Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eric Clapton - Journeyman; final entry of his three great albums from the late eighties

Pound for pound, Eric Clapton's best one-record album.  As I have written here before, this record - the aptly named Journeyman (from 1989) - it is the last in what I refer to as his Late Eighties Rock Trilogy.  Those are some of my favorite albums of his.  To me - they give off a Spector-esque Wall of Sound.  Many think the three are just too clean sounding and slightly "over" produced, if that is possible, with not enough bluesy jagged edges.  Those albums are: Behind the Sun, August, and Journeyman.  Also known to me as his Phil Collins period (hence the horns), these are some of Eric's best efforts.  Most of what I write here is from what I recall from reading his superb autobiography.  In this period (1985 - 1989), Eric had fallen back into an earlier fascination of his and re-exploring his fondness for the "Tulsa Sound."  That initially rubbed off on him via his favorite bassist and "domino" Carl Raddle.  Which, on this album led him to one of the greatest unknown song-writers in history: the late Jerry Lynn Williams.  Eric invites many other greats to to take part in this album.  We hear Darryl Hall and Chaka Khan on background vocals.  And this might be the last album Eric and George Harrison play on together.  A personal favorite of mime is on trumpet - Jon Faddis; music director emeritus of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble.  Plus David Sanborn, Darryl Jones (rhymes with Stones), and a fabulous and unsung keyboardist named Richard Tee.  If you like this trilogy - then get 24 Nights (available, but very rare on vinyl).  There Eric commits many of the songs from this mid- to late-eighties trilogy period to live recorded music on an epic double live album of that name.

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