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Eric Clapton [Deluxe Edition]
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54 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 2006
I'm not sure that the Delaney & Bonnie southern-fried sound was the ideal vehicle for Eric Clapton's talents,even if this musical hookup did lead to the formation of "Derek & The Dominos".Some of the early,negative reviews of this set relied on misinfomation.The mix of the album which appeared on the bootleg CD "The Unsurpassed Eric Clapton" in the 1990's,and purported to be the "Delaney Bramlett mix" of the album,was,in fact,Clapton's own rough mix of the album.The REAL "Delaney Bramlett mix" debuts on Disc 2 of this two-disc set.The bonus tracks are decent;a combination of some Clapton sessionman appearances for Delaney & Bonnie and King Curtis,and 3 previously unreleased selections,2 of them sung by Clapton."She Rides" is particularly fascinating,being the "Let it Rain" backing track with an early,different lyric and vocal melody.The recording was reworked in a manner similar to how Cream's "Lawdy Mama" was transformed into "Strange Brew".I wish there had been more outtakes available to include,but,if Marc Roberty's Eric Clapton sessionography book is correct,there is nothing else to add.Universal Music's efforts are excellent.It would have been nice to have the complete,officially unreleased Clapton mix of the album included as well,but it's floating around on a high quality bootleg anyhow.But,ultimately,the Tom Dowd mix released in 1970 was and is best.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on July 2, 2006
It's worth it for the gossamer versions of Let It Rain alone. But I've always liked this album and hearing it in two different ways is a wonderful experience. It never sounded so clean and with a compare and contrast you make up your mind if its Dowds or Bramletts mix you prefer. Eric doesn't play less, perhaps more tasty is a better way of saying it. His voice is fine and its some of the best solo material IMHO that he did. Easy now rings with a cleaner sound than it ever did on the old ATCO pressing. Its up to you if you want it. But if your a fan of Clapton how can you pass this gem up ? Oh yes he stole Bramletts band after this was all over but its a good prelude to Layla for future guitar hero worship :)
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2006
This should help clarify the issue of the three different mixes. The very first pressing of the vinyl LP on ATCO Records in 1970 used the wrong mix, which wasn't discovered until the records were already on the shelves. That is apparently Eric's rough mix and the version that ended up on the mislabled "Unsurpassed Eric Clapton" bootleg CD. A second LP pressing substituted the correct Tom Dowd mix. Delaney Bramlett produced the album and this new Deluxe Edition adds his own previously unreleased mix.

I haven't heard the Deluxe Edition yet, so I don't know how the Bramlett mix compares. I do have both versions of the vinyl LPs and can attest that they do indeed sound noticably different. The artwork is identical, but you can tell the 1st pressing by looking at the track, "Don't Know Why" (2nd side, track 4). The grooves in the vinyl at the end of the track are noticably different, smoother, in the 1st pressing, but not the second. This is due to studio noise left in at the end of the track in the rough mix.
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25 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on June 11, 2006
I was listening to Clapton before I even knew there was an Eric Clapton, since the first two U.S. Yardbirds albums credited only Jeff Beck. Once I "discovered" EC via Cream, I was hooked. Of course I "backed up" at that point and bought Mayall's Bluesbreakers album. I was devastated when Cream disbanded. Despite the radical change in musical direction, I loved "Eric Clapton" and literally wore the grooves out. So, several years later I tossed my copy of "Eric Clapton" in the garbage and purchased a brand new copy. Imagine my surprise when I put the needle down on the first track and heard a completely different mix of the song Slunky. In the version I had previosuly owned, the song actually starts on the first beat of the song (rather than the strange starting point that Tom Dowd chose) and there was no opening sax solo. The mix just established a backing groove that continued up until the guitar solo. Then, I heard this overwrought, breathy vocal on Bad Boy that was completely different from the version I had tossed. The previous mix featured a vocal that I'd compare to Eric's more relaxed approach in Let it Rain. Reading the liner notes in this new Deluxe Edition, I guess these were Eric's own mixes, not Delaney's. But they were released, because I owned them. I have always hoped to once again own these mixes. I'm disappointed that the legendary Delaney mixes are not the ones I thought they would be. Unlike an earlier reviewer, I'm not going to bust this album for not being what I wanted it to be. Unlike another earlier reviewer, I'm not going to bust this album for failing to be Cream or latter day EC. It's nice to have a remastered version. It's nice to have Teasin' from this era. The alternative versions of Don't Know Why and I've Told You for the Last Time are very interesting and EC burns up the solo in the latter. And She Rides is just fascinating. As odd as it is to hear different lyrics on top of the Let it Rain backing track, it kind of makes you wonder why EC and Delaney Bramlett would take a fully completed mix with a well executed lyric and redo it. I'm glad they did, I guess, just because I'm now so used to Let it Rain, but it's just as good a tune with the alternative lyrics. There are three reasons why I don't award this set 5 stars. First, there's nothing special about the inclusion of Delaney & Bonnie's version of Groupie (Superstar) - EC's role is neither critical or noticeable. Second, Blues in "A" is OK, and it's more interesting than the jams on the Blind Faith Deluxe Edition, but the Derek & the Dominos jams set a standard that this track simply can't meet. Third, those Eric Clapton mixes of a few of the songs (especially the radically different ones like Slunky and Bad Boy) should be here, perhaps instead of Blues in "A" and Groupie. In summary, Eric has always been a musical nomad, being very influenced by the musicians he's working with at the time. The music here is good, most of Eric's solos are excellent in this brand-new-at-the-time (non-Cream, non-blues) setting, and a couple of the songs are absolute classics. It's a good set that's worth owning, but it could have been better with a few different bonus tracks.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2006
First of all, this was Eric Clapton's first solo album (as most fans know) and made with the help and assistance of Delaney Bramlett and the Delaney and Bonnie band. It's not what most people today associate with Eric Clapton - no blues-rock star turns, no hot guitar. It's what Clapton wanted to try, his first effort at a vocal solo album. Is it good - that's a matter of taste, but know what we're dealing with. From here, he went on to Derek & the Dominoes...and we know what that's like.

As for the guy that said "this isn't the Delaney mix", with associated "!!!!!"...well, actually it is. The "bootleg" that circulated in the past was not the Bramlett mix, but a mix created by Clapton himself, to whatever degree of success. There were actually three mixes of this project, and this is the "true" Delaney mix. Says who? Universal's expert, Bill Levenson, and most Clapton experts.

Is this worth your purchase? Sure - if you like this album, you'll enjoy the two mixes and the bonus tracks. The material has never sounded better, the documentation outstanding, another fine "Deluxe Edition" effort. If you're looking for Clapton star guitar, and don't know this work, you'll probably be disappointed.

As a matter of history and sonic excellence, this material has gotten solid treatment, and is well made.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2007
This album, which Clapton recorded when he was 25, marks the beginning of a nearly 4-decade solo career by this blues-rock guitar master. Yet, it sounds little like its successor solo albums, and more like his work with Derek and the Dominoes, also from that year (1970). Not a bad thing, certainly, since it can be argued that Clapton's contributions in the Cream-Blind Faith-D&D era from 1966-1970 were as important to the development of our notions about guitar as any in rock history. First-time listeners, though, should note that he had not yet moved into the Tulsa sound that marked the early years of his solo career.

This new release features a second disk mirroring the original recording, but with a different mix, by Delaney Bramlett. Some of the most important differences between the originally released Tom Dowd mix and the Bramlett mix are on some of the standards that emerged from this album -- most notably "After Midnight". It's a good thing to have both in my collection. I never tire of the original recording, but particularly "Slunky", "After Midnight", and "Let it Rain."

The special treat, and what makes it an essential addition to a serious Clapton collection (even one that has the original release), is 7 newly released tunes. "Blues in 'A'", with its richly-textured wah-wah leads, is an exciting addition. I haven't heard "Teasin'" since the "History of Clapton" album (which I lost along the way), and am thrilled to have it back in the fold. "She Rides", a surprising version of "Let it Rain" with entirely different lyrics and melodic line, caught me by surprise and lets us in on Clapton's musical process. The alternate take of "I've Told You for the Last Time" has some heart-stopping lead work that caught me off guard. My first listening to this version of "Comin' Home" sent chills up my spine, not just because of the layered guitar tracks, but the inspiring vocals.

Will a casual fan who likes Clapton only for "Cocaine" or the unplugged version of "Layla" like this album? I'd guess not. But anyone who is serious about blues-rock guitar and recognizes 1970 as one of the most amazing years in music history is going to have to own this.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful
It's nice to have a remastered version of the first Clapton solo record. It has been a subject of controversey since its release, due to Tom Dowd taking over the mix of the project when delaney was sidetracked. Some Delaney partisans claimed Dowd ruined the record (an absolute impossibility with Dowd behind the board). With this release the Delaney mix is side by side with the Dowd mix. IMHO, Dowd's original mix leaves Delaney in the dust. Fortunately this version is dramatically better than the version circulating as "The Unsurpassed Eric Clapton" which claimed to be the Delaney mix.

The extra's are really a nice touch. The version of Teasin' by King Curtis is one of my favorite songs of his and the two songs culled from Claptons stint in Delaney and Bonnie's band are really nice. Thought Teasin' and Coming Home can be found elsewhere (remember "The History of Eric Clapton') they fit well on this disc.

If you don't own this recordalready , I'd take a look at adding this to the collection. If you have it, I think I'd download the tracks that intersted me from Itunes and save a few bucks
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 14, 2011
Eric Clapton released this album with a "new sound" which was classic Fender Stratocaster tones. Prior to this he invented the Gibson/Marshall sound copied by quite a few guitarists in the world. Then, he totally shifted gears. He single handedly brought the Gibson Les Paul back into production when the Mayall Bluesbreakers Album was released. Then, he brought the Stratocaster into vogue with this one. Yes, Hendrix re-invented the Stratocaster - that be known. But, Eric rode the new wave of American Roots Music and brought back that classic "out of phase" pickup sound before the 5 position switch on Strats came out. This started a whole new interest in Stratocasters. Not to mention - Eric Sings!! And sings wonderfully. The emergence of a singer, songwriter & musician. Let It Rain, Slunky, Bad Boy, Easy Now, Bottle of Red Wine are all great tunes. Some are rather mediocre but overall a great album and the beginning of a fantastic solo career. I don't know about anyone else but I like the Delaney mix better. I think the balance between the voice and guitar solos is better particularly in "After Midnight." The bonus tracks are okay but not essential. Good Album. Not his best by any means but it has an innocent charm the others do not have.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2011
Eric Clapton/ Eric Clapton (Deluxe 2 CD set): After touring with his friends Delaney & Bonnie Bramlett, Clapton and the Bramlett's wrote a series of songs together which became the meat of this album which also included a Clapton and Leon Russell composition, a Bramlett and Russell composition, and etc. Not only did Delaney Bramlett produce and arrange all the recordings found here, but Delaney and Bonnie performed on the songs with their band (Jim Price, Bob Keys, Bob Whitlock, Jim Gordon, and Carl Radle), plus a few of their mutual friends, Leon Russell, Rita Coolidge, and Stephen Stills, to name a few. If you know your Clapton albums, you know how important many of these musicians would be in the future of Clapton's most popular albums. This is one of Eric Clapton's best albums and this 2 CD set doubles the enjoyment. Great music and a key moment in Rock history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 9, 2013
This 1970 album heralded a significant change in musical direction for Eric Clapton, marking a change away from his blues based roots. This album was released after the Derek and Dominoes album.

This is one of the essential 1970s albums that should be in any serious collection of 1970s music. For this Deluxe Edition release Polygram has made an interesting package. The first CD contains the album as it was originally released, with the final mix done by producer/recording engineer Tom Dowd, who had also produced the Derek and the Dominoes album released several months earlier. The first CD also includes several extra tracks.

The second CD contains the entire album as it was apparently intended to be released, with the final mix by Delaney Bramlett. Although it is the same album, mastered from the same tapes, there are many significant differences between the Tom Dowd mix and the Delaney Bramlett mix. It's interesting to finally hear the two versions of the same album.

Apparently Delaney Bramlett took so long to mix his version of the album that Polygram (Polydor as it was called at the time) got impatient and had Tom Dowd mix the album to speed up the release date.

My personal preference is the Tom Dowd mix but there's some very interesting differences between the Dowd and Bramlett mixes.

Overall, a great re-issue of a great album.
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