Friday, 6 November 2009

Eric Clapton - August

Eric Clapton and Phil Collins joined together for a second collaborative effort with the November 1986 release August. They shared producing chores as Collins pop sensibilities combined with Clapton’s blues/rock foundation to provide a solid and satisfying listening experience.
The drumming and synthesizers may have been very eighties but they allowed room for Clapton’s guitar excursions. It may have been slicker and more polished than many of his past album releases, but it retained his signature sound.
Clapton assembled his usual collection of stellar backing musicians. Greg Phillinganes was back on board as the keyboardist and would become an important part of his touring band for the next several years. Saxophone player Michael Brecker, trumpet player Randy Brecker, and a couple of friends brought their brass sound to five of the tracks and were a welcome addition.
August would only reach number 37 on the American charts, but would continue to sell well for years and ultimately become one of his most commercial successes.
The songs roll smoothly into one another. “It’s The Way That You Use It,” co-written with Robbie Robertson, features a gritty vocal and excellent guitar solo. “Tearing Us Apart” contains a fine vocal by the legendary Tina Turner. “Taking A Chance” finds Clapton’s guitar floating over Phillinganes keyboards. All three tracks were hits on the American Mainstream Rock Charts and received considerable airplay.
“Run” and “Hung Up On Your Love” were both written by Motown soul artist and composer deluxe Lamont Dozier and receive a horn laden treatment in support of his classic guitar playing.
August may be a product of the eighties, but it is good eighties. It remains a good effort by one of rock music’s guitar gods.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Eric Clapton: Donates Personal Item

Rock and Roll Hall the 25th anniversary of Fame Concerts were less than a week away when headliner Eric Clapton pulled out because of gallbladder surgery. By now, we know that Mr. Clapton is recuperating nicely and that even in his absence, the concerts were memorable events. And yet, not everyone is glad. Entry on Eric Clapton's an October 24 facebook page states "I think that it sucks that you had to cancel your Rock and Roll Hall of Fame concert in NYC! We paid a small fortune for those tickets!" Even though this "fan" cannot feel Mr. Clapton's pain, he apparently feels hers.To everyone's surprise, Eric Clapton has announced that he will donate his gallbladder to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where it is expected to remain on permanent display. In a statement, Clapton declared "The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has long been the home of personal items like Buddy Holly's high school diploma. I am happy to donate this most personal item, an organ from my own body. Now, even though my fans cannot always see me, they will always be able to see part of me. It is my sincere hope that this will satisfy ya, and not slide on by ya."Dr. Hiram Ingraham, President of the Greater Cleveland Gastroenterology Society, offered praise reminiscent of Clapton's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist: "I want to send respect out to the gallbladder that quietly stored and secreted bile while great guitar solos were being created. I want to send respect out to the only gallbladder that attended every Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos concert. I want to send respect out to the only gallbladder to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times."In related news, Clapton's gallstone will be auctioned off by Christie's with proceeds to benefit BUTT, Before U Type, Think.