the records
.::  My thoughts to the particular EC-records. I have left out the samplers and soundtracks (exception "Edge Of Darkness"). The regular studio-recordings represent Eric's main works - so to say "the real deal" - for me.

For a while I also had been after bootlegs...  but today they are not as important anymore to me. Merely to get an unvarnished impression of the tours I get me the one or another... so, just for pure listening I only have a handful, which have a very good sound.

YARDBIRDS - FIVE LIVE YARDBIRDS

Interesting audio-document... though I do not like the music that much. But one can feel the electrifying mood.... Eric's red FENDER TELECASTER through a VOX AC30 is biting and screaming. Already in those times Eric's been superb guitarist.

Because of the introduction of the band by the anouncer one can learn that already here the term SLOWHAND was existing.

I love that sound of the guitar on the BEANO-ALBUM, as BLUES BREAKERS - JOHN MAYALL WITH ERIC CLAPTON also has been called. It's visible to myself why all the world wanted to have a GIBSON LES PAUL STANDARD and a MARSHALL Combo-Amplifier model 1962. Because of this record the amplifier had got the nickname BLUESBREAKER and to this day bears it in the official Marshall-program. As per my knowledge never since then there has been again such symbiosis between a musician, a record (even including the cover-photo), the music and the equipment that was used.

John's voice is not everyone's cup of tea - mine as well not really. Eric's first vocal-performance on RAMBLING ON MY MIND I consider as totally cool - I would give a lot for such voice-vibrato. Further favourites are the both instrumentals HIDEAWAY and STEPPIN' OUT.

Well I am not the biggest fan of CREAM under the sun.

I am enthusing over EC's guitar-playing and sound (the Les Paul through Marshall Amplifier). And if Eric sings now and then... like here on FRESH CREAM on FOUR UNTIL LATE, the sun's rising for me. With JACK BRUCE'S vocals I somehow can' t do anything with it. Even the songs are for a big part very strange to me.

DISRAELI GEARS I obviously like much more as an entire album than it's predecessor. Eric's vocal part has been clearly bigger here, which I welcomed highly.

STRANGE BREW (ingeniously sung by Eric) and SUNSHINE OF YOUR LOVE (one of the most outstanding sings and the most awesome guitar-tone, that I know).

WHEELS OF FIRE consists of two reords, one studio- and one live-record. 

As far as it concerns the studio-record, Jack Bruce really takes off to top-form... great songs and sung cool, interesting arranged (on AS YOU SAID his voice was sent through a LESLIE  - not the newest thing as one can hear on THE BEATLES - REVOLVER - but performed brillianly). Added to this Eric's unimpeachable guitar. Vocalwise Eric only appeared as the leadsinger on "his" song CROSSROADS on the live-record. Those three pieces by GINGER BAKER I only consider as some filling material and would not miss them if they were not on the album.

Concerning the used guitars a cherry-red GIBSON ES-335 and a GIBSON FIREBIRD with one pickup might have been in the pie here and also on the following GOODBYE.

CREAMS GOODBYE is a mix-record of studio- and live-recordings. My absolute favourite record by CREAM.

Here Eric now has discovered the LESLIE-Cabinett for his guitar and there can be found superb sound-examples on the studio-songs BADGE and WHAT A BRINGDOWN. Still to this day Eric plays a real Leslie, especially again during BADGE. Unbeaten. Further pretty examples can be found also on the Beatles' ABBEY ROAD and LET IT BE and RINGO STARR's Solo-No. IT DON'T COME EASY.

BLIND FAITH actually is not that much my thing. STEVE WINWOOD's voice gets on my nerves very much for a great part. 

Although, here is the great CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME included, which had its fixed place in the live-set of EC for many years. On my DELUXE EDITION one can hear also an electric-version, which is a very pretty one, too. In addition there are further not yet released songs, plus four Jam-Sessions cuts on the extra disc. For the one who likes beautiful guitar-sounds and wants to "let loose" and "drift off" it's exactly the right one.

There are photos existing on which Eric plays a FENDER TELECASTER with a STRATOCASTER-neck (the one of "BROWNIE"), but also the red GIBSON ES-335 from the CREAM-days.

DELANEY AND BONNIE & FRIENDS - LIVE ON TOUR WITH ERIC CLAPTON is a nice record. I put on the player from time to time - was a hot band, with a horn-section, organ and percussion. My hits here COMING HOME and I DON'T WANT TO DISCUSS IT, recorded with a very good live-sound - astonishing for those times.

Here starts Eric's to this days lasting phase of the FENDER STRATOCASTER. On pictures one can see "BROWNIE".

Interessting is, one can hear already on this one how Eric's next record will sound. Because the whole band will be included to record the record. It will become his first solo-record...

...and is called ERIC CLAPTON and "BROWNIE" is featured on the cover -simply great. Far out atmosphere, great band.

EASY NOW, SLUNKY and LET IT RAIN my hits. 

Just listen to it.

DEREK AND THE DOMINOS - LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVESONGS I have again "injected" very intensely last year, since I myself happened to get into a similar situation as EC - with happyend. To read the book LAYLA AND MADSCHNUN while listening to it additionally kicks a lot.

Great record about his passion for his later wife Patti. Also one of the last sound-examples of the later passed away DUANE ALLMAN and furthermore "BROWNIE" has been used extensively. "BLACKIE" might have been already in Surrey, England, but maybe not yet put together in the way how it was played later.

Some time ago I discovered a 20th Anniversary-Limited Edition including two extra-CDs, that invlude Outtakes and Jams. Very interesting. One doesn't listen to it all the time... once in a while it's fine.

DEREK AND THE DOMINOS - LIVE AT THE FILLMORE simply is a smasher. That what CARL RADLE, JIM GORDON, BOBBY WHITLOCK and EC here have performed, for me belongs to the sidereal hours in EC's career - can't help it - I'm keen on such old-fashioned live-stuff.

Again "BROWNIE" is plugged in and nothing yet in sight of "BLACKIE".

Great record. Although considered objectively, the sound of the RAINBOW CONCERT then and still today appears to be somehow "strange" and one can realise, that Eric is groggy, because of his drug- and alcohol-consumption. Subjektively in my ears especially this is the nice thing in it. No mainstream.

And... here it is... "BLACKIE". Two shows have been played. One EC played with "LUCY", a red GIBSON LES PAUL which has changed hands to and fro between Eric and George Harrison all the time (with this guitar Eric also played the solo on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps), the other one with "BLACKIE", which from now on will be the No.1 until 1986.

It has been re-released with more tracks, remixed and with a different cover...

Recorded in the house of the address 461 OCEAN BOULEVARD, Florida. The "return- to-power-album". Very atmospheric, partly rocking - partly very contemplative, alomost no solos, lots of DOBRO- and MARTIN-acoustic-guitars in use.

No... I SHOT THE SHERIFF is not my favourite song. These are... GIVE ME STRENGTH, LET IT GROW and MAINLINE FLORIDA.

The core-band consisted of: EC, GEORGE TERRY (git), CARL RADLE (bass), DICK SIMS (keyb), JAMIE OLDAKER (dr), YVONNE ELLIMAN (voc). Additionally there have been involved a number of different session-musicians.

A continuation of what had been begun with 461 O.B. ... with spiritual  Raggae-influence and the same band, is THERE'S ONE IN EVERY CROWD. Only the place of recording has been a different one, which was KINGSTON, JAMAICA. 

Partly it might appear somehow flat and uninspired, but nevertheless it includes beautiful moments, as THE SKY IS CRYIN', SINGIN' THE BLUES and OPPOSITES.

Here MARCY LEVY (git) joins the band-line-up.

The E.C. WAS HERE record I love as well. On this one is the above mentioned CAN'T FIND MY WAY HOME in its best version that I know. Aside from that there's DRIFTIN', which will experience a comeback almost 20 years later on FROM THE CRADLE.

Also here are the same musicians on board.

The second LP of which I got hold of was NO REASON TO CRY. It's got the same warm (as I call it) "Living-Room-Atmosphere" as BACKLESS. 

Almost all the band-members are again participating, plus BOB DYLAN, RON WOOD and a lot more guest-musicians... probably a giant party, these recording-sessions. The CD includes a song called LAST NIGHT, on which one can note pretty obviously the "heavy" toungue of Eric.

I like it.

His nickname becomes program - SLOWHAND. The second milestone, after 461. My personally favourites are MEAN OLD FRISCO and PEACHES AND DIESEL.

The same band plus guest as on EC WAS HERE etc... and "BLACKIE" was introduced on the cover for the first time.

A MUST for every record-collection, as I think.

It started with the song PROMISES from this album BACKLESS...  heared the first time on a tiny transistor-radio.

Despite the humble sound-quality of the radio the atmosphere of the recording instantly cought me... Somehow I found out on which LP this piece was and so BACKLESS became my very first reord by EC. That was ca. 1978/79. So BACKLESS actually had been released at that time. Because the entire LP put a spell on me even more, I became curious and from then on looked for more other recording.

The last record by the TULSA-GANG.

JUST ONE NIGHT - recorded in the Budokan-Theatre. "BLACKIE" in top-form in the master's hands... As per my knowledge MUSICAMAN-amplifiers and a Leslie were also part of the game here. My tip: DOUBLE TROUBLE.

Completely new cast: HENRY SPINETTI (dr), ALBERT LEE (git, voc, keyb), DAVE MARKEE (bass) and CHRIS STAINTON (keyb) accompany Eris for the next time.

The same cast as on JUST ONE NIGHT plus GARY BROOKER (keyb, voc). One of the records which started to have an effect on myself only some years later and I understoode it. Today I like it very much. At that time the cut to my beloved BACKLESS was too crass.
For this the same applies to as for ANOTHER TICKET. I only have really "discovered " it during my period when I went through my divorce in 1995. I believe to perceive that here already the marriage with PATTI CLAPTON was on a downward slide and Eric took the record as a valve.

To me the over-all-sound is a bit to flat and "sticky", somewhat liveless.

From the prior cast only ALBERT LEE has been on the bill. As additional guitarist RY COODER was involved.

BEHIND THE SUN I liked and still like it !!! especially the titel-track. Unfortunately it has been faded out on this studio-record. The complete version then really takes off once more. I have it on an audience-bootleg vinyl-record. SAME OLD BLUES, SHE'S WAITING and JUST LIKE A PRISONER from the British part are the three other favourites of my choice. 

Half of this album had to be re-recorded again, because WARNER BROS. didn't like it. Therefore there is a "British" and an "American" part, as I call them. Fortunately since UNPLUGGED there isn't much fear of something like that anymore.

Here the name NATHAN EAST surfaced for the first time. Together with JEFF PORCARO (dr) and STEVE LUKATHER (git) he plays on some of the recordings of the "American part".

EDGE OF DARKNESS is a 6-track EP, no normal LP. It represents Eric's first contact  wirh the conductor MICHAEL KAMEN and electronical musical instruments. It is the music to the British TV-series of the same name.

I like it very much. Became an integral part of the Orchstra-Nights in the beginning of the nineties - see 24 Nights. Probably Blackie had been used here for the last time and...

... AUGUST was the first record being recorded with the new FENDER SIGNATURE GUITAR.

As an electric-guitarist AUGUST had influenced me  strongly at that time, because it's been the time when I purchased my first electrical guitar, a black Fender American Standard Stratocaster, and began to tackle more seriously with the electrical guitar. Bis dato spielte ich ausschließlich die akustische Western-Gitarre.

I was unbelievable fascinated of GRAND ILLUSION, that is included on the CD only, and at first I only had the vinyl-release at the time - without G.I. 

Because of JOURNEYMAN I had the guts to buy myself my first Wah-Wah-pedal by  Dunlop. I still own it.

 PRETENDING, BAD LOVE and BREAKING POINT are my favourites.

I always like to listen to 24 NIGHTS again. And the appendant Video, resp. now DVD are turning in the player once in a while. At the latest since 24N I have got appetite for the EC-Stratocaster. Well, up to now always some other guitars intermediated or haven't had the bucks available at the time.

For me this very moody version of WONDERFUL TONIGHT is unbeaten.
My hits: BAD LOVE and EDGE OF DARKNESS.

 

also on DVD

UNPLUGGED  has, although I already played acoustic guitar since a pretty long time, given me a new understanding again for the acoustic guitar (also the gut-string).

One of the first broadcastings, if not the first, within the MTV-series UNPLUGGED and moreover really unplugged. Not one single instrument's got a pick-up... everything has been picked up and taped only by microphones.

At PAUL McCARTNEY it was similar and then that's been it.

 

also on DVD

FROM THE CRADLE - this is rough Blues made by EC. Just great. Played with a lot of  passion and emotions. Liked it right away and still do today.
T.D.F. - RETAIL THERAPY the first co-working with SIMON CLIMIE and the second working (after EDGE OF DARKNESS) with electronical musical instruments as computers, sequenzer, drum-machines etc. 

Don't listen too much to it, but it's got very interessting parts on. One can already recognise the later CHANGE THE WORLD and PILGRIM.

The most controversial discussed record, that Eric ever recorded, might be PILGRIM. He takes new ways in recording technics a puts down a soul-stiptease in a very dusky atmosphere. Partly I can listen to this record only in a stable state of mind.

Particularly I like here PILGRIM, GOIN' DOWN SLOW (a completely re-worked old bluesson  -  an older "normal" live version one can find on the sampler BLUES) and lately SHE'S GONE.

EC is RIDING WITH THE KING... with B.B.KING. EC finally meets with B.B.KING on record for an entire project. Beautiful rock/blues record. As far as I know for the first time DOYLE BRAMHALL II is on board as songwriter and musician, as for example on MARRY YOU and I WANNA BE.

The titel track originates from JOHN HIATT, originally written about ELVIS, EC and BB slightly have modified the lyrics and adopted it for their project. John Hiatt must have been pleased.

Playing tips: actually everything

The album REPTILE gave to me hope and power, because at that time I had to go through a knee-surgery and hardly could shift myself somehow. It's been running for days in the player. Already the concert I faced out only with pain and thick knee. A week later I had to lay down under the knife.
...and the appendant album ONE MORE CAR, ONE MORE RIDER , reformed myself in respect to the charm of a thick jazz-guitar, which I simply had ignored completely up to that point of time. It is as it is...at first there has to be someone who shows you what beautiful things you can do with it. Fortunately I could find an old and pretty EPIPHONE BROADWAY. Of course it is not as exquisite as an original L5 by GIBSON, but the direction is there.

 

also on DVD

ME & AND MR JOHNSON in my ears is the logical continuation of the blueswork by Eric following FROM THE CRADLE and RIDING WITH A KING - that's the way I consider this at least. Simply ingeniousl. 

Due to some interviews it came out, that actually a record with new original songs had been ongoing and the RJ-project most likely only arose due to the playing of ROBERT JOHNSON pieces for "doing time" and relaxing. Unexpected hit a homerun. I think up to very less songs EC now has played every RJ-song once somewhen in his career. 

For good luck EC didn't know from PETER GREEN's RJ-project. Otherwise he probably would not have done it, as per an interview.

SESSIONS FOR ROBERT J is the supplement to Me And Mr Johnson. The songs have been played  live at various locations and studios. Wit complete band, as a duo with Doyle and very all alone just with an acoustic guitar. Great!

A view behind the scene also is delivered on the enclosed DVD.

 

also on DVD

BACK HOME is out and I think it's a smasher... it is already now one of my favourite records by Eric. A lot of little recollections to earlier records can be found. A recording with a positive attitude and mood. One can hear that EC is happy with his life, which wasn't too much the case in the past. Very filigree and sophisticated  recorded, arranged and produced. In my ears it's worth the effort he has put in and the time he took himself. 

There is the one or another piece which is not so much my kind of thing, but actually a great disc from the beginning until the end. 

CREAM ROYAL ALBERT HALL

I like it, I liked the idea of doing it and that it finally happened... would have been interessting if Eric had chosen some Gibson guitars as well. 

 

also on DVD

Is THE ROAD TO ESCONDIDO an EC- or a JJ Cale-Platte now? No idea... the truth probably might lie in between... Actaully I don't care... I list it here anyway. For me it counts to EC's central works. And there it takes a place in the top-ranking.

In fact here and there one hardly can differ the singing-voices of the both of them... Two soulmates who complement one another perfectly and create a ingratiating atmosphere with a lot of great guest-musicians.

An unbelievable beautiful laid-back record. JJ Cale pure improved with Eric's spices. Get yourself a drink, put in the player, kick-off, lay back, relax and enjoy.

THUMBS UP !

ERIC CLAPTON and STEVE WINWOOD - LIVE FROM MADISON SQUARE GARDEN

I really do love this recording and the DVD as well... excellent sound and picture quality... Eric and Steve seem to have a ball, very relaxed atmosphaere and feeling comfortable doing this... They sound like a real fresh "oldfashioned" Rockband... *Thumbs Up*

There's tons of guitars played through a Leslie cabinet which I can't get enough of.

 

also on DVD

CLAPTON

...is a return to his childhood and youth. At least that's how I understood him in his promotion-video. With this in mind it absolutely is on the trace, which he started to go with ME & MR. JOHNSON, that found its sequel in BACK HOME and the CREAM re-union, went further on with the JJ CALE project and finally hitherto found it's ending with the STEVE WINWOOD Gig... no, actually he went on his journey into the past and to his roots already with REPTILE... a very personal disc and by far no "mainstream"...

I like this record very much... very beautiful guitar-sounds, played tasteful and subtle, first-class vocals by EC... this album gives me such a wonderful relaxed warm atmosphere... it will be turning a lot in my disc-player.

PLAY THE BLUES  -  LIVE FROM JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER

...a courageous live-project with the multiple awarded Jazzmusician Wynton Marsalis and Band...

Once again Eric Clapton stands out for his open mind to new things... and ability to move beyond his own nose...

A particular candy is a radical new version of his superhit LAYLA.

 

also on DVD

OLD SOCK

THE BREEZE  -  An Apprececiation of JJ Cale

I STILL DO

© Oktober 2016 Pit Schmidt