Sunday, October 6, 2019

#3 Eric Clapton (+ J.J. Cale bonus)

Eric Clapton is back with another card at #3. This looks like an earlier photo than #2 from the previous post. Mid 80s? Sort of a Miami Vice vibe to that outfit.

The back blurb focuses on his early days.

Derek & The Dominos - "Layla" (live)

As I mentioned in the prior post, I like Clapton just fine, though I wouldn't say he's an all-time favorite of mine or anything. At the time this MusiCard came out, I might not have even been able to name one of his songs. I definitely knew the sound of the opening riff of "Layla" because it was used in one of those Time-Life Music commercials that ran constantly in the 80s. ("Remember those classic songs from the 70s? Now for the first time ever, all the greatest songs from that era are available in one collection! Just listen!") But honestly, I only knew those few seconds from the TV commercial. lol. I got sick of that riff. Even today, I much prefer the different, slower second half of that song.

It wasn't until '92, with "Tears In Heaven" impossible to escape, that kids my age really became familiar with Clapton. But I eventually checked out more of his earlier stuff when I got older.

Eric Clapton - "Wonderful Tonight" (Live)

A few years ago, I was the DJ at my wife's brother's wedding reception, and he and his bride requested "Wonderful Tonight" for the first dance. I had probably heard it like in movies or whatnot before that, but it wasn't until then that I was like, "oh wow, this is a really pretty song."


Here's my personal "best of" for Eric Clapton:

1. Layla (Derek & The Dominos)
2. After Midnight
3. For Your Love (The Yardbirds)
4. I Shot The Sheriff
5. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
6. Cocaine
7. Promises
8. The Shape You're In
9. She's Waiting
10. Wonderful Tonight
11. Sunshine Of Your Love (Cream)
12. Anyone For Tennis (Cream)
13. White Room (Cream)
14. Badge (Cream)
15. Tales Of Brave Ulysses (Cream)
16. Had To Cry Today (Blind Faith)
17. Presence Of The Lord (Blind Faith)
18. Sea of Joy (Blind Faith)
19. Tears In Heaven
20. Layla (Unplugged version)

You can see I included tracks from his earlier bands too, not just solo works. Not really much thought to the order here, other than bookending it with the different versions of "Layla". I'm sure I'm missing some good ones. Like I said, I'm just a casual Clapton fan, not exactly well-versed in his catalog. Feel free to comment below letting me know of any other songs I should check out.


So in the previous post, I mentioned Clapton's cover of "Cocaine" by J.J. Cale was one of my favorite songs of his ("After Midnight" is another great J.J. Cale song that Clapton had a hit with). The two guys made an album together called The Road To Escondido (2006). I was late to the party, but I finally "discovered" it in 2017 when my ol' pal Doug shared it with me. I don't typically listen to a lot of blues-type stuff, but this album is awesome. Turns out it also includes the final recordings of keyboardist Billy Preston, the "fifth Beatle". Wow.. I hadn't realized that till now typing up this post.

J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton - "Danger"

I need to dig into more J.J. Cale stuff, as I seem to really like most of what I hear from him. Cale was originally from OKC, but had retired to San Diego County in the 80s where he spent his days until passing in 2013 at age 74.

MusiCards-That-Never-Were J.J. Cale custom
Again, I'd definitely recommend The Road To Escondido if you're into that sort of thing. It won a Grammy, so it's not like some obscure treasure, but like I said, I only first heard it a couple years ago. My favorite tracks are "Danger", "Sporting Life Blues", "Anyway The Wind Blows", "Three Little Girls", "Who Am I Telling You?", and "Ride The River".

That's it for today. Card #4 will bring us to the smooth harmonies of Crosby, Stills & Nash.



Coincidentally on the day Clapton is featured on the blog, his former bandmate, Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker passed away. He was 80, which is a ripe old age as far as hard-living rock 'n' rollers from the 60s go, but still sad to lose him. Cream will get a post here once we get to card #251 ("Cream at the Fillmore Auditorium").


  1. Gavin, I am enjoying this blog a lot. You motivated me to make a set of musicards, My Music Stars on musicians I like and have influenced me.

    1. Great to hear it! Good luck with your project.

  2. I came of age musically during Eric Clapton's "Slowhand" period (late '70s) and "Wonderful Tonight" was always on the radio. Kind of one of those great songs that means little now because it got so overplayed. But "Promises" still gets me. Some favorites that you didn't mention: "Watch Out for Lucy," "Pretending," "I Can't Stand It," and, above all, "Bell Bottom Blues".

    1. Just checked these out.. good stuff. Funny how dated "Pretending" sounds.. definitely 80s production. (Not that that's a bad thing.. many of my favorite songs are incredibly 80s.)

  3. My favorite Clapton songs--besides his version of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right" which I gushed about yesterday--would have to include "The Core", "Promises", "Can't Find My Way Home" (from Blind Faith), and "SWLABR" (from Cream).

  4. Whoops, nevermind. This was likely my first exposure to Clapton:

    1. Ha! Similarly, I think my first exposure to Steve Winwood was a Michelob beer commercial. "Don't You Know What The Night Can Do" still makes me think of Michelob.

  5. Going back to yesterday's post - Your Clapton song list contains three songs written about George Harrison's ex Patti Boyd ("Layla", "She's Waiting", and "Wonderful Tonight"). She turned out to be quite the rock 'n roll muse:

  6. I think Wonderful Tonight is a wedding favorite for people in my age group. Although my memory sucks... I feel like that was a staple at the weddings I attended in the 80's and 90's.

    1. Yeah, that sounds about right. Guess I was just able to avoid it until having to track down a copy to play at the wedding a few years ago.

  7. I am not a big fan of classic rock (it's old shit), but I always thought that Clapton's albums "August" and "Journeyman" are straight amazing. Yes - he has a ton of good stuff with D&theD and Cream, plus his early solo work. But those two albums....

    The riff in Bad Love is fucking amazing.