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Eric Clapton Profile


Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton photo by Joseph Sia

Photo courtesy Polydor Records

Profile of Blues-Rock Guitar Legend Eric Clapton:

Born: March 30, 1945 in Ripley, Surrey England

One of rock's most revered legends, Eric Clapton has accomplished everything a musician could possibly dream of achieving, from critical-acclaim to multi-Platinum sales, and a place in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Clapton's first notable band was the Yardbirds, which made their first appearance on record as back-up band for blues legend Sonny Boy Williamson. By the release of the Yardbirds 1964 album Five Live Yardbirds, the buzz over Clapton's six-string prowess had won them a substantial following. The Yardbirds scored a hit with "For Your Love," a pop-rock romp that created creative differences, causing Clapton to leave the band.

Clapton subsequently joined John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, playing alongside Fleetwood Mac founders John McVie and Mick Fleetwood. This line-up recorded a single, spectacular album, 1966's Bluesbreakers With Eric Clapton, which kick-started the British blues revival and cemented Clapton's superstar reputation.

Clapton parted ways with Mayall in 1966 to form the influential, blockbuster power trio Cream. Fusing electric-blues with hard-rock, Cream's success led to an explosion of British blues-rock bands. Displaying a restless nature, Clapton and Cream broke up after only two years. Clapton recorded with rock "supergroup" Blind Faith, and later toured with Delaney & Bonnie.

Clapton launched his solo career with a self-titled 1970 album, the pop-rock collection providing the artist with a Top 20 hit. The guitarist later formed Derek and the Dominos, the band's 1971 album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, becoming a classic of the blues-rock genre.

After spending two years kicking heroin addiction, Clapton returned to his solo career with 1974's 461 Ocean Boulevard, a collection of pop-rock, R&B and blues with a dash of reggae. In the 34 years since, Clapton has recorded better than a dozen studio albums and a half-dozen live albums, venturing back and forth between soulful pop-rock and traditional blues.

Along the way, Clapton has become one of rock's elder statesmen and blues spokesman, recording albums with B.B. King and Robert Cray, as well as a critically-acclaimed collection of Robert Johnson covers.

Recommended Albums: The Derek and the Dominos album is probably the best place to start, while Riding With The King, Clapton's 2000 collaboration with B.B. King, is Clapton's best blues work. Cream's 1967 album Disraeli Gears is the stuff that makes blues-rock legends.

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