Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#439 in the Series and #21 in the Whale Wednesday Series) is Eric Clapton, Slowhand
Slowhand was a major, major release for Mr. Clapton. It was one of the few that featured some strong radio friendly top 40 hits. Now there is a thing where something can be a top 40 hit and still be a good song. So, so many times hear from people that think just because something is a huge hit that it’s no longer a quality piece of music. Well let me tell you, those are usually the hardest songs to write.
OK, so maybe this wasn’t the usual blues guitar heavy rock album that we had grown accustom to from EC. Hey, what did you expect, that he was going to record the same album over and over again. 461 Ocean Boulevard was a somewhat of a more poppy effort as well. I liked it.
This did kick off with J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine.” So it wasn’t there wasn’t anything with the old EC sound to it. That would become one of the biggest hits in his long solo career.
Now we get to the hit stuff. I’m referring to “Wonderful Tonight.” I know a bunch of guys that a certain blonde from their life that they thought of every time they heard this. I bet they still think of her when they hear it as well.
“Lay Down Sally” was another biggie. This time he’s moved from pop into a country vain. Again, it’s a good song so who cares. “Next Time You See Her” was one of my favorites on the album. Kind of a breezy light blues tune. I think I cruised Western Avenue more than once with this crankin.’
“We’re All the Way” was written by country legend Don Williams. It’s a great song and it’s good to see a songwriter like Don get a nice check for his addition here.
Now get to another one of the few typical Clapton songs here. That would be “The Core.” I’ll admit, I kind of forgot about this one until I put this together. It’s great duet with Macy Levy who co-wrote the track. Yvonne ‘I Don’t Know How to Love Him” Elliman also is on this song. Don’t miss Mel Collins Sax solo as either.
“May You Never” also has a county flavor to it. This was written by the great John Martyn. After the bluesy “Mean Old Frisco” we get to another of Eric’s special songs. That would be “Peaches and Diesel.” Another ‘Western Avenue’ cruisin’ tunes. I’d like to know how many pickers decided to play guitar after hearing this song. So much emotion in Clapton’s playing here. It’s not about how many notes you can fit into a solo people. This is a great example of why Eric is one of the best players that ever strapped it on. I also liked this song because it also reminds me of something that Steve Hackett could have done in about his Spectral Mornings era.
Make sure you check out the videos in the playlist. As usual, I try and find cool live ones first. I try to get ones close to the same era as the album’s release. If I can’t do that, I try and find something that I think people will like. I’ve found a number of them here that are live with Mark Knopfler playing on them as well. Don’t miss those!!
- “Cocaine” (J.J. Cale) – 3:41
- “Wonderful Tonight” (Clapton) – 3:44
- “Lay Down Sally” (Clapton, Marcy Levy, George Terry) – 3:56
- “Next Time You See Her” (Clapton) – 4:01
- “We’re All the Way” (Don Williams) – 2:32
- “The Core” (Clapton/Levy) – 8:45
- “May You Never” (John Martyn) – 3:01
- “Mean Old Frisco” (Arthur Crudup) – 4:42
- “Peaches and Diesel” (Clapton, Albhy Galuten) – 4:46
- Eric Clapton – lead vocals, guitar
- Marcy Levy – harmony and backing vocals
- Yvonne Elliman – harmony and backing vocals
- Carl Radle – bass guitar
- Mel Collins – saxophone
- George Terry – guitar
- Jamie Oldaker – drums, percussion
- Dick Sims – keyboards