Eric Clapton – Slowhand (1977)

FrontCover1Slowhand is the fifth studio album released by the British recording artist Eric Clapton. It was released on 25 November in 1977 by RSO Records. The release, titled after Clapton’s nickname, is to this date one of his both commericially and musically most successful studio albums. Slowhand produced the two hit singles “Lay Down Sally” and “Wonderful Tonight”, reached various international music charts and was honored with numerous awards and recording certifications.

Clapton wanted to work with record producer Glyn Johns, because he thought Johns produced great work with famous groups like The Rolling Stones and The Eagles and understands how to work with both British and American musicians. While in the studio with Johns, Clapton notes that the A-list producer was very disciplined and disliked jamming, because it would kill important recording time. Although Clapton and his band were either drunk or stoned nearly all the time when recording, Johns liked Clapton’s work and brought out the best in every musician.

WonderfulTonightThe album was titled after Clapton’s nickname, which was given to him by Giorgio Gomelsky. In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton recalled that the name “Slowhand” seemed to be hanging on to his real name, because it seemed to be well received by both his American friends and fans who think of the wild west when hearing the nickname. The album’s artwork was done by Clapton himself with the help of Pattie Boyd and Dave Stewart, credited as “El & Nell Ink”. Besides choosing various photos for the inner side of the gramophone record packaging are two pictures, Clapton notes, which have deeper importance to him: one picture, in which he kisses Boyd and another photograph showing a demolished Ferrari 365 GTC/4, which Clapton bought after seeing George Harrison turning up with the same model at his Hurtwood Edge Estate. The car, which has been involved with Clapton in a car accident after the British recording artist finished touring in Australia, nearly killed him.

The album was released on 25 November 1977 for RSO Records. The album was released in various territories in Europe, the North America, Asia, Oceania and South America. The full release history per country based on record company releases was remarkable, because companies would only distribute to territories where good revenue would be sure. Some of the countries Slowhand was released in include the Netherlands, Israel, Canada, Scandinavia, Germany, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Portugal, Spain, Norway, Greece, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, Taiwan, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, the USSR, Russia, Thailand, Philippines and Malaysia.

EricClapton01The rock song “Cocaine” was censored and removed from the Argentinan edition of the album in late 1977. The military government of the time claimed that the song Clapton recorded was harmful to young people and inviting them to get high. The ban was finally lifted in 1984. Clapton felt indignation in later years after learning of censorship, since “Cocaine” is a song which is against drugs, and not to please as many people think. The musician once said that it is useless to intentionally write a song that goes against drugs and hope that people grasp the meaning. So it is better that lead to reflection. If the song is heard like a song about cocaine, but if you listen carefully, is ingeniously against cocaine. After several years, Clapton decided to add the lyrics of the phrase: ‘that dirty cocaine’ in live performances to highlight the message of the song against drugs. In addition, Clapton donated much of their funds to Crossroads Centre, a center where help drug addicts to fight to stop drugs and rehabilitate themselves (by wikipedia)

SlowhandAdAfter the guest-star-drenched No Reason to Cry failed to make much of an impact commercially, Eric Clapton returned to using his own band for Slowhand. The difference is substantial — where No Reason to Cry struggled hard to find the right tone, Slowhand opens with the relaxed, bluesy shuffle of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” and sustains it throughout the course of the album. Alternating between straight blues (“Mean Old Frisco”), country (“Lay Down Sally”), mainstream rock (“Cocaine,” “The Core”), and pop (“Wonderful Tonight”), Slowhand doesn’t sound schizophrenic because of the band’s grasp of the material. This is laid-back virtuosity — although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album’s eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as Eric Clapton’s best albums. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

And “The Core” ist another killer song by the one and only Eric Clapton !

Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Yvonne Elliman (vocals)
Marcy Levy (vocals)
Jamie Oldaker (drums, percussion)
Carl Radle (bass)
Dick Sims (keyboards)
George Terry (guitar)
Mel Collins (saxophone)

01. Cocaine (Cale) 3.38
02. Wonderful Tonight (Clapton) 3.41
03. Lay Down Sally (Clapton/Levy) 3.52
04. Next Time You See Her (Clapton) 3.58
05. We’re All The Way (Williams) 2.30
06. The Core (Clapton/Levy) 8.42
07. May You Never (Martyn) 2.57
08. Mean Old Frisco (Hopkins) 4.38
09. Peaches And Diesel (Galuten/Clapton) 4.48



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