At some point during Clapton’s recovery from heroin addiction, his style of music changed rather drastically. He still played the blues but a lot of the fire and rawness of that playing was gone. His solo records from the ’70s (excepting the first one) all have a similar pop blues style, even if the individual genres he flirts with differ.
Slowhand appears to be the country blues record. There is a distinct country or boogie vibe to a number of the tracks. To be fair, apparently this is due in great part to his band, made up of American players. (Though I believe it is the same band he was playing reggae with earlier in the decade.) That wouldn’t be a problem if it wasn’t such a safe version of country blues.
There are three famous Clapton songs here (one a cover) and I guess that would make the record worthwhile. But all three of them are on every Eric Clapton compilation I have ever seen.
The rest of the material isn’t particularly noteworthy and is played with the same kind of laid-back vibe that feels so utterly different from Cream or Derek and the Dominos.
Also, it’s worth noting that on a couple tracks Clapton the singer sounds horrible. (“Next Time You See Her” in particular is rather incredible for its broken vocal.)
Not a great record, though better than some of the ones he put out around this time.
- “Cocaine” by J.J. Cale; 3:38
- “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton; 3:44
- “Lay Down Sally” by Eric Clapton · George Terry · Marcy Levy; 3:56
- “Next Time You See Her” by Eric Clapton; 4:01
- “We’re All the Way” by Don Williams; 2:32
- “The Core” by Eric Clapton · Marcy Levy; 8:45
- “May You Never” by John Martyn; 3:01
- “Mean Old Frisco” by Arthur Crudup; 4:42
- “Peaches and Diesel” by Eric Clapton · Albhy Galuten; 4:46
- Eric Clapton – lead vocals, guitar
- Jamie Oldaker – drums, percussion
- Carl Radle – bass guitar
- Dick Sims – keyboards
- George Terry – guitar
- Mel Collins – saxophone
- Yvonne Elliman – harmony and backing vocals
- Marcy Levy – harmony and backing vocals, duet on “The Core”