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Eric Clapton - Clapton/Complete Clapton (2008)

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Clapton/Complete Clapton

Clapton/Complete Clapton

Photo courtesy Hal Leonard Corp.

The Bottom Line

It could be argued that guitarist Eric Clapton is the one instrumentalist who virtually invented blues-rock guitar. More than any other single guitarist, Clapton's early-1960s work with bands like the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers defined the British blues-rock style that would later be imported back into the United States and picked up by thousands of garage bands. Clapton's power trio Cream further popularized blues-rock in a heavier form, while his solo work and recordings with Blind Faith and Derek & the Dominos have earned the guitarist a solid place in music history.

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Pros

  • Includes material from across Clapton's five-decade long career

Cons

  • Deficit of biographical information to put songs in context

Description

  • 36-song collection includes many of Clapton's best-loved tunes
  • 344 pages, 9" x 12" trade paperback songbook
  • Captures many of the guitarist's best musical moments

Guide Review - Eric Clapton - Clapton/Complete Clapton (2008)

Guitarist Eric Clapton was so good when he first hit the scene at the young age of 17 that, after short stints with a couple of "starter" bands, he fell in with popular British blues-rock band the Yardbirds, where he was an immediate sensation. Subsequent work with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, and Delaney & Bonnie would provide a strong musical legacy and provide a solid foundation for his subsequent solo work.

Clapton remains a popular and influential artist some 40 years since the 1970 release of his self-titled debut album, while Derek and the Dominos' classic Layla album, also from 1970, remains a classic rock staple to this day. Clapton has a deep and impressive catalog of both original material and inspired covers that are a joy for any guitarist to learn. Clapton/Complete Clapton is somewhat of a misnomer, for the three-dozen songs featured in the songbook just scratch the surface of the artist's lengthy career.

Clapton/Complete Clapton offers up staff notation and guitar tablature as well as rhythm slashes for learning players. This is a whopping large songbook, over 300 pages, and it offers an excellent cross-section of material including Cream's "Sunshine of Your Love" and "White Room," as well as Blind Faith's "Presence of the Lord," and two of the best from the Layla album, "Bell Bottom Blues" and the title track.

It is Clapton's solo material that truly stands out, however, from early songs like his cover of J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" and the original "Let It Rain" to Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Lay Down Sally." Clapton isn't as well-known for his songwriting as for his guitar playing, but he's penned (or co-written) a few keepers like "Tears In Heaven" and "Motherless Child." The songbook also includes Clapton's arrangements of classic early blues songs like Robert Johnson's "Sweet Home Chicago" and "Crossroads."

This isn't easy material to learn, and most of Clapton's songs are note-dense and rich in sound and complexity. For the intermediate to advanced player, however, there's a lot to like and learn from Clapton/Complete Clapton. (Hal Leonard Corp, published April 2008)

Guide Disclosure: A review copy of this CD, DVD, or book was provided by the record label, publisher, or publicist. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.

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