1977, Music

Slowhand (1977) by Eric Clapton

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.

5/10

  1. “Cocaine” by J.J. Cale; 3:38
  2. “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton; 3:44
  3. “Lay Down Sally” by Eric Clapton · George Terry · Marcy Levy; 3:56
  4. “Next Time You See Her” by Eric Clapton; 4:01
  5. “We’re All the Way” by Don Williams; 2:32
  6. “The Core” by Eric Clapton · Marcy Levy; 8:45
  7. “May You Never” by John Martyn; 3:01
  8. “Mean Old Frisco” by Arthur Crudup; 4:42
  9. “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”

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