Eric Clapton

Legends Collection: The Eric Clapton Collection, Vol. 1

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The first volume of Dressed to Kill's two-volume Eric Clapton Collection, available here as a stand-alone disc and also released in a two-CD set, is a completely unannotated compilation of early Clapton recordings, most of them made with the Yardbirds in 1963 and 1964, although four of them --"Choker," "Snake Drive," "Freight Loader," and "Draggin' My Tail" -- are drawn from a 1965 session that featured Clapton with Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart, and Chris Winters, previously released in 1968 on the Immediate Records albums Blues Anytime, Vol. 1 and Blues Anytime, Vol. 2 in the U.K. and on An Anthology of British Blues, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in the U.S. "Pounds and Stomps" (an instrumental version of the Yardbirds' song "He's Always There") was recorded a year after Clapton's departure from the Yardbirds and features Jeff Beck, not Clapton, on guitar. The sound quality is good, but the miscellaneous, low-budget nature of the collection prevents it from being useful to anyone who doesn't already recognize this material, and such a person probably has already collected these tracks on other semi-legitimate releases and bootlegs. The album's cover photography, depicting a Clapton much older than the one playing on the disc, is deceptive, and the lack of credits also serves to hoodwink potential customers into thinking this is something other than a thrown-together effort. Despite still being in his teens, Clapton already had a well-developed blues sensibility at this point in his career, and there is some good blues playing here. But the package is an insult to consumers.

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