Q (5/95, p.124) - 2 Stars - Average - "...a particularly weak set of Clapton originals..."
Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, electric & slide guitar); Ry Cooder (electric & slide guitar); Albert Lee (vocals, guitar, keyboards); Donald "Duck" Dunn (bass); Roger Hawkins (drums); John Sambataro, Chuck Kirkpatrick (background vocals).
Recorded at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, Bahamas.
Digitally remastered by Keith Blake.
After releasing ANOTHER TICKET and scoring a top 10 hit with "I Can't Stand It," Clapton switched labels and released MONEY AND CIGARETTES. This time out, Clapton's back-up band included Ry Cooder, Brit country-picker Albert Lee and Duck Dunn of Booker T. & The MGs. Continuing the trend of his last album, Clapton wrote most of the songs with the exception of a few covers. Blues icons Sleepy John Estes ("Everybody Oughta Make A Change") and R.G. Ford ("Crosscut Saw") get their due, as does early rock'n'roll pioneer Johnny Otis ("Crazy Country Hop"), whose "Willie & The Hand Jive" Clapton had previously covered.
With two technically skilled guitarists like Cooder and Lee to keep him on his toes, Clapton flexes his fretwork considerably more than he had during his mellower '70s singer-songwriter phase. Some of E.C's more nimble-fingered exchanges come on "The Shape You're In" along with "Ain't Going Down," a number that's a barely concealed reworking of "All Along The Watchtower."
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