released Sept 28th, 2010
about the album - http://www.youtube.com/user/ericclapton?blend=1&ob=4
By the time Eric Clapton launched his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album in mid-1970, he was long established as one of the world's major rock stars due to his group affiliations -- the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith -- which had demonstrated his claim to being the best rock guitarist of his generation. That it took Clapton so long to go out on his own, however, was evidence of a degree of reticence unusual for one of his stature. And his debut album, though it spawned the Top 40 hit "After Midnight," was typical of his self-effacing approach: it was, in effect, an album by the group he had lately been featured in, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends.
Not surprisingly, before his solo debut had even been released, Clapton had retreated from his solo stance, assembling from the D&B&F ranks the personnel for a group, Derek & the Dominos, with which he played for most of 1970. Clapton was largely inactive in 1971 and 1972, due to heroin addiction, but he performed a comeback concert at the Rainbow Theatre in London on January 13, 1973, resulting in the album Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (September 1973). But Clapton did not launch a sustained solo career until July 1974, when he released 461 Ocean Boulevard, which topped the charts and spawned the number one single "I Shot the Sheriff."
The persona Clapton established over the next decade was less that of guitar hero than arena rock star with a weakness for ballads. The follow-ups to 461 Ocean Boulevard, There's One in Every Crowd (March 1975), the live E.C. Was Here (August 1975), and No Reason to Cry (August 1976), were less successful. But Slowhand (November 1977), which featured both the powerful "Cocaine" (written by J.J. Cale, who had also written "After Midnight") and the hit singles "Lay Down Sally" and "Wonderful Tonight," was a million-seller. Its follow-ups, Backless (November 1978), featuring the Top Ten hit "Promises," the live Just One Night (April 1980), and Another Ticket (February 1981), featuring the Top Ten hit "I Can't Stand It," were all big sellers.
Clapton's popularity waned somewhat in the first half of the '80s, as the albums Money and Cigarettes (February 1983), Behind the Sun (March 1985), and August (November 1986) indicated a certain career stasis. But he was buoyed up by the release of the box set retrospective Crossroads (April 1988), which seemed to remind his fans of how great he was. Journeyman (November 1989) was a return to form. It would be his last new studio album for nearly five years, though in the interim he would suffer greatly and enjoy surprising triumph. On March 20, 1991, Clapton's four-year-old son was killed in a fall. While he mourned, he released a live album, 24 Nights (October 1991), culled from his annual concert series at the Royal Albert Hall in London, and prepared a movie soundtrack, Rush (January 1992). The soundtrack featured a song written for his son, "Tears in Heaven," that became a massive hit single.
In March 1992, Clapton recorded a concert for MTV Unplugged that, when released on an album in August, became his biggest-selling record ever. Two years later, Clapton returned with a blues album, From the Cradle, which became one of his most successful albums, both commercially and critically. Crossroads, Vol. 2: Live in the Seventies, a box set chronicling his live work from the '70s, was released to mixed reviews. In early 1997, Clapton, billing himself by the pseudonym "X-Sample," collaborated with keyboardist/producer Simon Climie as the ambient new age and trip-hop duo T.D.F. The duo released Retail Therapy to mixed reviews in early 1997.
Clapton retained Climie as his collaborator for Pilgrim, his first album of new material since 1989's Journeyman. Pilgrim was greeted with decidedly mixed reviews upon its spring 1998 release, but the album debuted at number four and stayed in the Top Ten for several weeks on the success of the single "My Father's Eyes." In 2000, Clapton teamed up with old friend B.B. King on Riding with the King, a set of blues standards and material from contemporary singer/songwriters. Another solo outing, entitled Reptile, followed in early 2001. Three years later, Clapton issued Me and Mr. Johnson, a collection of tunes honoring the Mississippi-born bluesman Robert Johnson. 2005's Back Home, Clapton's 14th album of original material, reflected his ease with fatherhood. The Road to Escondido from 2006 paired him with the man behind "Cocaine" and "After Midnight," J.J. Cale.
Clapton is Eric Claptonís first solo album in five years but he hardly spent the back half of the 2000s in seclusion. After 2005ís Back Home, he went on a journey through the past, writing a 2007 autobiography - also titled Clapton, although thatís the only connection they shared -mending fences with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker for a brief Cream reunion, establishing a lasting connection with his old Blind Faith bandmate Steve Winwood and recording a duet album with his Ď70s inspiration JJ Cale. This embrace of history isnít directly heard on Clapton but itís certainly felt, extending to how EC relies on old tunes-blues and country, but also pop and R&B-for the bulk of this 14-track album. EC is no stranger to covers and the sound of the album is familiar, but thereís no record quite like Clapton in his catalog. The closest may be Unplugged, which also ambles along with an unhurried shuffle, but this boasts a greater musical range, mixing up Fats Waller and Robert Wilkins with Hoagy Carmichael and Irving Berlin, finding room for guests appearances by Winwood, Allen Toussaint, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Derek Trucks and selected members from Preservation Hall Jazz Band. Yes, it is eclectic, even dipping into a bit of a soulful soft-rock groove on ďEverything Will Be Alright,Ē but not self-consciously so. Clapton flows easily, the blues never hitting too hard, the New Orleans jazz never getting too woozy, the standards never too sleepy, the sounds subtly shifting but changing all the same. Itís leisurely in its performance and its length, perhaps running just a little too long but itís hard to complain because the slow ramble is so enjoyable. Eric Clapton has never sounded so relaxed on record, either as a singer - he is supple and casually authoritative, a far cry from the tentative lead vocalist of his earliest solo records - or a band leader, sounding at peace with his past yet harboring no desire to recycle it, even if heís reaching back far beyond the blues that initially sparked his interest in music. Heís simply laying back and enjoying what heís playing, winding up with one of his simplest and best records.
1 Travelin' Alone
2 Rocking Chair
3 River Runs Deep
4 Judgement Day
5 How Deep is the Ocean
6 My Very Good Friend the Milkman
7 Can't Hold Out Much Longer
8 That's No Way to Get Along
9 Everything Will Be Alright
10 Diamonds Made From Rain
11 When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful
12 Hard Times Blues
13 Run Back to Your Side
14 Autumn Leaves