Eric Clapton ~ Eric Clapton Released in 1970 by Atco Records Rock Personnel: • Eric Clapton – guitar, lead vocals • Delaney Bramlett – rhythm guitar, vocals, production • Leon Russell – piano • Bobby Whitlock – organ, vocals • John Simon – piano • Carl Radle – bass • Jim Gordon – drums • Jim Price – trumpet • Bobby Keys – saxophone • Tex Johnson – percussion • Bonnie Bramlett – vocals • Rita Coolidge – vocals • Sonny Curtis – vocals • Jerry Allison – vocals • Stephen Stills – vocals, guitar 1. Slunky (Instrumental) 2. Bad Boy 3. Lonesome And A Long Way From Home 4. After Midnight 5. Easy Now 6. Blues Power 7. Bottle Of Red Wine 8. Lovin' You Lovin' Me 9. I've Told You For The Last Time 10. I Don't Know Why 11. Let It Rain The Album: The solo debut by Eric Clapton is not the greatest works by the guitar great. He had moved to a much mellower sound than his past work with Cream and Blind Faith, and I believe this album lacks the personality of Clapton’s guitar greatness. However, the classic songs “After Midnight” (which is a J. J. Cale cover but most associated with Clapton) and “Let it Rain” (which featured Steven Stills on guitar) can be found on this album. Clapton had just finished touring with his friends, Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Bramlett, and Delaney returned the favor by helping Eric with his first solo album. Delaney co-wrote several of the songs on this album, he let Clapton use his backing band (incidentally the rhythm section resurfaces later as the Dominos), and he produced this album. I personally feel the production was not the greatest. There were too many band members which tended to drown out any musical abilities by Clapton, which is extremely evident in “Lovin’ You, Lovin’ Me”. I will give Clapton a ton of credit on this album for his songwriting skills, since this was a time period when he was at his peak for writing really good songs….the lyrics on some of these songs are incredible. There aren’t any real solo efforts from Clapton on this album, except in “I’ve Told You For the Last Time” and “Let it Rain”, which to me was another production failure, since Clapton really shines as a solo guitarist. This album could really have used the boost that a few extended solos would have offered. The Music Slunky (Instrumental) – This song is heavily jazz influenced with a touch of blues and psychedilia. The song is Sax-led with some guitar work mixed in. This was a very new and unique piece of work for Clapton but definitely didn’t give the album the punch it needed as an opener. Bad Boy – This song has a strong blues feel to it with some great guitar licks. The song has some great horn work mid-song. A pretty solid tune Lonesome and a Long Way From Home – This song reminds me of a pop tune from Motown, maybe because one of the prominent backing vocalists is Rita Coolidge , who adds a nice touch to the song. This song is co-written by Leon Russell, and his piano efforts are definitely heard. The horn section is in full force in this song. After Midnight – This song needs no introductions from me….it is one of Clapton’s concert staples and a Clapton classic. Incidentally, J.J. Cale didn’t know Clapton was recording the song, but some sort of agreement was reached and JJ became rich thanks to Clapton and his covers of two of his songs, “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”. Easy Now - This song is a bit cheesy, but shows Clapton’s acoustic guitar skills. Clapton’s voice was still evolving, so the vocals are not the greatest. The song is short, simple, and sweet. Blues Power – This song is a boogie tune. A fun tune. The line “I’m Living on Blues Power” became a fan and T-shirt motto in 1970. Bottle of Red Wine – Another boogie song. Which has a short but impressive guitar solo midsong. Lovin’ You, Lovin’ Me – I don’t care too much for this song. The vocals are terrible, and the overwhelming number of musicians on this song completely overshadows anything Clapton did on the guitar. Told You for the Last Time – Another song that lacks musical grit. The vocals are better in this song than the previous song. I do like the lyrics, though. I Don’t Know Why – I like the lyrics to this song. This song is one of Clapton’s early attempts at a ballad, which to me came out sounding like a gospel song. The female backing vocalists work nicely with his vocal abilities. Let it Rain – The highlight of the album. This song has a fantastic melody. If it weren't for the guitar work of Steven Stills, I am not so sure this song would have been all that great. But the opening riff by Clapton is excellent. This album, even though it is mediocre, can be appreciated by fans who can compare his work over the years and find the loose feel of this album enjoyable. I would recommend this album to anyone who is a true Clapton fan and would not be disappointed in the lack of his guitar and vocal skills. I rate this album for listening pleasure a 2.5/5.