singing hits on his own, writing for others such as Pebbles, Klymaxx, and the Whispers, and producing for Mary J. Blige, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Gill, Whitney Houston, and Madonna. SF

Babyface saw “I’ll Make Love to You” as kind of a sequel to “End of the Road.” He admitted it was hard to try to outdo that song, but that was essentially his goal. SF He said his hope was that “it not be exactly the same, but familiar enough where you could touch some of the same ingredients.” BR1 However, the group initially thought it sounded too much like “End of the Road” and considered leaving it off the album. According to Babyface, Motown Records’ then-president Jheryl Busby made the decision to release the song despite the protests of the group. SF It won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals and American Music Awards for Favorite Pop/Rock Single and Favorite Soul/R&B single.


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Tuesday, August 23, 1994

Jeff Buckley’s Grace Released: August 23, 1994

image from themusicslut.com

Originally posted 8/23/2011. Updated 3/9/2013.


Released: 23 August 1994
Tracks: (Click for codes to singles charts.) 1. Mojo Pin 2. Grace 3. Last Goodbye (3/22/95, #54 UK, #19 MR) 4. Lilac Wine 5. So Real 6. Hallelujah (12/20/08, #2 UK, sales: 1.0 m) 7. Lover, You Should’ve Come Over 8. Corpus Christi Carol (for Roy) 9. Eternal Life 10. Dream Brother

Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, -- UK, 1.5 world (includes US and UK)

Peak: 149 US, 42 UK

Rating:


Review: Buckley had “one of the finest voices of a generation,” AD a voice which “resembled a cross between Robert Plant, Van Morrison, and his father Tim.” AMG His delivery ranged from “delicate and dreamy to highly charged and nakedly emotional.” IC He “could go from a whisper to a roar” AD with his “impassioned, octave defying singing…inherited from his late father Tim along with his matinee idol good looks.” SM “Buckley is doubtless sick of the Son Of Tim tag (especially as dad was never around) but the inheritance of his father’s vocal range and disregard for conventional form is inescapable.” IC

“Buckley had been plying his trade round the coffee houses of New York before hooking up with ex-Magic Band guitarist Gary Lucas in the short lived Gods and Monsters. The band failed to release a record, but Buckley’s profile was raised sufficiently to get him a solo deal…Entering the studio with a hurriedly recruited band, Buckley set about making Grace.” SM

“His extreme intensity and emotional sincerity make Grace…a flourishing achievement.” CH Buckley crafted original “songs of mystery and spirituality” IC which “are full of a search for redemption and all about love, loss and faith.” AD He “jumbles jazz, R&B, blues and rock references” SZ along with “French chanson, eastern melodies and classical choral music to create a classic rock record almost without precedent.” SM It “sounds like a Led Zeppelin album written by an ambitious folkie with a fondness for lounge jazz.” AMG

Sadly, it was the only full-length solo album released in Buckley’s lifetime. He went drinking with a friend on May 29, 1997, and died of an accidental drowning after diving in to the water fully clothed.

Hallelujah


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Saturday, July 23, 1994

Sheryl Crow charted with “All I Wanna Do”

First posted 4/9/2020.

All I Wanna Do

Sheryl Crow

Writer(s): Sheryl Crow/Wyn Cooper/Bill Bottrell/David Baerwald/Kevin Gilbert (see lyrics here)


Released: April 4, 1994


First Charted: July 23, 1994


Peak: 2 US, 2 CB, 16 RR, 18 AC, 35 AR, 4 MR, 4 UK, 14 CN, 11 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales (in millions): 0.5 US, 0.2 UK, 0.81 world (includes US + UK)


Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 1.0 radio, 7.35 video, -- streaming

Awards:

About the Song:

Sheryl Crow signed to A&M in 1991 after working as a session singer, most notably for Michael Jackson. TB She recorded her debut album with Hugh Padgham, who had produced the Police. His “polished pop sheen” TB wasn’t much better than the major labels who wanted “to turn her into a grown-up Debbie Gibson.” TB Her boyfriend, Kevin Gilbert, introduced her to an informal collective of musicians known as the Tuesday Night Music Club.

The group served as session musicians to Crow’s resulting album of the same name. Released in August 1993, it didn’t take off until a year later when “All I Wanna Do,” the fourth single, started garnering attention at radio. “Carefully driven by lilting slide-guitar and handclaps, the single was – somewhat ironically…much more slick and polished than the rest” TB of the album.

The song went all the way to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, stuck for six weeks behind Boyz II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You.” It went to #1 in Australia and Canada and made the top 10 in Austria, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom. WK It also won Grammys for Record of the Year and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance.

The lyrics were adapted from Wyn Cooper’s 1987 poem “Fun.” Crow said “it encapsulated what was going on in LA, a real extreme feeling of apathy and defeat. It’s masked in this light pop ditty, but it’s about somebody down and out, sitting in a bar watching their life go by.” SF Bill Bottrell, a member of the Tuesday Night Music Club, and the producer for the album discovered the book of poetry, The Country of Here Below, in a used bookstore in Pasadena. The original run was for only 500 copies, but the success of “All I Wanna Do” spawned multiple reprints as well as earning considerable royalties for Cooper. WK


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