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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of EC's best solo efforts
"461 Ocean Boulevard", Eric Clapton's second solo album from 1974, is an appealing amalgam of several different styles (rock, pop, R&B, country, blues and even reggae).
It may not have the flashy guitar work of his earlier recordings, nor is it as gritty as fans of Eric Clapton the blues player (rather than Eric Clapton the pop singer) might have preferred. But it is...
Published on 7 Jun. 2003 by Docendo Discimus

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eric relaxes...
I used to have the LP of this pleasant set of songs, which I don`t remember playing that often, though when I did I quite enjoyed it.
Hearing this indifferently remastered CD, I can`t for the life of me understand why this record has been so praised down the years. There are a few lovely songs - the too-brief Give Me Strength, Please Be With Me, and the superb Let It...
Published 19 months ago by GlynLuke


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of EC's best solo efforts, 7 Jun. 2003
By 
Docendo Discimus (Vita scholae) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
"461 Ocean Boulevard", Eric Clapton's second solo album from 1974, is an appealing amalgam of several different styles (rock, pop, R&B, country, blues and even reggae).
It may not have the flashy guitar work of his earlier recordings, nor is it as gritty as fans of Eric Clapton the blues player (rather than Eric Clapton the pop singer) might have preferred. But it is a pleasant, low-key affair with several excellent songs, including a charming, laid-back rendition of Johnny Otis' "Willie And The Hand Jive" and the lovely, folkish ballad "Please Be With Me", originally recorded by Southern rockers Cowboy.
Clapton should stay away from covering Elmore James, though. He obviously knows that he can't match the intensity of James' vocals, so he delivers "I Can't Hold Out" in a very subdued style which doesn't suit the song.
His version of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff", although somewhat watered-down, works really well, though, as does the mournful, almost spiritual blues "Give Me Strength" and the melodious "Let It Grow", both of them Eric Clapton originals.
Lovely slide dobro playing on "Let It Grow".
Another bluesy spiritual, Blind Willie Johnson's "Motherless Children (have a hard time)", is quite good as well in this electric, up-tempo recording, in spite of the clippety-clop rhythm played by drummer Jamie Oldaker (kind of a strange choice for a blues number).
But all in all, "461 Ocean Boulevard" is a really fine album, and one that Eric Clapton tried again and again to replicate over the next ten years. It's not perfect, but it is as good as the man from Surrey ever got during his solo years.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laid Back and Beautiful, 24 July 2000
By 
Joe (Portsmouth) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
This is a perfect sunny Sunday morning record. It's also Eric's most underrated work. He'd spent years ... turning his guitar up to 11 blowing us away with his playing, but here (his 'comeback' album) he shows us what a great singer and songwriter he can also be when he puts his mind to it. I Shot the Sherrif is a well-thumbed back page, but his originals like Let It Grow and Motherless Children deserve just as much attention. The album has the laid back easy acoustic blues feel similar to Unplugged, and if you liked that, you'll love this. The touching songs such as Give Me Strength and Please Be With Me show Eric was still finding his feet as an individual, but as a musician with this album he was on very solid ground. Do yourself a very low-key but lovely favour and check it out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A joyous rebirth, 9 April 2011
By 
street-legal (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
Drugging yourself into a stupor for three years must, I imagine, be rather crushing on the soul. Whereas now three years seems nothing in terms of an inter-album space, in the 70's such a gap was huge. Between late 1970 and early 1974, Clapton had effectively done nothing, despite his earlier groundbreaking work with John Mayall, Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos. Neither was it a restful break as he was snorting his head into oblivion.
But the freshness of rebirth permeates this album from beginning to end. Alcohol would go on to plague him for years, and he sounds quite reefered up here too, but he was excited about music again. Reggae plays its part, and Eric had a role in the rise of Bob Marley with his spirited rendition of I Shot the Sheriff (a big #1 single all over the place). It also influences the sultry Get Ready and Willie and the Hand Jive but the best moments on this very uplifting album are in the bluesy numbers. The opening track, Motherless Children, is fantastic. Another curious absentee in most compilations is its follow up, the great self-penned plea for help Give Me Strength. I Can't Hold Out is a raunchy Elmore James number, and Steady Rollin' Man by Robert Johnson is very funkilly arranged. Let It Grow is a very pleasant song with an inspired dobro playout but ultimately less significant than those spirited blues songs.
A tremendously uplifting album made by some equally tremendous musicians.

The songs and jams on the end of disc one serve to reinforce the boozy-stoned feel of the sessions, but it is the second disc that makes this version worth getting. This band (as can be heard to such a powerful effect on the first three discs of Crossroads 2) were as good as any he had previously played with. I truly mean that. It is just that their intensity was so rarely captured in the studio, mainly live on stage. In this case it is excerpts from two Hammersmith gigs in April 1974.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric's best album, 4 Feb. 2005
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
Eric was in various blues-rock groups, notably the Yardbirds and Cream, before embarking on a solo career, during which he recorded many excellent albums. This is one of the best, if not the best of the lot. It includes I shot the sheriff, a British top ten hit that topped the American charts, as well as many other outstanding songs.
The album features Yvonne Elliman (best known for her Saturday night fever hit, If I can't have you) on backing vocals. She provides great support for Eric on this album, especially on Let it grow, my favorite song here after I shot the sheriff (on which Yvonne also sings). Eric and Yvonne co-wrote Get ready and sing it as a duet.
The album opens with a traditional song, Motherless children, and closes with a song that Eric wrote about himself, Give me strength. Both of them are great songs, as are all the songs in between.
The musicians are in top form throughout on this classic blues-rock album. If you are a fan of classic rock music and haven't already got this album, what are you waiting for?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eric relaxes..., 10 Jun. 2013
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
I used to have the LP of this pleasant set of songs, which I don`t remember playing that often, though when I did I quite enjoyed it.
Hearing this indifferently remastered CD, I can`t for the life of me understand why this record has been so praised down the years. There are a few lovely songs - the too-brief Give Me Strength, Please Be With Me, and the superb Let It Grow stand out - but most of the rest sounds underpowered, over-relaxed, inconsequential.
Willie and the Hand Jive is tedious (Cliff Richard did a far better version fifty years ago!) while I Shot the Sheriff is as irritating as Marley`s original. Get Ready is nothing special, and I Can`t Hold Out not as interesting as it could have been.
On a lazy summer day this is an undemanding, languid backdrop, but if you want to hear Clapton at his best and most inspired, go to Layla, Journeyman, or the hugely underrated No Reason To Cry, a terrific 1976 album he made with the members of The Band, Ron Wood, et al.
As I say, there`s something not quite right about the remastering of this record. I think the original LP sounded more organic, less `separated` and fragmented. It certainly sounded better than this.
Not the classic it`s often made out to be, but pleasant enough...
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars EC plays it fine and plays it cool, 30 Jun. 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
461 Ocean Boulevard marked, for a time, a departure for Eric Clapton's up front guitar playing; on this album EC concentrates more on the songs and often puts the guitar soloing on hold, or certainly tones it down. Nevertheless, this album, which is named after the address of the studio, is excellent. Listen to the emotive 'Give Me Strength' and the bright version of Johnny Otis' 'Willie And The Hand Jive' with some nice guitar included. Bob Marley's 'I Shot The Sheriff' is dealt with brilliantly by Clapton and has become a favourite of many, also worth a listen is Elmore James' 'I Can't Hold Out' beautifully performed and confirming EC's blues roots. A fine album. Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 461 Ocean Boulevard: Eric Clapton - Put this record on, sit back and let it grow on you, 26 Aug. 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard (Audio CD)
At first, this second solo release from Eric Clapton didn't appeal to me. Whereas his debut, the self titled `Eric Clapton' had a unified theme and feel, this takes so many musical styles that it seemed somewhat bitty and piecemeal. However, after a couple of spins I found the music really growing on me, and it is now a firm favourite.

Full of covers (Bob Marley, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Elmore James all get a nod), it is the originals that really stand out for me. The laid back `Let it Grow' is classic Clapton. The covers, taking in relaxed jive, reggae, blues and all ports inbetween, are not bad, and Clapton sounds as though he was still committed to the music and trying for the best record that he could make, even through the drugs haze. For a record with depth and character, and some passion about it look no further.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless masterpiece, 10 Jan. 2010
By 
M. TAYLOR - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
I first bought this on vinyl back in 1974, I loved it then, but had not listened to it for 30 years or so. I was reminded of it by hearing Johnnie Walker playing Let It Grow on his Sunday afternoon BBC Radio 2 show. I ordered the de luxe 2 disc edition as opposed to the single disc version. On first hearing I found the sound a little flat although it is remastered. The bonus tracks on disc 1 are interesting but not essential. What makes this edition worth the extra 3 or 4 pounds is the second disc, which is a live concert from late 74 which is truly magnificent, especially the closing track Let It Rain.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Clapton Album, 21 Sept. 2014
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By far the best album Clapton has done, and along with Slow Hand and un-plugged probably the best he is ever likely to do.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful Return Fom The Abyss, 18 May 2005
By 
John Heaton (Budapest, Hungary) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 461 Ocean Boulevard [Deluxe Edition] (Audio CD)
This is Eric Clapton's finest solo album. It is so consistently brilliant and melodic and heart-warming. It is an album which people return to time after time....and never find anything less than immensely uplifting. The opener 'Motherless Children' is a cover but Clapton somehow makes it his own with a great vocal and some truly wonderful slide guitar playing. Other highlights are almost too numerous to mention. 'Let It Grow' is perhaps the best Clapton ballad of all. Great melody, superbly positive lyric and of course that wonderful guitar. Only Eric Clapton can make the electric guitar sound so warm and welcoming as it does here. That does not mean it's Middle Of The Road. Far from it. These guitar lines are universal in their appeal. The same goes for 'Please be With Me' which is about as gorgeous a song as you could possibly imagine. 'Give Me Strength' is not far behind.
And then you have the inspired cover of Marley's 'I Shot The Sheriff'. Clapton reckoned it was not a patch on the original. Bob Marley himself reckoned otherwise.
Even the lesser tracks have incredible appeal. 'Willie And The Hand Jive' is a hilarious attempt at Reggae which again Marley would presumably (although I have no confirmation of this) would have found creditable indeed. 'I Can't Hold Out' is another cover which Clapton again makes his own. What a superbly perfect laid back band we hear on this album!
The bonus live material is quite revealing and for the most part very enjoyable. But the main joy here is the original album, a true renaissance of an artist who many thought at the time had beeen lost to the perils of heroin. Well he's certainly proved that wasn't the case in the years since, but no more so than on this majestic album.
Five Stars, no question.
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461 Ocean Boulevard [Deluxe Edition]
461 Ocean Boulevard [Deluxe Edition] by Eric Clapton (Audio CD - 2004)
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