By 1974 Eric Clapton had overcome some of the problems that had been troubling him in recent years, most notably kicking his heroin addiction. He then put together a new band, consisting of singer Yvonne Elliman, guitarist George Terry, keyboardist Dick Simms, drummer Jaimie Oldaker and bassist Carl Radle (a bandmate from Derek & The Dominos). They went to Miami to record new material, and the album 461 Ocean Boulevard came out later that year. It moved away from long, drawn out solos and instead featured shorter, more compact songs, with a laid back, rootsy blues-rock vibe (no doubt modelled after the work of JJ Cale, of whom Clapton had been an admirer since he covered "After Midnight" back in 1970). The songs included covers of Johnny Otis' "Willie & The Hand Jive", Elmore James' "I Can't Hold Out", Robert Johnson's "Steady Rolling Man", the traditional blues "Motherless Children", and a few good originals. But the standout track saw Clapton switch gears to reggae, with a cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "I Shot The Sheriff". Released as a single, it became a #1 US hit, and went a long way in helping introduce the work of Bob Marley to an international audience.
The album itself was very successful, getting to #3 in the UK and #1 in the US, and signalling the start of a new chapter in Clapton's career. Still today it is regarded as one of his finest solo albums.
Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (1973) <|> There's One In Every Crowd (1975)
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