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4.5 out of 5 stars
Slowhand
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70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Finally, Slowhand comes to hi-resolution format. I have heard multiple CD versions from the original to the Gold Disc to the remastered, but this new SACD version just blows the rest away.

Slowhand has always been my favourite Clapton album over the years. Classic Clapton originals like Lay Down Sally and Wonderful Tonight define his style and songwriting capabilities and singing. His voice has an aching and tender reach on the ballads, and yet bluesy growl on the fast tracks.

From 461 and Slowhand, Clapton began to rely less on his guitar prowess on albums, but move towards stronger songwriting and singing to establish his albums, and Slowhand is the best example of it. And yet, his taste for covers cannot be faulted either.

Dusting off JJ Cale's Cocaine and William's We're With YOu All the Way shows how he can choose the right material to augment his own songs, until they blend into a seamless piece of excellent work.

Ending the album with an instrumental ballad that recalls the piano coda to Layla, Slowhand remains his best and most focused work over the years. And throw in a great guitar jam in the epic Core, you get a Clapton masterwork that is as timeless now as it was commercially and critically successful during its original release almost 30 years ago.

Listening to the 5.1 mix by the original producer, Glyn Johns did a superb work. Although some has commented the mix sounds muddy, its actually not and its true to its original sound. Its natural and spatial mix and creative surround mixing by Johns gives this classic a new dimension that was not there before.

The electric solos now sound more alive and kicking and even the tender fender licks that kick off Wonderful Tonight sounds so much there and enveloping. Its the drums that has a tendency to sound muddled underneath and the strong bass levels that gives the muddy impression. BUt '70s recordings tend to be presented in such fashion and listening it over again, the surround mix is just perfect and natural. Compared to the bright but not as creative surround mix of 461, this is far superior in the end.

A compulsory purchase and listening for every Clapton fan.
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76 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I'd like to start off this review by saying that "Slowhand" is one of my favorite Eric Clapton albums of all-time, and that the four bonus tracks added to the origional studio album are very nice to have as part of the "Slowhand" album. My problem is with disc 2. Don't get me wrong, the show presented here is a very good one and I'm extremely happy to have it, but I'm unhappy with it for several different reasons. First of all, this April 27th show wich was recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon in London is actually the final show on the "No Reason To Cry" tour, as such it should've been a part of a deluxe edition of "No Reason To Cry" instead of the "Slowhand" deluxe edition. Also, if you perchase the 2CD deluxe edition you're not even getting the whole show. You'll have to buy the "Super Deluxe Edition" if you wanna get the other five songs performed during this show but not included in this 2CD edition. I don't know anything about the contents of the "Super Deluxe Edition" so I can't advise you weather to pick that up or not, but I feel like this 2CD deluxe edition is a bit of a rip-off to the true Eric Clapton fan who's gonna spend their hard earned cash on it. Finally, for those of you that do not own the "Crossroads Vol. 2 (Live In The 70's)" Box Set, there are five tracks on disc 3 that are obviously from the "Slowhand" tour since four out of the five tracks are from "Slowhand". That should've been the show included in this 2CD deluxe edition _IN _IT'S _ENTIRETY instead of the earlier Hammersmith Odeon show. So in closing, if you're a true Clapton fan ofcourse you're gonna want to pick up "Slowhand Deluxe Edition" ASAP, just remember that you're not getting a complete concert on disc 2, and that the record company scrooed up by including the wrong show to begin with. I hope this helps you make a wise and informed decision about buying this or not. Thanks for reading. PEACE!
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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
After his major comeback in 1974 with 461 Ocean Boulevard, Eric Clapton shied away from the mainstream with his next two releases. There's One In Every Crowd & No Reason To Cry. With Slowhand, he returned to the sounds that made 461 a hit. On his first solo album, he had a major triumph with J.J. Cale's "After Midnight". He returns to the Cale catalog for another triumph, the searing "Cocaine". The song has a propulsive riff and a ringing guitar solo. On the flip side of that is "Wonderful Tonight" which is built around his waiting for his wife to get ready for a party. The song is among the prettiest things he's ever done and it his easy picking of the guitar shows that subtle playing is just as powerful as in your face power chords. "Lay Down Sally" has a country flavor and was a big hit becoming his second top ten single and peaking at number three. The best song on the album is the lengthy "The Core". The song has some marvelous vocal interplay between Mr. Clapton and Marcy Levy and some stellar guitar work. Slowhand was a return to the top ten for Mr. Clapton reaching number three in early 1978.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on November 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After waiting through the bizarre back order situation that accompanied the release of "Slowhand," when the SACD did finally arrive it was worth it.

I do not have the original CD or vinyl version of the album, so I cannot make a comparison to the sound quality between the two, but I can say that the surround mix done by Glyn Johns (also the producer of the original) is outstanding and very creative.

The best example comes from 'The Core,' where the surround channels contain the back beat, creating a cool point/counterpoint between the front and rears that really adds to the listening experience.

Other highlights are the atmospheric keyboards in 'Wonderful Tonight' and others. Just an overall great effort.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 30, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Slowhand is clearly one of Eric Clapton's stronger solo releases. Whereas there are plenty of guitar solos and effects, many of these tunes are quite pleasing. A little bit mellow but certainly quite focused.
The lead off track, Cocaine features a very distnictive riff and steady instrumental support. Like the gutiar solo in the middle. Wonderful Tonight will always be known as a classic wedding song. One of Eric's best compositions. Lay Down Sally features some mellow guitar picking and a nice chugging rhythm. Next Time You See Her features some good drumming by Jaime Oldaker in addition to some tasty guitar licks. We're All The Way is a pleasant focused ballad.
The second half kicks off with a riveting duet between Eric and Marcy Levy on the Core. Super guitar solos by George Terry and Eric as well as a good saxaphone break by Mel Collins. May You Never is a catchy tune with cute vocal styling by Eric. Mean Old Frisco is a fine blues number and Peaches And Diesel is a pretty instrumental with touching guitar parts.
A solid if not overly spectacular release that showcases the mellow side of Eric Clapton.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
"Slowhand" ranks along with "461 Ocean Boulevard" as Eric Clapton's two finest solo albums. Clapton scored one of his biggest hits with the ace cover of J.J. Cale's "Cocaine." He also came up with several of his best ever original songs in the ballad "Wonderful Tonight," and the bluesy "Lay Down Sally." Other classic cuts include the long jam "The Core," and the jealous lover's stern warning "Next Time You See Her." Clapton's guitar has never sounded sweeter and his backing band is first rate. This album is a must have for Clapton fans as well as fans of 70s rock.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2012
Format: Audio CD
The earlier reviewer's knock on Disc 2 of this release actually has some silver linings. He has a point when he complains that (1) the concert is sorely abridged; (2) it's drawn from a tour of Clapton's previous record release, not the tour for "Slowhand"; and (3) several of these live songs have appeared on previous compilations. Now here's the upside to each of these points: (1) the whole concert is available as an MP3 download from Amazon, at a reasonable price of $14; (2) fans have clamored for music from Clapton's Spring '77 shows for years (evidenced in the abundance of available bootlegs), as it was the second leg of the tour and the band was sharp as a tack; and (3) the Hammersmith Odeon show is one of Clapton's historic triumphs, a sterling performance from top to bottom, which is why it was siphoned for both of the "Crossroads" box sets -- and, indeed, the full set presented here is a remarkable listening experience. Yes, we've all paid for much of this music before, and yes, it's a shame we aren't able to enjoy a show from the "Slowhand" tour (we'll have to settle for the brief set that appears on "Crossroads 2"). But to finally have the full Hammersmith show from April '77 is worth the wait and the price. We're reminded of how Clapton at his best could bring great musical muscle to songs from even a ramshackle collection like the "No Reason to Show" album. This is the goods.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
As I get older, I find that I tend to prefer well-chosen compilations to original albums. There are some exceptions, of course (how could any Beatles compilation even remotely do them justice?), but very often individual albums contain a few strong tracks and rather more weak ones and I don't have the patience to sit through the fillers.

No such issues with this album. Clapton here produces a great selection of songs, melodic, rocking, brilliantly arranged and, as you'd expect, wonderfully performed. From the hard rock of 'The Core' through the bright shuffle of 'Lay Down Sally' to the exquisite tunefulness of 'Wonderful Tonight', there isn't a dud on the album. The arrangement is stripped down so every voice and instrument can clearly be heard and the playing and singing thus revealed are well worth hearing.

This is one of my favorite albums. Every song is like a familiar friend and I never get tired of meeting them again. If every album were like this, the musical world would be a better place; and, incidentally, there would be fewer compilation albums, because there's nothing I would discard from this recording.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Although everyone is entitled to their opinions, for me Clapton just doesn't get any better that with what you hear on this album. It is as heart felt as they come. Many Fine ballads such as "Wonderful Tonight" & We're All The Way" & some GREAT rockers like "The Core" & "Cocaine".
When I was a teenager and this came out, I intitally bought all the single's from the record, then finally saved up for the album and I wore that sucker out!
Aside from Clapton's well known hit's that most people are familar with, if you truly want to dive into EC, you simply can't find a better record to do it with than Slow Hand. (...) Without question 5 STARS!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2009
Format: Audio CD
Excellent SACD, at the same level as Roxy Music's "Avalon",Pink Floyd's "DSOTM", Dire Straits "Brothers in Arms".
Grrrrrrrreat bass depth (LFE), space and definition. The bass in this one is the best i've heard on SACD, the sound of the guitar is superb (as if Eric Clapton was playing with an amp next to you).

It's a shame SACD never took off.

Anyone having a PS3 with SACD capabilities and with love of music in general should have at last all the discs i've mentioned in this review (IMHO of course).

By the way, i bought my first SACD just by curiosity to try my PS3 capabilities (2 years ago), now i am the proud owner of 50 titles in SACD and 10 in DVD-Audio, also bought an Oppo DVD player (980) because i don't wanna wear out my PS3.

Support SACD please (and enjoy the finest in sound quality)¡¡¡¡¡¡¡¡
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