Rolling Stone (9/3/70, p.44) - "...a warm, friendly record...Clapton's voice is a revelation...mean guitar..."
Q (p.122) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[The] horn-heavy gospel-soul troupe swings like leaves in the breeze, while EC plays thrilling bee-sting Stratocaster guitar..."
Q (11/96, p.147) - 3 Stars (out of 5)
lso out of print on CD on Polydor (531 819) - D01.
Ultradiscs are mastered from the original master tapes using Mobile Fidelity's proprietary mastering technique, then plated with 24 karat gold and housed in a stress-resistant lift-lock jewel box.
Personnel: Eric Clapton, Delaney Bramlett (guitar, vocals); Bobby Keys (saxophone); Jim Price (trumpet); Leon Russell, John Simon (piano); Bobby Whitlock (organ, vocals); Carl Radle (bass); Jim Gordon (drums); Sonny Curtis, Bonnie Bramlett, J.I. Allison (background vocals); Stephen Stills, Rita Coolidge.
Recorded at Village Recorders, West Los Angeles, California in 1970.
With this, his first solo album, Eric Clapton did a complete 180 from his work of the previous five years. Gone were the long, jazzy solos and rootsy Chicago blues work. In their place, Clapton was stretching as a singer and seeking to define his own song forms, inspired by the Beatles, the Band, and his new found collaborators from the southern R&B circuit, Delaney And Bonnie.
ERIC CLAPTON marks Clapton's first use of the Fender Stratocaster. Its high, wirey, percussive sound stands in stark contrast to the dark, fat, singing Gibson sounds Clapton had perfected with John Mayall, Cream and Blind Faith. This new Clapton sound is quite striking, from the twangy leads on his opening instrumental "Slunky," to the cutting feints and jabs which transform J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" into a Clapton signature piece.
Positioned as it is between the legendary BLIND FAITH and LAYLA sessions, ERIC CLAPTON has long been underrated by fans and critics alike, but the roots of much of what Clapton's done since 461 OCEAN BOULEVARD can be found here: the pithy melodic style of "Blues Power," the country/gospel overtones of "Bottle Of Red Wine," and the confessional tone of "Let It Rain." In addition, ERIC CLAPTON is significant both as a showcase for Clapton's emerging vocal stylings and as a proving ground for his Dominoes rhythm section of drummer Jim Gordon, bassist Carl Radle and keyboardist/vocalist Bobby Whitlock.
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