CLASSIC ALBUM SERIES #10: Eric Clapton – There’s One In Every Crowd

theres-one-in-every-crowd-538827276ef23Released in 1975 a year after his comeback album 461 Ocean BoulevardThere’s One In Every Crowd is a fantastic followup album containing some of Clapton’s best work. It’s an album from his catalogue that’s often overlooked and even though it may not be as good as it’s predecessor it’s still an all round solid album.

The opening song is We’ve Been Told (Jesus Is Coming) which gives you a good indication of what the whole album sounds like. The laid back nature of this song is gorgeous and Clapton on lead vocals gives a solid performance. It’s followed by Swing Low Sweet Chariot, an American spiritual originally recorded over 100 years ago 1909 but written many decades before that. Clapton’s version features some really nice backing vocals and the song continues the wonderfully laid back feel. Little Rachel is the third song and even though you start out by thinking it could be another acoustic song, the full band kicks in after the first verse with a solid driving beat and electric guitar riffs. Carl Radle on bass and Jamie Oldaker on drums provide a solid foundation for the song with their driving rhythm playing being a stand out part of the song.

  1. We’ve Been Told (Jesus Is Coming Soon)
  2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
  3. Little Rachel
  4. Don’t Blame Me
  5. The Sky Is Crying
  6. Singin’ The Blues
  7. Better Make It Through Today
  8. Pretty Blue Eyes
  9. High
  10. Opposites

Don’t Blame Me is played in a reggae style and can be seen as a natural successor to I Shot The Sheriff, a Bob Marley song the band recorded for the previous album 461 Ocean Boulevard. This album was recorded in Jamaica as well which no doubt influenced the direction of the record. Even though it’s one of my least favourite songs on the album it’s still enjoyable to listen to, although Clapton’s forced Jamaican style vocals are a little testing at times, but that’s just my opinion. Things then head in a blues direction with an incredible cover of The Sky Is Crying by Elmore James. It’s nothing like his original version which again confirms Clapton’s brilliance at making blues songs his own. The song features a key change about midway through which sounds absolutely fantastic and this is something the band continued to do live on stage, often including three or more key changes during this song. It’s my favourite track on the album without a doubt. Things head in a more upbeat direction with the next song, Singin’ The Blues. This is probably a better live song than studio song but it’s nice enough and sounds great after the slower The Sky Is Crying.

Better Make It Through Today and Pale Blue Eyes are the next two songs which continue the acoustic feel that started with the opening song. As much as I hate to say it, these two songs are more like filler tracks than standouts although that doesn’t mean they aren’t good in any way. For me personally I tend to skip them and move on to the far superior High, a song originally written and recorded by Derek and the Dominos for their aborted second album sessions in 1971. There is a recording of the original version on a Dominos bootleg and electric guitars are far more prominent but the acoustic guitars in this version are superb and make this song one of the best on the album. There are a number of songs that Clapton went back to from the Dominos period and this, like Motherless Children on 461 Ocean Boulevard and Mean Old Frisco on Slowhand, is one of the best. There’s something about it you can’t quite describe which hits the spot perfectly.

The final song on the album is Opposites which is nice enough but lacks a certain something to make it a great closer like Mainline Florida on 461 Ocean Boulevard. Perhaps it would have been better to have High as the album closer but that’s not a massive criticism as it’s definitely an enjoyable song to listen to, especially when the ending builds and builds before coming to an end.

Overall There’s One In Every Crowd is one of my favourite Clapton albums and an album that definitely deserves more attention than it currently receives. It was remastered and released on the 2013 boxset Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings which makes it sound even better and the inclusion of a number of studio outtakes and tracks that ultimately didn’t make the final album adds to the listening experience. It’s a must album for your record collection.

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