Slowhand

Performers Eric Clapton

Polydor | December 11, 2012 | Compact Disc

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After the guest star-drenched No Reason to Cry failed to make much of an impact commercially, Eric Clapton returned to using his own band for Slowhand. The difference is substantial -- where No Reason to Cry struggled hard to find the right tone, Slowhand opens with the relaxed, bluesy shuffle of J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" and sustains it throughout the course of the album. Alternating between straight blues ("Mean Old Frisco"), country ("Lay Down Sally"), mainstream rock ("Cocaine," "The Core"), and pop ("Wonderful Tonight"), Slowhand doesn't sound schizophrenic because of the band's grasp of the material. This is laid-back virtuosity -- although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album's eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as Eric Clapton's best albums. [Somehow Slowhand missed the wave of Eric Clapton Deluxe Editions in the early 2000s, so it was ripe for picking when Super Deluxe Editions became the thing in the early 2010s. And so we have the Super Deluxe 35th Anniversary Edition of Eric Clapton's 1977 album Slowhand, a perfectly likable album -- by most measures one of Clapton's best -- ballooned to an absurd four CDs, single DVD, and vinyl LP, complete with the standard in-depth book, publicity stills, replicas of tour programs, and other tchotchkes. The first CD is a remastered version of the original album expanded by four songs ("Looking at the Rain," "Alberta," "Greyhound Bus," "Stars, Strays and Ashtrays") and the other two CDs are devoted to a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon from April 27, 1977, performed just days before the album's recording; for the standard-issue Deluxe Edition, this concert is excerpted for a bonus disc attached to the expanded edition of the album. Then, there's the standard issue of Slowhand -- no bonus tracks, just the original nine songs -- presented in 5.1 DVD-Audio, and the album is once again heard as a vinyl LP. Certainly, there are several hardcore fans of Slowhand who will find all this worthwhile, but for most Clapton devotees, this is overkill. All the essential material is on that double-disc Deluxe Edition; the stuff that makes it Super is fluff.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: December 11, 2012

Number of Discs: 5

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Label Name: Polydor

UPC: 600753407257

Found in: General

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$82.70

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Slowhand

Slowhand

Performers Eric Clapton

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: December 11, 2012

Number of Discs: 5

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Label Name: Polydor

UPC: 600753407257


Title Track Time
1.Cocaine --
2.Wonderful Tonight --
3.Lay Down Sally --
4.Next Time You See Her --
5.We're All the Way --
6.Core --
7.May You Never --
8.Mean Old Frisco --
9.Peaches and Diesel --
10.Looking at the Rain --
11.Alberta --
12.Greyhound Bus --
13.Stars, Strays and Ashtrays --
1.Cocaine [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
2.Wonderful Tonight [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
3.Lay Down Sally [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
4.Next Time You See Her [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
5.We're All the Way [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
6.Core [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
7.May You Never [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
8.Mean Old Frisco [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
9.Peaches and Diesel [Hi-Resolution Stereo] --
10.Cocaine [5.1 Surround Sound] --
11.Wonderful Tonight [5.1 Surround Sound] --
12.Lay Down Sally [5.1 Surround Sound] --
13.Next Time You See Her [5.1 Surround Sound] --
14.We're All the Way [5.1 Surround Sound] --
15.Core [5.1 Surround Sound] --
16.May You Never [5.1 Surround Sound] --
17.Mean Old Frisco [5.1 Surround Sound] --
18.Peaches and Diesel [5.1 Surround Sound] --
1.Hello Old Friend --
2.Sign Language --
3.Alberta --
4.Tell the Truth --
5.Knocking on Heaven's Door --
6.Steady Rolling Man --
7.Can't Find My Way Home --
8.Further on Up the Road --
9.Stormy Monday --
1.Badge --
2.Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out --
3.I Shot the Sheriff --
4.Layla --
5.Key to the Highway --
1.Cocaine --
2.Wonderful Tonight --
3.Lay Down Sally --
4.Next Time You See Her --
5.We're All the Way --
6.Core --
7.May You Never --
8.Mean Old Frisco --
9.Peaches and Diesel --

Editorial Notes

After the guest star-drenched No Reason to Cry failed to make much of an impact commercially, Eric Clapton returned to using his own band for Slowhand. The difference is substantial -- where No Reason to Cry struggled hard to find the right tone, Slowhand opens with the relaxed, bluesy shuffle of J.J. Cale's "Cocaine" and sustains it throughout the course of the album. Alternating between straight blues ("Mean Old Frisco"), country ("Lay Down Sally"), mainstream rock ("Cocaine," "The Core"), and pop ("Wonderful Tonight"), Slowhand doesn't sound schizophrenic because of the band's grasp of the material. This is laid-back virtuosity -- although Clapton and his band are never flashy, their playing is masterful and assured. That assurance and the album's eclectic material make Slowhand rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as Eric Clapton's best albums. [Somehow Slowhand missed the wave of Eric Clapton Deluxe Editions in the early 2000s, so it was ripe for picking when Super Deluxe Editions became the thing in the early 2010s. And so we have the Super Deluxe 35th Anniversary Edition of Eric Clapton's 1977 album Slowhand, a perfectly likable album -- by most measures one of Clapton's best -- ballooned to an absurd four CDs, single DVD, and vinyl LP, complete with the standard in-depth book, publicity stills, replicas of tour programs, and other tchotchkes. The first CD is a remastered version of the original album expanded by four songs ("Looking at the Rain," "Alberta," "Greyhound Bus," "Stars, Strays and Ashtrays") and the other two CDs are devoted to a concert at the Hammersmith Odeon from April 27, 1977, performed just days before the album's recording; for the standard-issue Deluxe Edition, this concert is excerpted for a bonus disc attached to the expanded edition of the album. Then, there's the standard issue of Slowhand -- no bonus tracks, just the original nine songs -- presented in 5.1 DVD-Audio, and the album is once again heard as a vinyl LP. Certainly, there are several hardcore fans of Slowhand who will find all this worthwhile, but for most Clapton devotees, this is overkill. All the essential material is on that double-disc Deluxe Edition; the stuff that makes it Super is fluff.] ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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