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461 Ocean Boulevard [Remastered] Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 160 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, August 20, 1996
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Product Description

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!

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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
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 20, 1996)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000002G89
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,561 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
After all these years, I still believe that "461 Ocean Boulevard" is Clapton's best solo album. I will readily admit I'm not such a big fan of the more recent blues albums such as "Me and Mr. Johnson", which I thought was rather dull, as well intentioned as it was. But I digress.

"461 Ocean Boulevard - Deluxe Edition" has grown from the original 40 min. album to an exquisite 2CD spread (26 tracks, 142 min.), and quite comfortably at that. CD1 (15 tracks, 69 min.) brings of course the original 10 tracks, and they still sparkle today as they did 30 years ago. The remastered sound is fantastic. It has of course the hits "I Shot the Sheriff", "Willie and the Hand Jive", and "Motherless Children" (all from the original Side 1), but there really are no weak songs here. Other classics include "Let It Grow", the pensive "I Can't Hold Out", and the album closer "Mainline Florida". The 5 bonus tracks are session out-takes from the album recordings, they have appeared elsewhere before on various compilations such as "Crossroads", but are grouped together here for the first time. My fave of them is "Meet Me (At the Bottom)", a mostly instrumental jam session. CD2 (11 tracks, 73 min.) is a live album, recorded in London at the end of the 461 Ocean Blvd tour in December, 1974. After the announcer's "Well Ladies and Gentlemen, this is it, the last show of the tour, please welcome Mr. Eric Clapton and his band!", we're in for a treat. Only 3 of the 11 tracks have appeared before on the Crossroads compilations. The highlights are many, including "Let It Grow", the Steve Winwood cover "Can't Find My Way Home", a rousing "Tell the Truth", the Jimi Hendrickx cover "Little Wing", and the closer "Let It Rain", with at the end EC simply saying "bye bye, thank you" to an elated audience.
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Format: DVD Audio
I have just finished listening to the DTS 5.1 mix of Eric Clapton's 461 Ocean Boulevard. This mix actually puts you in the middle of the music and makes you feel as if you are in the studio with the musicians. This is a fine album from Clapton, but the best thing is the 5.1 remastering. I could hear more depth on this version of the CD than I've ever heard before. You can't go wrong with this CD, a great album for the first time Clapton buyer or those just venturing into the wonderful world of DTS.
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Format: DVD Audio
Eric Clapton's solo career has been a series of ups and downs. Among the former, none is better than "461 Ocean Boulevard," which is one of the best rock albums of the 1970s. The big hits were the ace covers of Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" and Johnny Otis's "Willy and the Hand Jive." Other classic songs include "Motherless Children," "Get Ready," "Let it Grow" and the rockin' "Mainline Florida." This is not Clapton's most jamming album, but it features the strongest and most diverse set of songs he ever recorded. His backing band is first rate as well. Overall, a must have for Clapton fans as well as fans of 70s rock.
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By scomoore on November 22, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The SACD version of "461 Ocean Boulevard" does sound much better than the CD version. With the surround mix, the separation of the music and the broader soundstage really helps compared to the CD.

However, the surround mix itself is inconsistent. It seems like they were going for an immersive sound stage, but the results are hit and miss.

Right from the start, 'Motherless Children' starts off sounding like the left/right channels are just duplicated in the surrounds, with even the main drum track in the surrounds too. Then in the middle of the song the surrounds contain only what sound like the 3rd and 4th guitar parts. Not sure what happened.

Other songs sound better from a surround standpoint, especially 'Willie and the Hand Jive' and 'Let it Grow,' but everything else in between sounds uninspired.

The most disappointing of all is 'Mainline Florida.' With it's layered guitar parts and keyboards, it should have been the best. But everything sounds shoved together in the front channels with the surrounds being an afterthought.

The extra tracks on the SACD deserve mention, because all three are great songs. The last one, 'Meet Me (Down at the Bottom),' also rates as one of the highlights of the disc from a surround presentation standpoint.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to confess that, while I love Clapton, his albums are often a hit-and-miss affair. And I can't say I am a fan of the numerous recent blues tribute albums he has put out lately. For me I enjoy his work with Cream, his guest work, his first few albums, the one he recorded with The Band, a few older live albums, and bits of the Phil Collins-produced record in the early 80s. After that it's a fall-off, but I am thankful for all the great music he has turned out over the years.

I have been listening to 461 a lot lately. It holds up exceedingly well. The groove is laid-back, with solid musicianship and expert song selection. It makes for great road music, especially "Willie and the Hand Jive," "I Shot the Sheriff," and the classic closer, "Mainline Florida."

The ballads are beautiful, too. There is not a weak track on the album. There is a consistent tone, an aversion to excess and a concentration on the note and harmonic "fit" that makes this album an overall winner in EC's catalog. As someone who used to party in EC's old house at 461 Ocean Boulevard in Golden Beach in the early 80s, let me say -- you did it (and us) proud.
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