Music

Monday 14 July 2014

A big hand for Clapton's timeless genius

John Meagher

Published 21/12/2012|05:00

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Eric Clapton

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Slowhand

(Universal)

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In a career spanning 50 years, Eric Clapton has been a guitar hero, a sensitive singer-songwriter and an acclaimed purveyor of the blues, jazz and country. He has come in and out of fashion in that half-century, but his legacy has long been assured.

His finest period is arguably his solo work in the 1970s and this reissued fifth Eric Clapton album, released in 1977, captures the Englishman at the height of his powers.

A trio of his best loved songs, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight and Cocaine, sound as fresh today as they did on release and his interpretations of material from his favourite singers – among them JJ Cale, John Martyn and Don Williams – are first-rate.

This "Deluxe" version features session outtakes and nine songs recorded at London's Hammersmith Odeon (which took place just weeks before Clapton and producer Glyn Johns got down to work on this album).

It's being billed as the 35th Anniversary Edition, which just goes to show that for an ailing record industry just about any date will do if they fancy tarting up an old album for a new generation or, more likely, the original devotees who might just feel the need to dig deep in their pockets once again.

KEY TRACKS Looking at the Rain; Knocking on Heaven's Door (live)

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