“Slowhand” is the fifth full-length studio album by Eric Clapton, released on 25 November 1977 by RSO Records.
Clapton is in the news these days for the wrong reasons. I was even called a racist at my place of work for listening to his music.
I suppose it’s the age old question.
Do you stop listening to an artists for things they’ve said or done that you don’t agree with?
I have three vaccines in me so I don’t really care if artists I enjoy listening to sprout anti vaccine bullshit. The racist rant he went on in a 1976 concert was bizarre to say the least, especially how he is influenced by black musicians. And I’m a foreigners son but I didn’t care much either way.
It gave rise a Rock Against Racism movement back then and then he dropped “Slowhand” which became a massive seller for him.
And coincidence or not his band is white.
Eric Clapton is on lead vocals and guitars. Dick Sims is on keyboards, George Terry on guitars, Carl Radle on bass, Jamie Oldaker on drums/percussion and Mel Collins is on saxophones. Yvonne Elliman does the excellent harmony and backing vocals. Marcy Levy is also on the harmony and backing vocals, and duets with Clapton on “The Core”.
Glyn Johns expertely captures the sounds as engineer and producer. Clapton really wanted to work with Johns, because of his work with The Rolling Stones and The Eagles, however while in the studio, Johns ran a disciplined ship which discouraged jamming. According to Johns, why take away precious time from recording to jam. Since Clapton and his band were drunk most of the time, Johns had no other choice but to run a tight recording schedule.
Written by J.J. Cale who it seems like was getting covered by everyone. The riff is straight from the songbook of “Sunshine Of Your Love”.
At 333.6 million streams on Spotify, it’s one of his most played. And I don’t care how Clapton spins it, the song is about taking the drug,
Lay Down Sally
Written by Eric Clapton, George Terry and Marcy Levy, I like the 12 bar bluegrass shuffle on this. It reminds me of Dire Straits even though this was written before.
On Spotify it has 309 million streams but press play for the lead breaks which make up for the lyrics which could be classed as silly.
A live song written by Eric Clapton for his then wife.
Next Time You See Her
Another track written by Eric Clapton which could pass for the embryo of the Hootie And The Blowfish sound.
There is anger here at losing his lover.
We’re All the Way
Written by country artist Don Williams. It’s a slower song with shimmering acoustic lines, a soft brush drum beat and baritone vocals.
And it is this style which dominates the album.
Written by Eric Clapton and Marcy Levy. At almost 9 minutes long, Clapton is trying to re-create “Crossroads” from Robert Johnson in certain sections however there are lot of riffs to unpack here and all of them are a fun to play.
May You Never
Written by John Martyn.
Clapton breaks out the acoustic guitar here, with a kind of Eagles-style tune that doesn’t disappoint and is one that I enjoyed quite a bit.
Mean Old Frisco
Written by Arthur Crudup
Clapton brings a gangster attitude to this as the song reminds me of something that The Black Crowes would do in the 90’s.
Peaches and Diesel
Written by Eric Clapton and Albhy Galuten.
It’s an instrumental with a guitar hero like solo. Musically it shares elements to “Wonderful Tonight”.
And the album did great business all around the world with various certifications from different regions.
The thing I like about Clapton is that he takes on covers and re-invent those songs for the modern market. In a way, making em his songs.