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The Cream of Clapton

4.6 out of 5 stars 162 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Eric's been in a lot of great bands, so any "best-of" claiming to be representative has got to have Cream's I Feel Free; Sunshine of Your Love; White Room; Crossroads, and Badge ; Blind Faith's Presence of the Lord, and Derek & the Dominos' Bell Bottom Blues and Layla as well as solo gems like I Shot the Sheriff; Cocaine; Let It Grow; Wonderful Tonight; After Midnight, and more. 19 tracks, with new remastering!

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For a single disc, this is an admirable chronological tour of superstar Eric Clapton's mid-'60s-to-early-'80s career. It begins too late to include his gestational work with the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. However, the singer-guitarist's days in Cream ("Sunshine of Your Love," "Crossroads," "White Room"), in Blind Faith ("Presence of the Lord"), as a fledgling solo artist ("After Midnight," "Let It Rain"), in Derek and the Dominos ("Layla," "Bell Bottom Blues"), and through the rest of the '70s ("I Shot the Sheriff," "Cocaine," "Wonderful Tonight," "Promises") to his '81 hit "I Can't Stand It" are well documented by this collection's 19 cuts. The down side is that the CD also vividly illustrates how insubstantial Clapton's work turned in the mid-'70s. But that won't be a problem for fans seeking hits. --Ted Drozdowski

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. I Feel Free
  2. Sunshine Of Your Love
  3. White Room
  4. Crossroads
  5. Badge
  6. Presence Of The Lord
  7. Blues Power
  8. After Midnight
  9. Let It Rain
  10. Bell Bottom Blues
  11. Layla
  12. I Shot The Sheriff
  13. Let It Grow
  14. Knockin' On Heaven's Door
  15. Hello Old Friend
  16. Cocaine
  17. Wonderful Tonight
  18. Promises
  19. I Can't Stand It


Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 7, 1995)
  • Original Release Date: March 7, 1995
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000001EEA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (162 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Scagnelli on May 17, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Clapton has a few diferent "best of" CDs, but this is the best. Clapton has an incredible amount of good material. This CD, however, covers most of the very best. It covers some of his songs with Cream. I would reccomend buying Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream, also. It has some of the best songs from Blind Faith and Derek And The Dominos, including Layla. Finally, it does a great job of covering alot of his solo songs up to 1980. Even though he has had alot of great stuff since then, the 60s and 70s were Clapton's best years. If you want one CD by Clapton, this is the one to buy.
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Format: Audio CD
****1/2
It is very hard to represent the very best of Clapton's career on one CD. However, this CD does a very excellent job of doing just that.
First, this compilation only covers the Polydor years (from I Feel Free by Cream up to I Can't Stand It from 1981). Therefore, later hits like Forever Man, and I've Got A Rock and Roll Heart (Warner Brothers) are not included.
Only one hit of any consequence is missing: Lay Down Sally. Strange Brew would have also been welcome, and After Midnight is presented as a single edit due to time constraints (the disc runs over 79 minutes.
Excellent liner notes plus superb sound makes this the one choice to own if you want only one Clapton CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Certainly this is the best release on the market that covers Clapton's 1968-1981 years. Nothing comes close. >>>HOWEVER>>>
Why has no one mentioned the abysmal sound quality of the first 5 cuts??? It is glaringly apparent that Polydor did NOT obtain anywhere close to first generation masters for the CREAM cuts. On this release they sound DREADFUL. Dull, muffled and sitting way back in the speakers. Particularly "Badge" which sounds like it was dubbed from a $19.95 Montgomery Wards cassette deck. <>
On the tracks which Polydor obviously had the masters to, cuts 6 on...this release sounds great, but because of the unforgivable taste of the sour cream..and the strange omission of "Lay Down Sally"...have to dock this from 5 to 3 stars.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here you'll find nineteen fantastic songs that tells the story of this musician who was once (and still is) called "God". Here are the best songs of a musician who calls himself a "blues guitarrist". In my opinion he's wrong. He's a guitarrist with his soul in the blues (Crossroads, Bell bottom blues) travelling through rock (Sunshine of your love, Cocaine), Reggae (I shot the seriff, Promises), romantic songs (Wonderful Tonight),... He is a great songwriter, who also performs songs from other people, as in Bob Dylan's Knockin' on heaven's door. If you don't know Eric Clapton, or if you want to have his best songs in one CD, this is it. And take my advice: if you're listening to it for the first time, pump up the volume and start from track 11, Layla. Then you'll know why he's so great.
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Format: Audio CD
"The Cream Of Clapton" chronicles Eric Clapton's 15-year stay with Polydor, and these 19 songs offer a very good overview of that period (1966-81), even if several good songs are obviously missing. But the CD runs for all of 79 minutes, and all the must-have classics are here: "Layla", "Bell Bottom Blues", "Wonderful Tonight", "Knockin' On Heaven's Door", "Blues Power", "Let It Grow" and five Cream tracks as well.
If you just want the very best (up until 1981, that is), this CD is a fine choice. It may even make you want to pick up the magnificent live album "Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert" and the superb box set "Crossroads"!
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Format: Audio CD
This album's title pun refers best to Eric Clapton's membership in Cream, rock's seminal power trio, then again as his best, best-known tracks from his first 15 years (1966-81) under Robert Stigwood's management with Atlantic/RSO Records. Either way, despite some omissions ("Lay Down Sally," "Only You Know and I Know" with Delaney & Bonnie), "The Cream of Clapton" is a classy, well-assembled one-disc collection from arguably classic rock's major solo figure.
Hard to believe most of the disc's first half covers but four years' recording. Clapton seemed to walk from one band to another leaving seminal rock anthems: Cream's five tracks from 1966-68 (omitting "Tales of Brave Ulysses"), Blind Faith's 1969 "Presence of the Lord," 1970's eternal "Layla" and "Bell Bottom Blues" with Derek & the Dominos remain definitve, howlingly personal experiences more than 30 years later. This is consistent with Clapton's love and understanding of blues as a means of personal expression.
"Anyone who has followed the traumatic experiences of Eric Clapton in the 1990s will know that he has an avalanche of experiences with which to draw," Clapton biographer Ray Coleman (who wrote my title quote) mentions in the liner notes. "And yet...he always did provide true individuality through his music to mark himself out as unrepeatable."
But the disc's second half, especially after 1974's #1 "I Shot The Sheriff" and the gleaming "Let It Grow," finds Clapton focusing on vocals and song interpretation over guitar playing.
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