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Rock - Released June 8, 2018 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

In 1991, Eric Clapton finished the music for the film Rush by Lili Fini Zanuck. A few months earlier, he had lost Conor, his four-year-old son, and dedicated Tears In Heaven to him. Just as it closed Rush, that piece provids the finale to Life in 12 bars, a documentary on the musician's life, made by Lili Fini Zanuck, best known for her Oscar-winning Driving Miss Daisy. There are already quite a few Clapton compilations, but this one is of particular importance. For sure, there are only four "rarities", like a high-quality live take of Cream (Spoonful, recorded at the Forum in Los Angeles on 19 October 1969), an instrumental studio take from Derek And The Dominos of High, a piece that he would eventually perform solo on There's One In Every Crowd, a long version (6:50 instead of 4:26) of the Bob Marley cover I Shot The Sheriff, a result of the 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974) sessions, and finally a pretty fun live take of Little Queenie by Chuck Berry, at the Arena in Long Beach from July 1974, in the middle of Clapton's "sozzled" period But the aim was to capture, across 32 pieces, the Clapton epic, spanning two decades, without getting too hung up on details. Or indeed on output after 1974, apart from Tears In Heaven. With a fairly exhaustive and balanced selection, although the idea of "balance" is very subjective, especially when applied to such an elusive figure, Life In 12 Bars starts with three evocations of Clapton's blues roots (Big Bill Broonzy and Muddy Waters); before moving on, unsurprisingly, to two pieces by the Yardbirds, including the very poppy For Your Love, the fundamental reason for his departure from the group; two pieces with John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers; eight with Cream; one with Blind Faith; one with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends; seven with Derek And The Dominos; six solo and, a big first, three important collaborations. With Aretha Franklin (Good To Me As I Am To You, on his 1967 Lady Soul), the Beatles (While My Guitar Gently Weeps, on The Beatles, in 1968) and George Harrison. And while his part on the immortal My Sweet Lord (All Things Must Pass, 1970) is a little less prominent than some of his other performances, although he certainly played on it. Equally discreet was his role on Badge by Cream, or Roll It Over by Derek And The Dominos, which it would have made for judicious inclusions. Likewise, it would have been a good idea to look at the famous collaboration with John Lennon and his Plastic Ono band in the late 1960s, or indeed with the Dirty Mac (Lennon, Keith Richards, Mitch Mitchell) on The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus in 1968... © Jean-Pierre Sabouret/Qobuz 
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Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

461 Ocean Boulevard was Eric Clapton's comeback, the record that saw him returning from a struggle with heroin addiction to reclaim his position as one of the world's biggest rock stars. The 1974 album forms the core of Give Me Strength: The 1974/1975 Recordings, a massive five-CD/one-BluRay box set documenting Clapton's mid-'70s recordings. The first CD is dedicated to an expanded version of 461 Ocean Boulevard -- an expansion that is different than the 2004 double-disc Deluxe Edition -- while the second CD is an expanded version of 1975's There's One in Every Crowd. Discs three and four are handed over to an expanded version of the 1975 live album E.C. Was Here, turning the single-LP into a double, while the fifth disc is devoted to a jam session at Criteria Studios with Freddie King. Finally, the BluRay contains a previously unreleased 5.1 mix of 461 Ocean Boulevard, along with its original quadraphonic mix, plus the quad mix of There's One in Every Crowd. It's a rather exhaustive overhaul of an era of E.C.'s career that isn't particularly storied, and all the extra material doesn't add mystique but it does re-create context, capturing how the mid-'70s could often feel like a long series of languid, meandering blues and reggae jams. Neither There's One in Every Crowd nor E.C. Was Here were particularly focused, and the additional material accentuates their laziness while having the side effect of having 461 Ocean Boulevard sound bolder (even though it already was a decidedly relaxed affair). All this drifting blues doesn't mean Give Me Strength isn't worthwhile. Quite the contrary: this is precisely the kind of archival release that does deepen the historical record, revealing the extent of the guitarist's reggae fixation while emphasizing how quickly Clapton settled into a relaxed groove after his comeback. Sometimes the jams do wind up cooking -- this is particularly true of the jam with King -- but usually they're improvisation as mood music, smoke-filled superstar sessions where the intention is to play on and on until the night is gone. © Stephen Thomas /TiVo
CD£17.99

Rock - Released January 1, 2013 | UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)

461 Ocean Boulevard was Eric Clapton's comeback, the record that saw him returning from a struggle with heroin addiction to reclaim his position as one of the world's biggest rock stars. The 1974 album forms the core of Give Me Strength: The 1974/1975 Recordings, a massive five-CD/one-BluRay box set documenting Clapton's mid-'70s recordings. The first CD is dedicated to an expanded version of 461 Ocean Boulevard -- an expansion that is different than the 2004 double-disc Deluxe Edition -- while the second CD is an expanded version of 1975's There's One in Every Crowd. Discs three and four are handed over to an expanded version of the 1975 live album E.C. Was Here, turning the single-LP into a double, while the fifth disc is devoted to a jam session at Criteria Studios with Freddie King. Finally, the BluRay contains a previously unreleased 5.1 mix of 461 Ocean Boulevard, along with its original quadraphonic mix, plus the quad mix of There's One in Every Crowd. It's a rather exhaustive overhaul of an era of E.C.'s career that isn't particularly storied, and all the extra material doesn't add mystique but it does re-create context, capturing how the mid-'70s could often feel like a long series of languid, meandering blues and reggae jams. Neither There's One in Every Crowd nor E.C. Was Here were particularly focused, and the additional material accentuates their laziness while having the side effect of having 461 Ocean Boulevard sound bolder (even though it already was a decidedly relaxed affair). All this drifting blues doesn't mean Give Me Strength isn't worthwhile. Quite the contrary: this is precisely the kind of archival release that does deepen the historical record, revealing the extent of the guitarist's reggae fixation while emphasizing how quickly Clapton settled into a relaxed groove after his comeback. Sometimes the jams do wind up cooking -- this is particularly true of the jam with King -- but usually they're improvisation as mood music, smoke-filled superstar sessions where the intention is to play on and on until the night is gone. © Stephen Thomas /TiVo

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