Eric Clapton

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Eric Clapton

Postby maccastheman » Mon Apr 24, 2006 10:51 pm

I'm not too sure if there's a topic already devoted to him, but there definately is one now!

I've been thinking about his whole career lately, and I'm just now really beginning to fully appreciate his most recent work.

Everybody goes on and on about how incredible Cream was. (and rightfully so) I'm just now beginning to realize how under appreciated his more recent work is.

I've had the fortunate pleasure of seeing him 3 times in 3 different settings: The all blues tour he did in 1994, his Pilgrim tour in 1998, and the recent Cream reunion in 2005. I've got to say I really enjoyed all three settings in their own unique way. I think those three shows demonstrate just how versatile he is. His blues tour showed how great his voice has become through the years - one of the few artists that keeps getting better and better in that area. The Pilgrim tour demonstrated what a great songwriter he's become, and the Cream reunion shows demonstrated that he can still jam when he wants to - but in a much more tasteful way. I have no problem with that. It makes the songs stand out more, and that's why I listen to music. If the song isn't there, then I get really, really bored.

Everybody wants Clapton to spaz out on guitar like Hendrix or like he did during his original Cream years. I can understand how boring that can get for him and even his audience after a while. I saw Jeff Beck back in 1995 and as good as that show was, my biggest memory of the show is him playing "People Get Ready." The reason I liked it so much is because it's such a great song - not because of his amazing guitar playing. A great guitar solo should accentuate the song, not over-power it.

So all of these things being said, I really love the Pilgrim album. The songs are so personal and heartfelt. Plus his songwriting has grown so much through the years. I know I'm going to be slammed for saying this, but I don't think "Wonderful Tonight" is a very good song. The lyrics are very trite. I think he's grown by leaps and bounds in department - whether it's "Tears in Heaven," "Cirus," "My Father's Eyes," or a host of many other recent songs.

As for his guitar playing at the shows I've seen - I remember pyrotechnics from a few numbers - most notably on "Stormy Monday" at the Cream show at Madison Square Garden. The rest of the solos I've seen him do are very tasteful and concise. I think getting that part right takes a heck of lot more discipline than just jamming away every night. As Miles Davis once said it's what you don't play that matters.

Keith Richards once said Steve Cropper was the perfect guitar player. He never over-played, and he always added the perfect accents whether it was on Booker T and the MG's records or Otis Redding's records. I think Clapton's been working really heard at getting that part right.

Back to the Cream gig - I remember afterwards everybody was blown away by Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker, and most people were very complementary of Clapton. There were a few, of course, that couldn't help but insult Clapton and complain that he didn't spaz out on guitar or whatever. Right now I'm listening to the live album recorded at the Royal Albert Hall last year and I don't know what the hell people are complaining about. As a band, they sounded great. They were much tighter than in the old days, and Clapton's solos were very tastefully done. His vocals were supurb, and for the first time in Cream's career the songs were given the spotlight as opposed to the solos. Great stuff IMHO. 8) [/i]
Last edited by maccastheman on Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby 2 of 3 » Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:15 pm

Yup, time to get Stevie Winwood and do the Blind Faith tour also.



My fav Clapton album is a live disc called EC was Here. I've never seen it on cd, but man it's great. There's a great solo on Have you ever love a woman where "god" just plays like a man posessed, yelling out chord changes to the band as they jammed. Beauty! 8)
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Postby maccastheman » Mon Apr 24, 2006 11:56 pm

I'm pretty sure I've seen EC Was Here on CD. There was a Crossroads Vol. 2 box set that consisted of some previously released live material. (but mostly live material that was never released) I once owned it and listened to it a lot, and I think some of the tracks had previously appeared on EC Was Here. It was all great stuff.

What I think is so great about Clapton is that he's all about passion - whether it's in his much-improved singing, much-improved songwriting, or his guitar solos. In the early days it was all about his guitar solos. I think he's done a great job lately balancing out those three things - the singing, the songwriting, and the soloing. Every time I've seen him he's always played at least one jaw-dropping solo, but honestly what I remember most about his shows are his singing and the songs he played. He once said what made him want to focus on singing and songwriting was the fact that he's never bought a record based on the guitar player - it was always for the singer. I can sort of relate. Eddie Van Halen is an incredible guitar player, but I can't bring myself to listen to the Sammy Hager-era material because I don't like Hagar's voice, and I think the songs are weak.
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Postby EddieV » Tue Apr 25, 2006 8:47 am

Eric Clapton is one of the best blues/rock guitarist around. I don´t like him when he tries to write and play pop music, but then again he has made so much music and palyed with nearly all in the buisness.
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Postby Genuine_Indian_Guru » Tue Apr 25, 2006 9:06 am

He's great , and some of that pop stuff like "Change the World" and "Tears in Heaven" are pretty great too. IMO, they were wonderfully done.
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Postby maccastheman » Sun May 21, 2006 9:25 pm

Looks like he's announcing 2006 dates in North America already starting in September. He's got one set for Detroit:

http://www.palacenet.com/prdetail.cfm?c ... aseID=2837
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Postby theDingle » Sun May 21, 2006 11:41 pm

I agree mtm and co., the versatile Clapton is getting better all the time. I would certainly like to catch him in concert. 8)
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Postby 2 of 3 » Mon May 22, 2006 6:46 am

Eric Clapton disapproves of bands like U2 and Coldplay as they seem to put their fame before their music.

The 61-year-old guitar legend told The Times: "Right now, the power of music sits with Simon Cowell and Coldplay and U2, who are really people who just attend awards shows.

"From just listening I can't tell the difference between Coldplay and U2. The one in Coldplay even dances like Bono."

Clapton said that he's also worried that modern bands are forgetting where rock and roll has come from.

He said: "I think what it shows is how incredibly detached all the current stuff is from its roots. What worries me about what's going on now is that people don't know where it's all come from, and I don't suppose they're that interested."

:lol:
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Postby EddieV » Mon May 22, 2006 12:09 pm

I think he has a point there, Mr. Clapton.
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Postby maccastheman » Mon May 22, 2006 12:57 pm

His remarks kind of echo what George Harrison said a few years ago about Oasis and U2. You do have this sense that soul is missing from a lot of today's music. Bono has a lot of passion for what he does, and I think U2 probably have more "soul" than any group out there today, but it doesn't seem the same as the soul that was around in the '60s and '70s. It was quite a relief to see it still alive in New Orleans a couple of weeks ago with folks like Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas. The sad thing is all of those people are 60 years old +.
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