8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Masterful Return Fom The Abyss,
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.