Clapton's solo career began in earnest with this 1974 LP, and what a giant step this was. He hit #1 as he tackled reggae (his smash version of I Shot the Sheriff ), blues ( Motherless Children ) and R&B (his hit take on Willie and the Hand Jive ). An early masterpiece!
This was Clapton's comeback record after a long bout with heroin addiction. Up through 1970 or so, he had been a restless musical seeker, opening rock up with his guitar experimentation, trying to get to the bottom of the blues. There is none of this on 461. He seems relieved just to be alive. It's a low-key affair, and that suits him. Some of his best songs are here, as well as his cover of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff." Torn and frayed from the melee inside him, this album may be the most personal blues he ever made. --Steve Tignor