Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

4Dec/107

Contest: Win “Clapton” by Eric Clapton on vinyl!

Congrats to Ian from Charlottesville for being the lucky winner of our contest for the vinyl edition of the Everest album On Approach, courtesy of Warner Brothers and Because Sound Matters!

Whether it was intentional or not, the cover artwork for Eric Clapton's latest album is a sobering sight.  21 years after Clapton's shadowy face adorned the otherwise desolate cover of Journeyman in 1989, we see a very similar picture on the cover of Clapton. Stepping into the light, Clapton is visibly older and as fellow passengers on this trip, we've aged too.

Ain't time a bitch? Clapton's body language doesn't really communicate that though - if anything, the look on his face says that "if you ever get a picture that you're happy with, we can finally put this album to bed so that people can actually hear it."  Clapton is a music guy and I don't imagine him to be someone that sits around for a long time stressing about cover art and I'll submit the artwork for Clapton as my argument for that point.

In the two decades of music that have come from Clapton since the release of Journeyman, there have been some interesting moments. Journeyman holds a special significance for me personally because it's the first album that I bought from Clapton and it was the 24 Nights tour that made me a Clapton fan for life. Which is why it was a head scratcher for a young fan when Clapton moved away from the image of Eric Clapton that everybody was very familiar with and began an extended period of revisiting his roots and exploring new horizons as a musician. Although it was a curveball, I was impressed that Clapton, a legend with nothing left to prove to anyone, chose to instead work on blazing new trails as an artist.

As the latest piece in the puzzle of Eric Clapton's discography, the Clapton album has been heralded as a long awaited return to form, which is a viewpoint I don't entirely subscribe to.  Instead, I think that it takes bits and pieces of what Clapton has been doing all along through his whole career, if you've been paying attention, shaping those elements into what is merely the latest album from Eric Clapton.  It's where Eric is today and man, he's sounding good. As a fan of the Reptile and Back Home releases, I find personally that the feel of this album sits very close to those two releases. Unlike the polish and layers of some of his material, Clapton is stripped back (very similar to Reptile) and has the feeling of Eric and his band sitting in your living room playing a set of songs.

Unfortunately, I keep checking and Eric isn't actually in my living room but if this is as close as we can get to that feeling, well, I'll take it.

And you can grab two slabs of 180 gram EC vinyl in glorious gatefold packaging for yourself - look at it as your chance to bring Eric Clapton home for the holidays to sit in your living room for an evening of music. Send us an email here with "Clapton is God" in the subject line and we'll pick one lucky reader as the winner of this limited vinyl edition of Clapton from Warner Brothers and Because Sound Matters. Good luck!


  • scott (the other one)

    Great post. The first “new” Clapton I bought was Behind the Sun, and for the next 15 years, I picked up every subsequent album the day of its release, as well as acquiring his entire back catalog. But I just never got around to most of the stuff he’s done this century. Based on this post and that clip, I might just have to rectify that.

  • Matt

    Reptile and Back Home are definitely worth a look and if you don’t have it, I’ve been listening to Eric’s album with B.B. (Riding With The King) quite a bit over the past year…it’s one of those albums that gets better each time that I listen to it.

  • David

    My first “new” Clapton album was August. While getting ready to pay, another customer commented that “Meh, Clapton doesn’t play guitar on that album. Go pick up Best of Cream.” While I did indeed love August, I was grateful for the hint from said customer, as it really changed the music I was listening to at the time.

  • Matt

    Definitely a great tip, but I think that Clapton had some interesting
    moments on albums like “August” that were a little bit more slick (or a lot)
    than the classic material he was known for. I’d love to see him hunker down
    and make an album with Derek Trucks – when Derek was in his band, it was
    amazing.

  • David

    August was definitely slick and had some really high points. In many ways, a stark contrast (though not in a bad way) to the gritty, punch-in-the-face, psychedelic blues that I was introduced to on the Cream disc. It was a good day indeed, discovering two separate bands that shared a guitarist at different points in his career.

    Great call on recording with Derek Trucks. Would evoke those sessions with Duane Allman!

  • http://thesixonefournine.com/ judd6149

    Matt: is that live clip from Later with Jules Holland? I think it is. I watched that live here in London. That show is pretty damned good. Clapton played a couple others from the new album and was quite relaxed and less guarded than I’d seen him before.

    I agree with your “living room” comment. This poor bastard has been saddled with a moniker and expectation since the God thing. Look back at his career…unless he is truly pushed and cajoled to get close to the/his edge, he cruises (even the death of his son “pushed” him on “unplugged”.

    Whether it is Bruce, Duane, Derek Trucks, Winwood, the Bob D 30th Anniversary concert or even Delaney & Bonnie (“pushed” into a place he wanted to be in/thrive)…he excels when he is pushed.

    I think on this album, he is pushing himself…to the place HE wants to be. I’m enjoying repeat listens. Great post…

  • Matt

    I think you’re totally right…I really wish that Derek was still in his
    band…I think that young ‘un pushed/inspired Eric in a way that no one has
    in a long time. I agree as well, regarding Winwood.

    And I agree with you regarding the new album…..that’s a really good way to
    put it!

    He really has relaxed in the live setting in recent years….I think a big
    part of that has a lot to do with focusing his concerns on what is important
    to him and not worrying so much (if he ever did) about what other people
    want from Eric Clapton..