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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably EC's best blues album.
If you want to hear EC playing his best blues, then this is the album to buy. He sounds raw and plays with style and feeling throughout. I love this album for virtually any time. I love EC and all of his work, but this album stands out.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
Published on 1 Jun 2006 by Spider Monkey

versus
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointing
I am newly editing my review (formerly titled "Embarrassing") on 8 February 2013. I have not changed my point of view, and I'm still rating this album with 2 stars. The reason for re-writing it is just to express my opinion more accurately than I did before, or at least to do it the best I can considering that English is not my mother language. Thanks in advance for...
Published on 29 Jun 2011 by Adrian Gonbar


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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably EC's best blues album., 1 Jun 2006
By 
Spider Monkey (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
If you want to hear EC playing his best blues, then this is the album to buy. He sounds raw and plays with style and feeling throughout. I love this album for virtually any time. I love EC and all of his work, but this album stands out.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply awesome., 5 Nov 2002
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
This is the best album money can buy. Simple as that. If you like blues and you like the guitar, buy it. I have listened to this album hundreds and hundreds of times. In fact, it inspired me to learn to play the guitar when I first bought it and now I can actually play most of it.
There are some stunning solos on this album, notably Five Long Years, Groanin' The Blues and Someday After A While. I remember when I first sat down and listened to the album, and particularly Five long years, I was amazed - I'd never heard anything like it.
And yes, I am very familiar with the other great (blues) guitarists Hendrix, SRV and Buddy Guy et al. but this is a special album that none of those guys could have put together and produced song after song of fantastic, utterly compelling fret work. Some of it is so heavy you can really feel the passion running through the strings.
It's not all about heavy blues though, there are some brilliant acoustic and slower pieces as well. Motherless child, Driftin', Third degree all amazingly charged whilst remaining more subtle.
Also worth a special note is the backing band - top class. Jim Keltner, Andy Fairweather Low, Jerry Portnoy etc. The whole ensemble gives it such an authentic, traditional feel. Which is exactly what this album is all about - a tribute from Clapton to all his favourite artists and songs - the guys that inspired him to pick up his guitar and play.
I could go on about this all day, you really must hear it to understand where I'm coming from. But if you call yourself a blues fan then you must listen to this album.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a hot one from Eric Clapton!, 30 Jun 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
For years Eric Clapton fans longed for him to produce an all blues album with the sort of guitar playing you heard him play live but which wasn't always evident on his albums. Well, 'From The Cradle' should satisfy most fans. From the opening Leroy Carr's 'Blues Before Sunrise' which rocks with confident slide guitar through to the Eddie Boyd classic 'Third Degree' sung with feeling and a beautifully sensitive guitar, this album is hot! Another Eddie Boyd gem 'Five Long Years' is sung with passion and blistering guitar work. Also worth a listen is the slightly laid back acoustic 'Driftin'' by Charles Brown; the album closes with Willie Dixon's 'Groaning The Blues' which contains more sizzling guitar. Also credit to EC's band who are superb. Nice one, Eric! Recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic blues playing, 16 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
I'm inclined to agree with the other reviewer who stated that the solo on 'Five long years' is the best guitar solo ever; it simply is amazing. The only problem is, i get to track 5 and then just keep playing it over and over again... I've never been the greatest blues fan but i really enjoyed this album; the guitar work is excellent and the band plays very coherently- there wasn't much dubbing according to the cover. The only problem is the singing. Whilst its ok in most places eric sounds like he's gargling with gravel on the first track and that kinda put me off it a bit, but once you get past that its rather cool. Its also really good for jamming along with and practicing blues solos etc. I'd recommend it for anyone interested in eric clapton, blues playing, or just elec guitar.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About retracing one's steps, one blue note at a time., 19 Aug 2003
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
"All along this path I tread, my heart betrays my weary head; with nothing but my love to save, from the cradle to the grave ..."
Summing up his thoughts on a recently failed relationship, Eric Clapton jotted down these words one night in early 1994, and they eventually made their way into the cover booklet of the album he released later that same year, the last line also providing the album's title. And "there's anger and love and fear on this record," Clapton told Billboard Magazine about the self-evaluation he was undergoing at the time, explaining that in recording this album, he had sought to once and for all break the - partially self-imposed - barriers and trappings of fame and fortune, girls and glamour, drugs and booze, in order to just "get out and ... say what I want to say, be what I want to be [and] love what I want to love."
What he had loved from his earliest years on, of course, was the blues; and a real blues album was thus what he had always wanted to record - ever since his days with the Yardbirds (which he left when they strayed towards more mainstream, commercial sounds) and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the training ground for much of Britain's blues elite of the 1960s and 1970s. So in a major way, this album constitutes a return to Eric Clapton's roots.
At the same time, however, it is a marvelous tribute to the artists on whose influence Clapton builds to this day, and who first made the songs recorded here famous. Like any good blues album, "From the Cradle" was recorded live in the studio: with the exception of some dobro and drum overdub on "How Long Blues" and "Motherless Child" respectively, all vocals and instrumental parts are the pure, unadulterated product of the recording sessions involved. With or without extended solos, Clapton's guitar work is stellar as always, and his vocals are as raw and rough as hardly ever before. He may not actually outgrowl the great Chess and Delta Blues men - listen to his 2001 album "Riding With the King" with B.B. King or to Muddy Waters's 1977 version of "Hoochie Coochie Man" if you have any doubts - but this truly becomes apparent only in direct comparison with them, and it really says more about those other musicians than it does about Clapton himself. If it were not for the fact that many of the recordings on this album have long become classics in their own right and that Clapton's voice is not easily confused with that of any other artist in the first place, I'm almost certain that you could fool a fair number of people into believing that they were listening to an album recorded 40 years or even longer ago in Chicago or Memphis. This is the real thing, folks, no question about it; and it is performed with as much skill as soul by Eric Clapton and a tremendous group of musicians consisting of Dave Bronze (bass), Jim Keltner (drums), Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Jerry Portnoy (harmonica), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Roddy Lorimer (trumpet) and Simon Clarke and Tim Sanders (saxophone) - many of the well-known to Clapton's live audiences the world over as well.
In selecting the songs for this album, Eric Clapton purposely chose the most intense blues songs he could think of, not even shying away from classics that he had heretofore considered "untouchable," like Muddy Waters's (or actually, Willie Dixon's) aforementioned "Hoochie Coochie Man." And in a not entirely surprising turn, they - and "Hoochie Coochie Man" in particular - soon became fixtures in his own live appearances as much as they had been fixtures in the appearances of the artists who had first made them famous, from Leroy Carr's "Blues Before Sunrise" and "How Long Blues" to Lowell Fulson's "Reconsider Baby" and "Sinner's Prayer," Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years," James Lane's "Goin' Away Baby" and "Blues Leave Me Alone," Elmore James's "It Hurts Me Too," Freddie King's "Someday After a While," another famous Muddy Waters tune, "Standin' Round Crying," and the concluding, aptly titled "Groaning the Blues." And all colors of this blues kaleidoscope also represent shades and aspects of Eric Clapton's own life, because, as he told Billboard, all of them have had a certain meaning to him at some point or another. In that sense, the album is a very personal one - maybe not quite as much as the 1970 Derek and the Dominos recording "Layla and Other Assorted Lovesongs," one of the earliest and biggest highlights of Clapton's career, but certainly close; in expressing "the thing I've loved from day one, the most exciting and satisfying thing I've known."
Coming on the heels of 1989's "Journeyman" and 1992's hugely successful "Unplugged," which had redefined the standards by which acoustic recordings were measured and, in the process, had also given an unexpectedly new meaning to the title track of "Layla," "From the Cradle" was one of a trilogy of albums which injected new life into Clapton's career and ensured that his fans would be able to enjoy his immeasurable contributions to the world of music for - at least - another decade. In 1991, Clapton had also recorded the soundtrack for the movie "Rush," arguably yet another very personal project, and released a CD documenting his marathon 24 live appearances at Royal Albert Hall, appropriately named "24 Nights." And while any Eric Clapton album will to a certain extent be an expression of the point where he sees himself and his career at the time of the recording, it's all about the music again now, and about the joy of playing. Nothing shows this clearer than his dual 2001 releases "Reptile" and "Riding With the King." "From the Cradle" was an important stepping stone in getting to this point, and I am glad we have been allowed, yet again, to share in that experience. Thank you, Eric!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What We'd Been Waiting for, 9 Sep 2003
By 
David Cranson (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
Wonderful stuff. Really wonderful, ecellant, amazing, outstanding etc etc etc . . . I like it!
The playing, the emotion, the voice, the band, it just all gells perfectly. The whole album oozes blues. You can almost see it seeping from the speakers every time you put it on. You can close your eyes and let a broad grin creep over your face. Lie back and let yourself be soaked up, immersed and covered in the music & songs.
Standouts for me include, 'Blues Before Sunrise' - man, even thinking about it makes me grin for ear to ear(!); 'Reconsider Baby'; 'Motherless Child'; 'It Hurts Me Too'; 'Someday After A While'; but really these are the highlights in a package of near perfection. Don't think the rest are sub-standard becuase I don't mention them, there just my personal faves.
Do yourself a big favour and buy this. It's a master at work, a fine band in great form. It's a close as any white man will ever get to really 'Groanin' The Blues'.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Masterpiece!, 30 Jan 2004
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
Are you lookin' for the blues? Then, this is is the album for you!! Gotta' lotta' flava', y'all!! This review is based upon Warner/Reprise catalogue number WPCR-10120 (Japanese import). This particular reissue is unique for 2 reasons: First, this is the only remastered version of the album currently available. Secondly, the outside packaging is made mini-LP style, with a gatefold layout that has all of the original liner notes and photos. I love the way they list the tracks on the back as "Side A" and "Side B". The cd, itself, comes housed in a protective, padded, platic sleeve, which slides into the side of the packaging, much as the old LPs did. O.K., on to the actual album review... This is absolutely, without a doubt, Eric Clapton's best album to date. Yes, indeed, this is a no-holds-barred, ..., down-home, bare-bones, blues-infused masterpiece of the highest caliber!! My favorite track is "Sinner's Prayer". ("If I done somebody wrong, have mercy, if you please" - Yeah, baby!, Yeah!.) Oh, yes, this album is chalk full of great tunes from beginning to end. You'll note that EC wastes no time in getting to the good stuff... The opening track is a jammin' number, entitled "Blues Before Sunrise". Crank this one up, LOUD!! The studio version of "Five Long Years" presented here, is good, but the live one, from his "Hyde Park" dvd, is outta-sight! There is one really unique track on here, and that is "Standin' Around Cryin'". On this one, EC tries his hand at a completely diffrent style of singing and succeeds!! (I can't explain it. You've got to hear this one for yourself.) The radio hits are here too, "Motherless Child", "I'm Tore Down" and "It Hurts Me Too". Of course, this album wouldn't be complete without "Hoochie Coochie Man"; yet, another one, EC loves to play in concert. Lastly, I would like to quote a brief statement in the liner notes, I think audiophiles, like myself, will find of particular interest: "THIS IS A LIVE RECORDING WITH NO OVERDUBS OR EDITS EXCEPT FOR DOBRO OVERDUB ON 'HOW LONG BLUES' AND DRUM OVERDUB ON 'MOTHERLESS CHILD'" - What this means is, you're not going to get an album produced by Phil Spector, who patented the now infamous, "Wall-of-Sound".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From The Cradle: Eric Clapton - an in form Clapton makes the album he always wanted to, 2 Sep 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
Though long associated with the blues, Clapton hadn't made an entire album dedicated to the form since his work with John Mayall in the late `60s. In 1994, 5 years after his previus album the runaway success that was `Journeyman', he finally got around to an album consisting purely of the music that he loves and so inspires him.

This is an album of covers taken from the catalogues of some of the greats in blues history - Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Elmore James and Freddie King all get a namecheck. Clapton provides us with versions that don't differ too much from the originals, but still have his unique spin on them. For once on a solo album, Clapton the guitarist is allowed to occupy centre stage, perhaps in an attempt to disguise the fact that his voice isn't quite up to the job of competing with the old masters. The guitar is for the most part interesting and well done, but restrained. Occasionally, as with the closer `Groaning the blues' he really lets loose, with some pyrotechnics. Because of the restrained nature of the rest of it these really stand out and thrill.

A decent album of blues covers, with Clapton sounding really inspired and on top form while covering the cream of blues songs. With material like that to work with and a talent like Clapton this couldn't fail to be a great record, and so it proved to be. 5 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Claptons Blues, 17 April 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: From The Cradle (Audio CD)
This is what Eric Clapton has always done best - play the blues. On this album all the tracks (16 of them) are blues in all its various forms.

Reading the inside of the sleeve made for refreshing reading as it says "THIS IS A LIVE RECORDING WITH NO OVERDUBS OR EDITS EXCEPT FOR DOBRO OVERDUB ON HOW LONG BLUES AND DRUM OVERDUB ON MOTHERLESS CHILDREN". What a change from his mid to late 80's albums that were vastly over-produced. Great credit to EC for realising that he needed to get away from being a purely commercial artist. If you are being critical you might have thought he could have found something more original to play than another cover of "Hoochie Coochie Man". However I enjoyed it regardless.

The band are some of Clapton's regular guys, Chris Stainton on Keyboards, Andy Fairweather Low Guitar, Jim Keltner drums plus a horn section. Again if you were being critical you'd ask why not some 'real' blues players backing him. However these guys are all professional musicians who deliver nothing less than professional performances and I'm not sure that anybody else could have done any better.

The Robert Johnson sessions are probably better than this album, but you have to put this album in context. It was only a few years earlier that EC had released 'August', where his best songs had been removed by the record company and in many ways he had lost artistic control of his own record. In comparison to that 'work' this album IS a return to his roots that he since never really looked back from.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars About retracing one's steps, one blue note at a time., 4 Mar 2004
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: From The Cradle [VINYL] (Vinyl)
"All along this path I tread, my heart betrays my weary head; with nothing but my love to save, from the cradle to the grave ..."
Summing up his thoughts on a recently failed relationship, Eric Clapton jotted down these words one night in early 1994, and they eventually made their way into the cover booklet of the album he released later that same year, the last line also providing the album's title. And "there's anger and love and fear on this record," Clapton told Billboard Magazine about the self-evaluation he was undergoing at the time, explaining that in recording this album, he had sought to once and for all break the - partially self-imposed - barriers and trappings of fame and fortune, girls and glamour, drugs and booze, in order to just "get out and ... say what I want to say, be what I want to be [and] love what I want to love."
What he had loved from his earliest years on, of course, was the blues; and a real blues album was thus what he had always wanted to record - ever since his days with the Yardbirds (which he left when they strayed towards more mainstream, commercial sounds) and with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, the training ground for much of Britain's blues elite of the 1960s and 1970s. So in a major way, this album constitutes a return to Eric Clapton's roots.
At the same time, however, it is a marvelous tribute to the artists on whose influence Clapton builds to this day, and who first made the songs recorded here famous. Like any good blues album, "From the Cradle" was recorded live in the studio: with the exception of some dobro and drum overdub on "How Long Blues" and "Motherless Child" respectively, all vocals and instrumental parts are the pure, unadulterated product of the recording sessions involved. With or without extended solos, Clapton's guitar work is stellar as always, and his vocals are as raw and rough as hardly ever before. He may not actually outgrowl the great Chess and Delta Blues men - listen to his 2001 album "Riding With the King" with B.B. King or to Muddy Waters's 1977 version of "Hoochie Coochie Man" if you have any doubts - but this truly becomes apparent only in direct comparison with them, and it really says more about those other musicians than it does about Clapton himself. If it were not for the fact that many of the recordings on this album have long become classics in their own right and that Clapton's voice is not easily confused with that of any other artist in the first place, I'm almost certain that you could fool a fair number of people into believing that they were listening to an album recorded 40 years or even longer ago in Chicago or Memphis. This is the real thing, folks, no question about it; and it is performed with as much skill as soul by Eric Clapton and a tremendous group of musicians consisting of Dave Bronze (bass), Jim Keltner (drums), Andy Fairweather Low (guitar), Jerry Portnoy (harmonica), Chris Stainton (keyboards), Roddy Lorimer (trumpet) and Simon Clarke and Tim Sanders (saxophone) - many of the well-known to Clapton's live audiences the world over as well.
In selecting the songs for this album, Eric Clapton purposely chose the most intense blues songs he could think of, not even shying away from classics that he had heretofore considered "untouchable," like Muddy Waters's (or actually, Willie Dixon's) aforementioned "Hoochie Coochie Man." And in a not entirely surprising turn, they - and "Hoochie Coochie Man" in particular - soon became fixtures in his own live appearances as much as they had been fixtures in the appearances of the artists who had first made them famous, from Leroy Carr's "Blues Before Sunrise" and "How Long Blues" to Lowell Fulson's "Reconsider Baby" and "Sinner's Prayer," Eddie Boyd's "Five Long Years," James Lane's "Goin' Away Baby" and "Blues Leave Me Alone," Elmore James's "It Hurts Me Too," Freddie King's "Someday After a While," another famous Muddy Waters tune, "Standin' Round Crying," and the concluding, aptly titled "Groaning the Blues." And all colors of this blues kaleidoscope also represent shades and aspects of Eric Clapton's own life, because, as he told Billboard, all of them have had a certain meaning to him at some point or another. In that sense, the album is a very personal one - maybe not quite as much as the 1970 Derek and the Dominos recording "Layla and Other Assorted Lovesongs," one of the earliest and biggest highlights of Clapton's career, but certainly close; in expressing "the thing I've loved from day one, the most exciting and satisfying thing I've known."
Coming on the heels of 1989's "Journeyman" and 1992's hugely successful "Unplugged," which had redefined the standards by which acoustic recordings were measured and, in the process, had also given an unexpectedly new meaning to the title track of "Layla," "From the Cradle" was one of a trilogy of albums which injected new life into Clapton's career and ensured that his fans would be able to enjoy his immeasurable contributions to the world of music for - at least - another decade. In 1991, Clapton had also recorded the soundtrack for the movie "Rush," arguably yet another very personal project, and released a CD documenting his marathon 24 live appearances at Royal Albert Hall, appropriately named "24 Nights." And while any Eric Clapton album will to a certain extent be an expression of the point where he sees himself and his career at the time of the recording, it's all about the music again now, and about the joy of playing. Nothing shows this clearer than his dual 2001 releases "Reptile" and "Riding With the King." "From the Cradle" was an important stepping stone in getting to this point, and I am glad we have been allowed, yet again, to share in that experience. Thank you, Eric!
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From The Cradle by Eric Clapton (Audio CD - 1994)
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