LOS ANGELES (UMe Records) - In celebration of the 30th anniversary of Eric Clapton's first solo gold album, first solo gold single, first solo No 1 album and first solo No 1 single, the two-CD Deluxe
Edition of 461 Ocean Boulevard (Polydor/UMe), will be released on October 26, 2004.
Disc One features the original album completely digitally remastered, including its hits "I Shot The Sheriff" and "Willie And The Hand Jive," plus session outtakes of five tracks not on the 1974 LP: "Walkin' Down The Road," "Ain't That Lovin' You," "Meet Me (Down At The Bottom)," "Eric After Hours Blues" and "B Minor Jam."
Disc Two is perhaps the highlight of this Deluxe Edition. Culled from Clapton's concerts at Hammersmith Odeon, London December 4-5, 1974, the 11 tracks include eight previously unreleased live and scorching performances: "Smile," "Let It Grow," "Can't Find My Way Home," "Tell The Truth," "Singing The Blues," "Badge," "Let It Rain" and "Layla." Previously issued are the concert performances of "I Shot The Sheriff," "Little Wing," and a medley of "The Sky Is Cryin'," "Ramblin' On My Mind," and "Have You Ever Loved A Woman."
With 16 Grammys to his credit and the only three-time inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of Cream and of the Yardbirds, and as a solo artist), Clapton is one of the most admired and honored guitarists of the rock generation. Yet he was enormously reluctant to launch a solo career.
His self-titled 1970 solo debut embraced an organic rock/R&B/gospel rootsy vibe that grew out of his touring with Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, but then he left the solo spotlight to form Derek and the Dominos with Delaney & Bonnie alums Bobby Whitlock (organ), Carl Radle (bass) and Jim Gordon (drums).
Finally, after years of struggle with heroin addiction, Clapton returned to his solo career with his second studio outing, 461 Ocean Boulevard. Produced by Tom Dowd in a relaxed Miami atmosphere, the album went gold and hit No 1 on the charts.
Clapton's reading of Bob Marley's outlaw anthem "I Shot The Sheriff," which served as many American listeners' first exposure to reggae, soared to No 1 on pop charts and Top 40 R&B and also went gold. Johnny Otis' "Willie And The Hand Jive" reached the pop Top 30. Other standout tracks include the gentle Clapton original "Let It Grow" and the traditional blues "Motherless Children."
461 Ocean Boulevard remains an extraordinary Clapton album - bluesy yet eclectic, laidback yet emotional. Few albums have matched its musical achievement.