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on 2 June 2017
Wow what an album
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on 30 August 2017
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on 11 August 2017
Espectacular 😀 !!!
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on 25 January 2014
Since I am a huge Clapton fan and always has been, I can of course only love this great collection. 461 Ocean Boulevard was a wonderful return by the man himself, and I love almost all numbers on that record. Well, I have heard most of it before except the Freddie King cd, and have the records on vinyl, but with bonus numbers, outtakes, previous unreleased numbers and more, I still find this box fully worth the money. The blue-ray I can play on my blue-ray player, but I don't have speakers and stuff for quadrophonia, surround sound or whatever, so I would have preferred a biographic film from the sessions or about that period of Clapton's life. In the book there are some nice photographs and a short but well written text about the recording sessions and Clapton. But I actually still miss some kind of real biographic movie-story about Clapton and his time from the start till today, maybe one day...
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on 4 October 2016
I'm gonna have to buy the 2 cd set for when they cart me off to the nursing home and I wont be able to bring along my vinyl collection... I've been thinking of getting together a shoe-box full of "desert island vitals" on cd.. anyway, be that as it may, this is a short review for the three-vinyl-record box set titled "Give Me Strength".

The "Ocean Boulevard" record is, of course, a classic. The follow-up "There's One In Every Crowd" is good also but it is a slightly inferior cousin. Think of it as what Van Morrison's "His Band and Street Choir" is to "Moondance". Still good but overshadowed by the former. "E.C. Was Here" is a lack-lustre live set and I was surprised how "Drifting Blues" faded out very quickly. Perhaps the cd has a longer version but it is painfully obvious on the end of side 1 that there was more to come.. it only goes few a few minutes and the strange thing is that there is still plenty of space on the lp for a few minutes extra.. oh well...

Sounds great on vinyl but the presentation is somewhat dubious. Most offensive is the "E.C. Was Here" artwork. It is overly grainy and red printing on an orange background is never a good idea, so some of the info on the back cover is impossible to read with colours bleeding into each other. The whole cover has that yucky fourth or fifth generation print look. The "Ocean Boulevard" artwork seems grainier than I remember it.. it's not all that clear. perhaps it was always like that but either way I'm not impressed although the inside of the gatefold cover is sharp. The "One In Every Crowd" artwork is fine for what it is: a picture of a dog.

All three albums come in a sturdy, thick cardboard slipcase as pictured. Since I bought this when it was just under 22 quid I have little to complain about. It's all good... but you'll notice that no matter how much you enjoy it, apart from "Ocean Boulevard", it's not Clapton's finest hour. Still worth owning though.. if you can see it at a good price, grab it. Shortly after this Clapton stopped giving a toss and started hanging out with Phil Collins. I guess, like Johnny Rotten, he figured he had "done his bit".. Buy it and put it on your shelf right next to that Creedence vinyl box set.. you HAVE got the Creedence vinyl box, haven't you..??
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on 5 May 2014
The original 461 Ocean Boulevard gets eight additional songs, but for me, only the original tracks I Shot The Sheriff and Let It Grow are must haves.
Having said that CD 1 runs to 79 minutes, so there's good value for money.
The original There's One In Every Crowd has seven additional songs, including the fantastic non-album single release Knockin' On Heaven's Door and it's B side Someone Like You.
This album is top class from start to finish with special mentions for We've been Told (Jesus Coming Soon), Swing Low Sweet Chariot, The Sky Is Crying, Better Make It Through Today, Pretty Blue Eyes and Opposites.
CD 2 totals 71 minutes and with both discs being remastered to a high standard, this is a double album I will enjoy many times over.
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**** This Review is for the 2CD DELUXE EDITION ****

EC fans will have seen "461 Ocean Boulevard" re-issued just one too many times in the last 8 years on a plethora of formats - and here it comes again. But this time I'd argue you should sit up and take notice because this vaults trawl is a superb reissue - and in a festive season of over-priced and dubious Deluxe Editions - a star in a reasonably price car.

Firstly - there are two versions of "Give Me Strength..." this 2CD DELUXE EDITION which is called "Give Me Strength: The '74/'75 Studio Recordings" - and a 5CD/1DVD SUPER DELUXE EDITION Book Set which drops the word 'Studio' in its title because it includes lots of live stuff (the "EC Was Here" album and more). Both are released Monday 9 December 2013.

This review is for the 2CD edition - Universal/Polydor 0602537618583 breaks down as follows...

Disc 1 "461 Ocean Boulevard Expanded Version" (79:31 minutes):
1. Motherless Children
2. Give Me Strength
3. Willie And The Hand Jive
4. Get Ready
5. I Shot The Sheriff
6. I Can't Hold Out
7. Please Be With Me
8. Let It Grow
9. Steady Rollin' Man
10. Mainline Florida
Tracks 1 to 10 are the vinyl album "461 Ocean Boulevard" issued July 1974 in the UK on RSO Records 2479 118 and SO 4801 in the USA.
Tracks 11 to 18 are Session Out-Takes:
"Ain't That Lovin' You" (11) was first issued on the 4CD/6LP "Crossroads" box set in April 1988
"Meet Me (Down At The Bottom)" (12) and "Eric After Hour Blues" (16) were first issued on the "Blues" 2CD set in July 1999
"Lonesome Road Blues (Walking Down The Road)" (13) was first issued on the 4CD box set "Crossroads 2" in April 1996
"Getting Acquainted" (14), "Getting Acquainted 2 (Too Late)" (15), "Please Be With Me (Acoustic)" 17) and "Give Me Strength (Dobro 1)" (18) are all PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED

Disc 2 "There's One In Every Crowd Expanded Version" (71:04 minutes):
1. We've Been Told (Jesus Is Coming Soon)
2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot
3. Little Rachel
4. Don't Blame Me
5. The Sky Is Crying
6. Singin' The Blues
7. Better Make It Through Today
8. Pretty Blue Eyes
9. High
10. Opposites
Tracks 1 to 10 are the vinyl album "There's One In Every Crowd" issued April 1975 in the UK on RSO Records 2479 132 and SO 4806 in the USA.
Tracks 11 to 17 are Session Out-Takes:
"Burial" (11) and "Fool Like Me" (15 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
"Whatcha Gonna Do" (12), "I Found A Love" (13) and "(When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too" (14) first appeared on the 4CD/6LP box set "Crossroads" in April 1988
"Knockin' On Heaven's Door" (16) and "Someone Like You" (17) are a non-album 7" single issued in the UK and USA in August 1975 on RSO Records 2090 166 and SO-513.

Compiled by BILL LEVENSON - the 24-page booklet has in-depth liner notes by JOHN LYNSKEY on both albums and is filled with the kind of facts fans love. They do at times refer to tracks that are clearly on the 6-disc version (especially out-takes), but that's only a minor irritation. The annotation at the rear is also admirably laid out.

ELIOT KISSELEFF and ANDY SKUROW handled the Tape Research and Transfers while SETH FOSTER and KEVIN REEVES (names that have graced hundreds of Universal reissues) did the Remasters and Mix Engineering. Both Foster and Reeves handled the sonically praised "Slowhand" Deluxe Edition issued in 2012. The sound here is fabulous - it really is. Never too showy - loads of presence - especially in the rhythm section of Bass and Drums with Tom Dowd's original production values now more evident than before. On tracks like the Traditional "We've Been Told (Jesus Is Coming Home)" and the lovely vocal break on the infectious "Pretty Blue Eyes" - the audio is so warm and there - just like you'd want it to be. I'd also forgotten how good most of "There's One In Every Crowd" was - excepting the terrible cod-reggae of "Don't Blame Me" - nuggets like the blues cover of Mary McCreary's "Singin' The Blues" and Clapton's own "Better Make It Through Today" are superlative (especially the gorgeously soulful keyboard work by Dick Sims when it meets with Clapton's plaintive solo). I've had the Deluxe Edition and 2004 SACD of "461 Ocean Boulevard" and the remaster here is subtly different. I'd have to say the SACD has the edge in terms of sheer power - but when I play the Elmore James opener of Side 2 "I Can't Hold Out" - I'd swear the mix here is more upfront (which is what I want).

The outtakes (as fans have known since the "Crossroads" release in 1988) are amazingly good - and in some cases - should have been on the album. The 6 previously unreleased on here are certainly not scraping the bottom of the barrel. "Getting Acquainted" are funky rock workout instrumentals with the second being shorter but so much better and tighter (and features some superb fretwork from EC). Rougher round the recording edges is a truly lovely acoustic take of "Please Be With Me" minus Yvonne Elliman's duet vocals - very sweet indeed. The Dobro jaunt through "Give Me Strength" again has that same kind of intimacy but this time with wicked slide work. I could live without the cover of Peter Tosh's "Burial" quite easily but the rocking blues of "Fools Like Me" is just the kind of out-takes fans love. It was written by Jack Clement and Murphy Maddux and was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis on Sun - it chugs along and features trademark languid slide (lyrics from it title this review).

To sum up - at just over a tenner you're getting two quality Eric Clapton albums with superb sound quality, thorough presentation and out-takes actually worthy of the moniker 'bonus'. I'm seriously tempted now to fork out on the bigger 6-disc issue.

Never the flashiest of artists - Clapton's classiness nevertheless exudes here - and how good is it to hear him get down and dirty with that mean blues slide...

Top stuff - and for me a clear reissue of the year for 2013.
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on 18 June 2014
This is just a review of the 2 disc version

461 Ocean Boulevard was re-mastered and released a few years ago in a Deluxe format and there's isn't too much new here to attract the buyer. There's One in Every Crowd needed a good remastering as the versoin form some time ago had no bass and was very top end. This version sounds great, the additional tracks are welcome and the album itself seems a lot better than I remembered it.

I picked this up for around £10.50 and at that price was well worthwhile
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This box covers most of Eric Clapton's studio work in 1974 to 1975. The sound is stunning, it has a very natural sound, doesn't seem overly compressed as with the Derek & The Dominos Layla CDs re-master had 4 years ago. There are little unreleased tracks here however the few that are included are great. The unreleased song 'Burial' is a surprise hearing Eric trying to sound like Bob Marley. The other nice surprise is the blues jams with Freddie King are fantastic!
The booklet is nothing special for me, nothing exciting to read unfortunately, but does have a good description of the music enclosed on the discs.
The BluRay took a long time to load up but when it finally did I enjoyed the 5.1 mix of Eric's 1974 recordings but I didn't get the same feeling with the Quad mixes.
The 2 'Live' CDs that have the title EC Was Here is a full concert that contains songs mostly available on several EC box sets. These tracks are remixed and have an improved sound from the previously available versions.

Overall this is a good collection of Eric Claptons career from 1974 to 1975 that has a few extras to sweeten the cost of this set.
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on 22 June 2015
Nicely packaged set of Clapton albums, just like the originals. A good pressing (On the whole, with a few exceptions vinyls are a lot better that they used to be), nice flat copies with a gloss finish. All albums are crackle free and a joy to listen to.
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