Saturday Boxing - Eric ClaptonEric Clapton.
A lot of history there. The man’s a damn icon. A legend. And I missed the only real opportunity I had to see him perform live. Again, harkening back to my military career, I had a Clapton ticket in my hand, and was ready to go, when we had an alert. That meant the cancelation of all days off and any other plans. My sergeant didn’t understand ”it’s Eric Clapton, dammit!!”. Instead, I worked 12-hour shifts for a week. Don’t think I’ve forgotten that....
But I do have the 4-disk box set Crossroads, which covers the first 25 years of Clapton’s career in all its phases up to and including the 1987 Michelob Beer commercial featuring “After Midnight.” This collection was released in 1988, when only genuine superstars were given retrospectives of this sort.
There is a terrific essay by Anthony DeCurtis in the booklet accompanying the disks. It details EC’s roots and career from the bohemian scene in London, through his various early bands, the “Clapton is God” era (“My vanity was incredibly boosted by that ‘God’ thing,” Clapton said), the later collaborations, and into his solo career.
“With nearly a third of its tracks culled from the ‘rare’ and ‘unreleased’ files, Crossroads is a piece of primo rock & roll detective work,” wrote Rolling Stone critic David Fricke (read the entire review). “Add to that more hits and top-drawer guitar solos than you could shake a Strat at, and you have a rich, comprehensive portrait of a man blessed with undeniable greatness and cursed with doubt about his ability to carry that weight.”
I’ve attempted to pull a lot of the unreleased and live tracks from these disks and not stray too much into “Classic Rock Radio” territory. There isn’t any commentary on the individual tracks; only the recording information, so what you see is what I have.
New Music Disclaimer: Some of this stuff may have surfaced elsewhere since the release of this set.
I Wish You Would.mp3 The Yardbirds
Recorded at Olympic Studios March/April 1964.
Released July 1964 as the A-side of The Yardbirds’ first single.
Have You Ever Loved a Woman (live).mp3 John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
Recorded live at the Flamingo Club, London, April 1966.
Lawdy Mama.mp3 Cream
Recorded at BBC Studios, London, December 1966
Sleeping In the Ground.mp3 Blind Faith
Recorded at Morgan Studios, London, June 1969, during the Blind Faith sessions.
Tell the Truth.mp3 Derek and the Dominos
Recorded at Trident Studios, London, August 5, 1970.
Released August 1970 as the A-side of Derek and the Dominos first single, but was subsequently recalled.
Mean Old World.mp3 Eric Clapton and Duane Allman
Recorded at Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida, October 2, 1970, during the Layla sessions.
Evil.mp3 Derek and the Dominos
Recorded at Olympic Studios, London, May 1971 during sessions for The Dominos’ second album.
I Shot the Sheriff (live).mp3 Eric Clapton
Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, December 5, 1974.
I Found a Love.mp3 Eric Clapton
Recorded at Dynamic Sounds Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, September 1974 during sessions for There’s One in Every Crowd.
Further On Up the Road (live).mp3 Eric Clapton
Recorded live at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, April 28, 1977.
I Wanna Make Love to You.mp3 Eric Clapton
Recorded at Sunset Sound Studios, Los Angeles, Spring 1986 and mixed at Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida, Fall 1986 during the August sessions.
Released January 1987 as an extra track on the 12” single of “Behind the Mask.”
After Midnight.mp3 Eric Clapton
Recorded at Power Station Studios, New York, and mixed at Streeterville Studios, Chicago, September 1987.