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Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Eric Clapton

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Album Review

If you're looking for a career-encompassing Eric Clapton best-of collection, then the Clapton edition of the Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues series is not for you. But if a collection of Clapton's best blues-rock numbers from early in his career is what you desire, then this ten-track set fits the bill. Featuring tracks from such acclaimed Clapton-related artists as John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Derek and the Dominos (the latter of which also featured the late, great Duane Allman), you get a true representation of Clapton's roots. The Cream-era track, a live take of "Spoonful," shows how influential Clapton was on fellow Yardbirds alumni Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck (who would soon borrow the same heavy blues style for Led Zeppelin and the Jeff Beck Group, respectively), while a Derek and the Dominos-era cover of "Crossroads" shows that Clapton always managed to surround himself with the best blues-rock musicians around. One of the compilation's earliest Clapton recordings, "All Your Love" (from when he briefly served as a sideman for John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers), shows that the guitarist had his fluid "slow hand" style almost perfected early in the game. As evidenced by this Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues edition, it's clear once and for all how incredibly instrumental Clapton was in leading the blues renaissance in rock music.


Born: 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By the time Eric Clapton launched his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album in mid-1970, he was long established as one of the world's major rock stars due to his group affiliations -- the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith -- which had demonstrated his claim to being the best rock guitarist of his generation. That it took Clapton so long to go out on his own, however, was evidence of a degree of reticence unusual for one of his stature. And his debut...
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