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Blues
     

Blues

4.1 6
by Eric Clapton
 
Eric Clapton's fiery rock guitar playing has always been tempered by the roots music from which he arose, the blues. Now Polydor has culled Clapton's '70s recordings and come up with a two-CD set, which finds the guitarist paying explicit tribute to the blues tradition and such mentors as Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Freddie King. Long before his hit UNPLUGGED

Overview

Eric Clapton's fiery rock guitar playing has always been tempered by the roots music from which he arose, the blues. Now Polydor has culled Clapton's '70s recordings and come up with a two-CD set, which finds the guitarist paying explicit tribute to the blues tradition and such mentors as Muddy Waters, Elmore James, and Freddie King. Long before his hit UNPLUGGED recording, Clapton could be found playing acoustic blues. Among the non-electric highlights collected here are "Before You Accuse Me," an outtake from the BACKLESS sessions, and a gritty version of Leadbelly's "Alberta." "Mean Old World," recorded during the making of LAYLA, finds Clapton and Duane Allman exploring their shared love of country blues. On this cut and others, Clapton's voice has the unpolished feel of Dylan's folk singing, giving the Brit more credibility as an American roots performer.

The live CD in the set has, oddly enough, a more intimate feel that the studio one. Perhaps it is because Clapton has an audience, but from the opening "Stormy Monday," with its rippling and righteous guitar playing, through to the ending "Further On Up the Road" (which features Freddie King on guitar), this set feels like a concert from start to finish. While much of BLUES can be found on CROSSROADS 2, those who love the low-down side of Clapton's career will want to put this set in a prominent position.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Eric Clapton earned a reputation as a blues guitarist early in his career, and while he frequently returned to the blues -- usually recording at least one blues tune per album -- he never recorded a full-fledged blues album until 1994's From the Cradle. It became one of the most popular records of his career. Not long afterward, MCA assembled a collection of Jimi Hendrix's blues recordings, and that compilation also proved quite successful. Those two releases provided the blueprint for Blues, Polygram's double-disc collection of blues highlights from Clapton's RSO recordings of the '70s. On each of those albums, Clapton dabbled in the blues, and all of those moments, along with five previously unreleased tracks (both live and studio cuts), are featured here. Given that it's a compilation spanning ten years, it's not entirely surprising that Blues lacks cohesion, but the quality of the songs and performances is better than the majority of his RSO albums. As a matter of fact, nearly every performance on this set offers proof that Clapton could still dazzle as a guitarist during the '70s, even if his life was plagued with personal problems that ultimately affected his recording career. Blues may not appeal to listeners who just want hits, but even serious fans who have most of the tunes here may find this a revelatory listening experience.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/27/1999
Label:
Polydor / Umgd
UPC:
0731454717823
catalogNumber:
547178
Rank:
19618

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Eric Clapton   Primary Artist,Dobro,Guitar,Vocals
Freddie King   Guitar
Albert Lee   Guitar,Vocals
Dave Mason   Guitar
Ronnie Wood   Guitar
Gary Brooker   Keyboards,Vocals
Yvonne Elliman   Vocals
Marcy Levy   Vocals
Dave Markee   Bass
Jim Gordon   Bass Drums
Duane Allman   Guitar,Track Performer
Jamie Oldaker   Drums
Sergio Pastora   Percussion
Carl Radle   Bass
Dick Sims   Organ,Piano
Henry Spinetti   Percussion,Drums
Chris Stainton   Keyboards
George Terry   Guitar
Bobby Whitlock   Piano
Al Jackson   Drums

Technical Credits

Lead Belly   Arranger
Doc Watson   Composer
Michael Kamen   Composer
Jon Astley   Engineer
Big Maceo Merriweather   Composer
Bo Diddley   Composer
Eric Clapton   Arranger,Composer
Dominoes   Arranger,Producer
Tom Dowd   Producer,Executive Producer
Rob Fraboni   Producer
Glyn Johns   Producer,Engineer
Huddie Ledbetter   Composer
Muddy Waters   Composer
Don Robey   Composer
Joe Medwick   Composer
Suha Gur   Digital Compilation
Bill Oakes   Producer
Walter Jacobs   Composer
John McDermott   Liner Notes
H. Wells   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Blues 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
EC earned the right to play blues. The ''Blues'' release live section (CD#2) alone is worth the price of this compilation. I would rate it 8 stars, but BN only offers 5 stars! BTW- It would have been nice to have a ''blues playoff'' with EC and SRV trading stinging phrases and licks on one CD!
CajunStrummer More than 1 year ago
This is Clapton at his transition period from rough to more refined Blues. Strong, soulful renditions in the style of Muddy Waters, Albert King and of course B.B. King. Also great slide licks with Duane Allman on a couple of tunes. The second CD alone is worth the purchase price with the live performances. Spend an afternoon loving the Blues with these 2 CD's!
BenR More than 1 year ago
I bought this album hoping to get some up-tempo rythm and blues. Instead, what I got was a lot of slow classic blues. It's probably my fault. After all, the album says blues. If you're into slow blues, this is a great album. It is Eric Clapton at it's best when he plays the blues.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Clapton plays and sings well on this compilation. My main complaint is that, especially on the live disc, most of the tracks have the same tempo. EC was one of the innovators of the blues and it would have helped to hear more of his adventurous blues based experiments and compositions instead of reverent covers of the masters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago