1977 saw the release of Clapton’s Slowhand album, a serious return to form after the disappointing No Reason To Cry in 1976. Even though the opening track Cocaine was originally written by JJ Cale, it’s a song Clapton has made his own over the years and certainly a song he is now totally associated with as a result. Below is the isolated vocal track from Cocaine.
Three years since Clapton’s last studio outing Old Sock, Slowhand returns with a very down to earth and laid back album which in many ways is more of a successor to 2010’s Clapton than Old Sock was. Containing a collection of hand picked blues covers alongside original Clapton numbers, I Still Do sees Clapton retain the title of England’s all time greatest blues player, a title he will never lose.
It’s the 6th December 1970 and Derek and the Dominos bring their US tour to a close at the Suffolk Community College in Selden, New York. It would be another 8 months before Eric Clapton would take to the stage again for George Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh event at Madison Square Garden in New York and in that time the Dominos would come falling down, signalling the end of Clapton’s first musical chapter. It would be another year and a half after the Concert For Bangladesh until he played live again, brought out of a drug fuelled isolation by Pete Townshend of The Who. The result, two comeback concerts on the 13th January 1973 at the Rainbow Theatre in London, England.
Coming four years after Clapton’s last studio output, 461 Ocean Boulevard was the album he needed to steady the ship going forward. Since the release of Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs with Derek and the Dominos in 1970, Clapton had witnessed the disintegration of the Dominos, the death of Duane Allman and had remained holed up in his Surrey home, too paranoid to venture outdoors due to the cocktail of drugs he was on at the time.
In October 1968 Cream were pretty much over, apart from the remaining tour dates which would end with two final shows at the Royal Albert Hall in London on the 26th November. But mentally they all knew the musical journey they had embarked on in 1966 was coming to an end. Including this show, they would have 20 dates left until the end of Cream as a band but that didn’t mean the music would suffer. That didn’t mean they couldn’t continue to be a live force right up until the end. Far from it.