Archive for the ‘Eric Clapton’ Category
The Allman Brothers Band, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings (Mercury/UMe)
The four shows in March 1971 that made up the band’s legendary breakthrough album are presented in full for the first time, along with the group’s closing set at the Fillmore East that following June. The Blu-ray version features the material in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound.
Peggy Lipton, The Complete Ode Recordings / Gene Rains, Far Away Lands — The Exotic Music of Gene Rains /How to Stuff a Wild Bikini: Original Stereo Soundtrack / Cass Elliot, Don’t Call Me Mama Anymore Plus Rarities – Her Final Recordings / Dee Dee Warwick, The Complete Atco Recordings / The Shirelles, Happy and in Love/Shirelles / The Dream Academy, The Morning Lasted All Day — A Retrospective (Real Gone Music)
This diverse Real Gone set includes a compilation from underrated ’80s synthpop group The Dream Academy and recordings from Peggy Lipton, star of The Mod Squad; she covers the songs of Carole King, Laura Nyro, Brian Wilson and Tony Asher, Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and Jimmy Webb on this release, which has liner notes from our own Joe Marchese!
Peggy Lipton: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Gene Rains: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Wild Bikini: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Cass Elliot: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Dee Dee Warwick: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Shirelles: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
The Dream Academy: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.
Deep Purple, Hard Road: The Mark 1 Studio Recordings 1968-1969 (Parlophone U.K.)
The legendary bluesman and some famous friends (Tom Petty, Willie Nelson, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer) pay tribute to the late blues singer-songwriter on this new album.
This anthology collects the complete recordings of L.C. Cooke for his older brother Sam’s SAR Records label, including one complete shelved album produced and largely written by Sam, plus alternate takes, unreleased tracks, session chatter and bonus recordings from the Checker and Destination labels! Musicians include Bobby and Cecil Womack, Billy Preston and “Pink Panther” saxophonist Plas Johnson! (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Big Break has three more R&B classics arriving on CD this week including the first post-5th Dimension album from Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. featuring their smash “You Don’t Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show).”
Here’s the only collection approved for listening by The Star Lord! This indeed-awesome all-catalogue mix includes vintage cuts from The Jackson 5, The Raspberries, David Bowie, The Runaways, Blue Swede, Rupert Holmes and more – all but one of which (Norman Greenbaum’s immortal “Spirit in the Sky”) play key roles in the Marvel blockbuster-to-be! Also available as part of a 2CD or 2LP deluxe edition also including the film’s orchestral score by Tyler Bates!
This two-disc set from the late ’90s/early ’00s boy band lives up to its name for fans, featuring all the great hits (“Bye Bye Bye,” “Tearin’ Up My Heart,” “Pop”) plus a myriad of rarities from compilations, soundtracks and international pressings. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
A sequel of sorts to the Record Store Day single co-produced by our own Mike Duquette, this is a straight reissue of the original soundtrack, newly remastered for vinyl. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Call Him The Breeze: Clapton and Friends Celebrate Music of J.J. Cale On New Album, Exclusive Box Set
In 2006, Eric Clapton teamed with singer-songwriter J.J. Cale for the collaborative album The Road to Escondido. The guitar god had long been a fan and patron of Cale’s; he included “After Midnight” on his 1970 solo debut and took “Cocaine” to the Top 30 in 1977. Escondido earned both men a Grammy for Best Contemporary Blues Album, and it would prove to be among Cale’s final recordings. He released the album Roll On in 2009, featuring Clapton on its title track. Then, in 2013, Cale passed away at the age of 74. On July 29, Clapton pays homage to his old friend with The Breeze: An Appreciation of J.J. Cale. In the spirit of The Road to Escondido, Clapton has called on pals and admirers alike to celebrate Cale’s legacy, among them Tom Petty, Mark Knopfler, Willie Nelson, Derek Trucks and John Mayer. The Bushbranch/Surfdog Records release is being paired in a special online-exclusive box set with a disc of Cale’s original songs as covered on the new record, including three previously unissued tracks, as well as a special USB stick and more special content.
The Breeze takes its title from “Call Me the Breeze,” which Cale first recorded on his own solo debut, 1972’s Naturally. The song was picked up by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Johnny Cash, Bobby Bare and John Mayer; Clapton tackles it himself on The Breeze. Mayer joins Clapton on the new album for another Naturally tune, “Magnolia,” as well as for “Lies” (from 1973’s Really) and “Don’t Wait” (from 1982’s Grasshopper). Tom Petty, whose latest album with The Heartbreakers also arrives this summer, handles “Rock and Roll Records,” “The Old Man and Me” and “I Got the Same Old Blues,” all from 1974’s Okie. (Petty and his band covered the Okie track “I’d Like to Love You Baby” in concert, leading to its inclusion on their 2009 Live Anthology.) Cale’s country-blues style also appealed to Willie Nelson, who appears on The Breeze with “Starbound” from Okie and the previously unheard “Songbird.” Willie is supported on the former by The Allman Brothers Band’s Derek Trucks, who also is represented by “Crying Eyes” from Naturally.
Another guitar virtuoso, Mark Knopfler, is featured on two more previously unreleased Cale songs, “Someday” and “Train to Nowhere” with Don White. Cale helped White form his first band and played guitar in that unit; White pays tribute to his friend and mentor with two more tracks, as well – “Sensitive Kind” and “I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me),” from 5 and Okie, respectively.
After the jump, we have full specs on the box set plus track listings, order links and more! Read the rest of this entry »
Hi-Rez Round-Up: Audio Fidelity Plans Clapton, Butterfield Reissues; Mobile Fidelity Does Sinatra, Chicago, Hall and Oates
All that glitters is not (necessarily) gold. Two of the U.S.’ preeminent audiophile labels, Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab and Audio Fidelity – the latter a successor to DCC Compact Classics – made their name on Gold CDs, and have in recent years made the gradual change to hybrid stereo SACDs. These discs, playable on all CD players in standard CD quality, are remastered to the same high standard as the gold releases but also give consumers with SACD playback capabilities the opportunity to listen in high-resolution, superior-to-CD sound. Both Mobile Fidelity and Audio Fidelity have been busy in 2014. The former label has released, or will release, hybrid SACDs from Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Chicago, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Los Lobos and Daryl Hall and John Oates; the latter label has just offered titles from Heart, Jon Anderson, Alice Cooper and Peter, Paul and Mary, and has announced forthcoming releases from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Eric Clapton.
Though Mobile Fidelity has made the gradual switch to the SACD format, Audio Fidelity has recently issued a statement confirming that the label will no longer manufacture 24K Gold CDs. Label founder Marshall Blonstein has written in an email to subscribers of AF’s limited edition series that “as many of you know, over the past months we have had many delays with our 24K release schedule. Primarily it’s been due to the inability of our manufacturer to secure the gold target necessary to make 24K discs. Since 2013, we’ve responded to the encouragement of many of our fans and friends by converting to the Hybrid SACD format.”
Blonstein continues, “Though it’s possible in the future we could release 24K titles, it’s not likely. We’ve made this decision after a lot of thought and realistic evaluation of market conditions – our 24K manufacturer is unable to assure us that in the future they would be able to deliver the product you expect and we demand. Meanwhile, we’re having a great run with our Hybrid SACD titles, our brand remains intact and our unique and appealing slipcase packaging remains consistent with our tradition.
So, it is with great sadness we are informing you that we will leave an old friend, our 24K Gold disc behind, but with also with great joy, knowing that we are moving forward with a much more consistent and broadly appealing format.”
After the jump, we’ll take a look at the recent release slate from both Audio Fidelity and Mobile Fidelity! Read the rest of this entry »
Bob Dylan’s 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration, held on October 16, 1992 at New York’s Madison Square Garden to mark Dylan’s Columbia Records debut, could have been a valedictory. The 51-year old honoree and participant was nearly at the halfway point of a self-imposed sabbatical from writing and recording original songs; it would last seven years, from 1990 to 1997. He had not had an album reach the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 since 1983’s Infidels and hadn’t cracked the Top 5 since 1979’s Slow Train Coming. When Good as I Been to You, a collection of traditional tunes and standards, arrived in stores just a couple of weeks after the concert, it was the artist’s first solo acoustic album since 1964. Was the artist who once challenged convention with alarming regularity now succumbing to it, resting on his laurels while his famous friends saluted him? One could have been forgiven for coming to that conclusion. But the concert dubbed by participant Neil Young as “Bobfest” proved conclusively that the Bob Dylan songbook was as enshrined in the cultural consciousness as any of the classic songs Dylan had taken to recording of late. His songs still had the power to shock, to entertain, to incisively observe upon the world and the human condition. Columbia Records issued the concert as a 2-CD set and on VHS; now, both the audio and video components have received, shall we say, a 22nd anniversary update and upgrade from Legacy Recordings. With Dylan more venerated than ever, on the heels of a remarkable “comeback” that began in 1997 and hasn’t abated since, the timing couldn’t be better.
It’s striking in equal measure to note how many of the artists featured on Concert Celebration are still going strong, like Dylan, and how many have moved onto the next world. Of the former, Stevie Wonder, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Roger McGuinn and Tom Petty all now possess “living legend” status. There’s an overwhelmingly bittersweet quality, however, savoring the performances by Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, George Harrison, Richie Havens, Levon Helm and Rick Danko, Tommy Makem and Bobby, Liam and Paddy Clancy, Howie Epstein of The Heartbreakers and Donald “Duck” Dunn.
Underscoring the adaptable nature of Dylan’s singular songs, the genres of rock, folk, country and even R&B all earned a spot at the Garden that evening. Naturally for any such concert retrospective, a number of artists reprised past triumphs with an older and wiser sensibility to mark their own shared history with Dylan: Stevie Wonder with his 1966 hit version of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Johnny and June Carter Cash with their 1965 Top 5 Country romp through “It Ain’t Me Babe” (enlivened by Mickey Raphael’s harmonica), Roger McGuinn and his 12-string Rickenbacker (plus Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers!) with The Byrds’ chart-topping “Mr. Tambourine Man,” folk hero Richie Havens with “Just Like a Woman,” a staple of his repertoire since the 1960s. The O’Jays liked Dylan’s “Emotionally Yours” so much that they named a 1991 album after the song and recorded it twice on that LP – once in an R&B Version and once in a Gospel Version. The latter raised the rafters at the Garden, thanks to the chorus featuring, among others, Cissy Houston and the pre-fame Sheryl Crow. Sans Robbie Robertson, Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson of The Band invested “When I Paint My Masterpiece” with appropriate, ironic optimism.
Other headliners also had one foot in the past, honoring the original performances of the songs via their faithful renditions. John Mellencamp even enlisted Al Kooper to revisit his famous organ part on a rip-roaring, concert-opening “Like a Rolling Stone.” Rosanne Cash, Shawn Colvin and Mary-Chapin Carpenter revived the folk-rock spirit of The Byrds on “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” Eddie Vedder, on vocals, and Mike McCready, on guitar, tackled the acoustic “Masters of War” (“Even Jesus would never forgive what you do”) and did full justice to its lacerating, unforgiving lyrics (“I’ll stand on your grave ‘til I’m sure that you’re dead”).
Click on the jump to keep reading! Read the rest of this entry »
Eric Clapton is big on giving back. The guitar god founded Antigua’s Crossroads Centre for the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction in 1998, and in 2004, spearheaded the creation of the Crossroads Eric Clapton Guitar Festival to benefit the facility of the same name. Since that first ’04 fest, Crossroads Festivals have taken place every three years, in 2007, 2010 and 2013. Highlights from the 2013 shows, which took place on April 12 and 13 at New York’s famed Madison Square Garden, are now available on CD, DVD and Blu-ray Disc from Rhino.
Headlined of course by Clapton, the first Crossroads Festival was held in Dallas, Texas and endeavored to represent instrumentalists from the blues, rock, country and even jazz realms. The festival featured such diverse guitar greats as Jeff Beck, J.J. Cale, Bo Diddley, B.B. King, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana as well as singer-songwriters like Vince Gill, Sheryl Crow, James Taylor and the up-and-coming John Mayer, as well as bands like Booker T and the MG’s, Styx and ZZ Top. The 2013 line-up welcomed back many artists who had played at that very first event (and subsequent ones) such as B.B. King, Booker T. Jones, Jeff Beck, John Mayer, Robert Randolph, Robert Cray, Vince Gill, Buddy Guy, Doyle Bramhall II, Jimmie Vaughan and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. Other performers included Keith Richards, Earl Klugh, Gary Clark Jr., Keith Urban, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal.
The DVD and BD releases present 45 songs from both evenings of Crossroads 2013 in director Martyn Atkins’ concert film, playable in either stereo or 5.1 surround. The CD edition boasts 29 tracks on two discs. In all formats you’ll get Clapton’s performances of signature songs “Tears in Heaven,” “Sunshine of Your Love,” “Got to Get Better in a Little While” and some collaborations: “Lay Down Sally” with Gill, “Key to the Highway” with moonlighting Glimmer Twin Richards, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Bad” with the Allman Brothers Band, and “Gin House Blues” on which he accompanies Andy Fairweather-Low. The DVD/BD releases add Clapton’s “Crossroads,” “Spider Jiving” with Fairweather-Low, “Big Road Blues” with Kurt Rosenwinkel, “Everyday I Have the Blues” with B.B. King, Jimmie Vaughan and The Robert Cray Band, and Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” with The Band’s Robbie Robertson.
All-star duets are often among the most tantalizing aspects of benefit concert performances, and Crossroads 2013 is no exception. In addition to the previously mentioned Clapton duets, the Crossroads CD includes such collaborations as John Mayer and Keith Urban on The Beatles’ “Don’t Let Me Down,” Mayer and Doyle Bramhall II on “Change It,” Vince Gill with Albert Lee on “I Ain’t Living Long Like This,” Taj Mahal and Keb’ Mo’ on “Diving Duck Blues,” and a jam on the stone-cold Stax classic “Green Onions” with Booker T. Jones and Steve Cropper joined by Keb’ Mo’, Blake Mills, Matt “Guitar” Murphy and Albert Lee. Of course, there’s more on the DVD/BD such as the same group doing Jones’ “Born Under a Bad Sign,” Booker T and Cropper’s “Green Onions,” and Gill, Urban and Lee doing The Rolling Stones’ “Tumbling Dice.”
After the jump: more on Crossroads, including full track listings and order links for each format! Read the rest of this entry »
Eric Clapton, Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings (Polydor/UMe)
One of Clapton’s most prolific periods is revisited with this six-disc box, featuring expanded versions of 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974), There’s One in Every Crowd (1975), a remixed and expanded double-disc version of live album E.C. Was Here (1975), a disc of sessions at Criteria Studios with blues legend Freddie King and a Blu-Ray featuring new 5.1 surround and original quadrophonic mixes. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Jellyfish, Radio Jellyfish (Omnivore)
Join the fan club! The power-pop cult legends took a stripped-down approach for a 1993 radio tour, and we now get to enjoy these performances for its first official release.
John Mellencamp, John Mellencamp 1978-2012 (Mercury/UMe)
All of Mellencamp’s official studio albums for Riva, Mercury, Columbia and Rounder – from 1979’s John Cougar to 2010’s No Better Than This – plus the out-of-print soundtrack to his 1992 acting and directorial debut, Falling from Grace. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
The Velvet Underground, White Light/White Heat: 45th Anniversary Deluxe Edition (Polydor/UMe)
The VU’s second album gets the deluxe treatment as a triple-disc set, featuring the album in mono and stereo with 11 bonus tracks, plus a third disc recorded live at New York’s Gymnasium in 1967. (A double-disc version omits the mono disc.)
Neil Young, Live At The Cellar Door (Reprise)
A previously-unreleased disc culled from Young’s late-1970 run at the small Washington, D.C. club – the latest in his ongoing Archive Performance Series.
Thomas Newman, Saving Mr. Banks: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Walt Disney Records)
The deluxe version of this new release – from a new Disney film telling the tale of how Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) brought P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson)’s classic children’s novels to the screen – contains never-before-released “pre-demos” from the original 1964 film! (In the U.K., those demos are available on a new double-disc reissue of the original Mary Poppins soundtrack.)
Various Artists, The Complete Motown Singles Volume 12B: 1972 (Hip-O Select/Motown)
Various Artists, Verve – The Sound of America: The Singles Collection (Verve/UMe)
La-La Land never fails to amaze when it comes to Black Friday. The soundtrack label often saves some of its biggest and highest-profile titles for announcements on the shopping weekend (see 2010, 2011 and 2012) – and this year is no different, with two premiere releases of acclaimed scores, an expanded edition of a superhero sequel and a box set devoted to one of the biggest action film franchises of all time.
First up: call them slobs, call them jerks, call them gross – just don’t call them when you’re in trouble! Officers Mahoney, Thompson, Jones, Martin, Tackleberry, Barbara and Hightower (plus the reluctant Lt. Harris) were the misfit newbie cops in the 1984 comedy Police Academy, starring Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, Michael Winslow and Bubba Smith – and while the series is perhaps best known for the increasingly madcap sequels it never seemed to stop spawning (the seventh film in the series bowed in 1994), its score by Robert Folk has long been in high demand. Now, for the first time, enjoy every cue from the film, including the unforgettably jaunty march for the recruits, and even Jean-Marc Dompierre and His Orchestra’s “El Bimbo,” a source cue that scores a classic gag in the unforgettable Blue Oyster Bar. LLL’s release is limited to 3,000 units.
Russian-born composer Dimitri Tiomkin was a master of the Western film score (hear his work on High Noon for definitive proof), and one of his greatest achievements, the score to John Sturges’ Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (1957), is finally available on CD in a 2,ooo-unit pressing. Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas’ Hollywoodized portrayals of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday didn’t teach anyone facts about the real event, but it sure made for some great genre entertainment. This lengthy disc features the complete score in mono, with eight bonus stereo cues, source music and demos of the classic title song, originally sung by Frankie Laine but covered here by both singing cowboy/Disney voice actor Rex Allen and Bob Hope/USO sideman Tony Romano. Laine’s recording is, of course, also included and in fact opens the album.
After the jump, a trio of men of steel and some of their most iconic music!
Eric Clapton, Unplugged: Expanded and Remastered Edition (Reprise/Rhino)
The guitar god’s ’90s comeback was done on an acoustic. The Grammy-winning, best-selling album and the acclaimed episode of MTV Unplugged from which it was taken are paired up and considerably expanded, more than two decades later. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
King Crimson, The Road to Red (Panegyric)
Holy crumbs, this 21CD/1DVD/2BD set is a massive tribute to King Crimson’s Red album, including new stereo and surround mixes of the album and 16 soundboard-quality live sets in a box that puts the deluxe edition concept in its place. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Paul Simon, The Complete Albums Collection / Over the Bridge of Time: A Retrospective (1964-2011) (Legacy)
American tunes shine on both this exhaustive box set of Simon’s solo career, featuring expanded editions of all of his studio albums (including the U.K.-only The Paul Simon Song Book from 1964 and both Rhino and Legacy-era bonus tracks on Graceland), as well as the double-live Paul Simon’s Concert in the Park and 2011’s acclaimed So Beautiful or So What. A single-disc compilation boils his career down to its basest elements, from Simon & Garfunkel to the present.
One of only two releases in the short but incredible lifetime of this New Orleans pianist, the man who mentored Dr. John and Harry Connick, Jr. is the focus of a new documentary – and this, his last proper studio album, is greatly expanded and remixed for a new generation to enjoy.
ABBA, Ring Ring: Deluxe Edition (Polydor/Universal U.K.)
Various Artists, The Organization of Pop: Music from the First Thirty Years of ZTT Records (ZTT/Razor & Tie)
A double-disc compilation – the first in ZTT’s new U.S. distribution deal with Razor & Tie – featuring hits from Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Buggles, The Art of Noise, Seal and more. (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)
Al Hirt, The Sound of Christmas (Friday Music/Relayer)
Basia / Deborah Cox / Taylor Dayne / Exposé / Lita Ford / The Jeff Healey Band / The Jimi Hendrix Experience / Incubus / MercyMe / Mobb Deep / The Alan Parsons Project / The Partridge Family, Playlist: The Very Best Of (Legacy)
Another wave of the ol’ reliable series from Legacy. Key points: rare original single mixes abound on Basia, Deborah Cox, Taylor Dayne and Exposé’s volumes; Hendrix’s is a converted version of the famed Smash Hits compilation, and Partridge fans will enjoy the first-ever release of “Breaking Up is Hard to Do” in stereo. All Amazon U.S. links are posted above!
Deep Purple, The Complete Albums 1970-1976 (Warner Bros./Rhino)
Back to Ocean Boulevard: Eric Clapton’s “Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings” Expands Three Vintage Albums
November 26 December 10, Universal Music Group will unveil the 5-CD/1-Blu-ray box Eric Clapton – Give Me Strength: The ’74/’75 Recordings, featuring remastered and expanded versions of 461 Ocean Boulevard, There’s One in Every Crowd and E.C. Was Here, plus additional material and a Blu-ray of surround mixes. Housed in a hardbound 60-page book, the box set is an exhaustive compendium of Clapton’s seminal “comeback” recordings between April 1974 and June 1975. Give Me Strength follows Universal’s past boxes dedicated to Derek and the Dominos’ Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and Clapton’s 1977 Slowhand, and includes:
- 88 remastered, remixed, rare unreleased and live recordings, including session outtakes, from studio albums 461 Ocean Boulevard and There’s One in Every Crowd, and live album E.C. Was Here on 5 CDs;
- A new, never-before-released 5.1 surround sound mix of 461 Ocean Boulevard by Elliot Scheiner, and original quadraphonic mixes of 461 Ocean Boulevard and There’s One in Every Crowd.
When Clapton scored in 1974 with 461 Ocean Boulevard and its chart-topping single “I Shot the Sheriff,” both on Robert Stigwood’s RSO label, the guitar god was emerging from a period of relative inactivity. Following the November 1970 release of Derek and the Dominos’ sole long-player Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and the ensuing tour at the end of that year, Clapton kept a low profile for much of 1971 and 1972 to battle an ongoing drug problem. (His participation in The Concert for Bangla Desh was one appearance during that dark period.) Two January 1973 concerts yielded the September release of Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert, on which he was joined by fellow rock royalty including Pete Townshend, Ronnie Wood, Ric Grech, Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi. In early 1974, he found time to appear in Ken Russell’s starry film adaptation of Townshend’s Tommy. But Clapton signaled that he truly was out of the darkness – for the time being, at least – with the arrival of 461 Ocean Boulevard, so named for a Golden Beach, Florida residence where the cover photograph was shot.
We have plenty more after the jump, including the full track listing and pre-order links! Read the rest of this entry »
When Clapton took to an intimate stage at Windsor’s Bray Film Studios in January 1992 for MTV’s Unplugged, he was already an unabashed master of his craft. But he was a man in transition: the ’80s saw him embracing mainstream pop on albums like August and Journeyman, and some quietly wondered if he’d ever revisit the blues tunes he so successfully introduced to the masses.
Then in 1991, an unthinkable tragedy happened: Clapton’s four-year-old son, Conor, fell from the window of a New York apartment and died. The heartbroken father laid his emotions bare on a new song, “Tears in Heaven,” first released on the soundtrack to the film Rush, was out barely a week when Clapton played it for Unplugged – and the feeling was just as raw as the studio version.
“Tears in Heaven” was one of many highlights of Unplugged, a set which saw Clapton tackle his old blues favorites (“Before You Accuse Me,” “Alberta,” “Malted Milk”) as well as a dramatic reworking of Derek & The Dominos’ fiery “Layla.” Both “Layla” and “Tears in Heaven” were Top 20 hits, and the album was a massive success, topping the Billboard charts, certified diamond by the Recording Industry Association of America for over 10 million copies shipped, and winner of six Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year, Album of the Year and Song of the Year.
An album this big deserves some classy treatment, and the expanded, triple-disc Unplugged looks like it delivers. In addition to the original album, a six-track bonus disc of rehearsal takes is included, featuring “Big Maceo” Merriweather’s “Worried Life Blues,” and originals “Circus” and “My Father’s Eyes,” later released on 1998’s Pilgrim. A bonus DVD features both the original MTV Unplugged feature and 14 rehearsal tracks recorded in addition to the final set.
The expanded Unplugged hits stores October 15. Pre-order links are not yet live, but the full track list is after the jump!