Eric Clapton (born March 30, 1945) is an English guitarist, singer, and songwriter who initially courted fame as the original soloist in the R&B/beat combo The Yardbirds. He played with the band between late 1963 and early 1965 before handing the slot to fellow rising star Jeff Beck.
In 1966, Clapton was the featured performer on the first album by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Later that same year, Clapton formed the blues/psych powertrio Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. During a two-year whirlwind that generated four albums and several radio evergreens, the band’s success elevated its members — Clapton in particular — to global iconic status.
In 1969, Clapton and Baker formed the supergroup Blind Faith with keyboardist Steve Winwood and bassist Rick Grech (Family). The project yielded a self-titled album with five lengthy composition’s, including Clapton’s Leslied soul-ballad “Presence of the Lord.” In 1970, Clapton assembled the transatlantic blues-rock combo Derek & the Dominoes to record the double-album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. That same year, he debuted as a solo artist with a self-titled album on Polydor.
Clapton was sidelined by drug/alcohol addiction for several years during the early 1970s but reemerged in 1973 as part of an all-star jam session at London’s Rainbow Theatre, an event orchestrated by Pete Townshend. In 1974, Clapton entered the prolific phase of his solo career with the album 461 Ocean Boulevard on RSO, followed by five further studio albums and a live double-LP during the ensuing six-year period.
In 1981, Clapton partook in the Secret Policeman’s Other Ball, a series of benefit concerts held at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, on behalf of Amnesty International. His 1983 release Money and Cigarettes heralded a further round of solo albums on Warner/Reprise.
- Blues Breakers (1966 • John Mayall With Eric Clapton)
- Eric Clapton (1970)
- 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)
- There’s One in Every Crowd (1975)
- No Reason to Cry (1976)
- Slowhand (1977)
- Backless (1978)
- Just One Night (live 2LP, 1980)
- Another Ticket (1981)
- Money and Cigarettes (1983)
- Behind the Sun (1985)
- August (1986)
- Lethal Weapon (OST, 1987 • Eric Clapton, David Sanborn & Michael Kamen)
- Homeboy (OST, 1989)
- Journeyman (1989)
- Rush (OST, 1992)
- From the Cradle (1994)