Eric Clapton

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Eric Clapton's solo career was built right down the middle of the road on crafty song selections, and this 12-song set features the most commercial of those choices, with radio-ready versions of Bob Marley's “I Shot the Sheriff” and J.J. Cale's “After Midnight” and “Cocaine,” among others, but he also wrote some solid tunes, too, that fit with his laid-back but distinctive vocal style, including “Wonderful Tonight” and “Let It Rain” (co-written with Bonnie Bramlett), and a pair of absolute gems from his Derek & the Dominos period, “Bell Bottom Blues” and the gorgeous, iconic “Layla,” which are also compiled here. The end result is a nice portrait of a rock guitarist settling into his middle years with some of the fire gone but a good deal of grace left.

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