Eric Clapton

The Legends Collection: The Eric Clapton Collection, Vol. 1 & 2

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Released in this two-CD package and as separate single CDs titled The Eric Clapton Collection, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, Dressed to Kill's compilation of Eric Clapton recordings bears no annotations beyond song titles, though its album cover photograph of a mature Clapton would lead the potential buyer to assume it consisted of later recordings. Instead, it contains some of the guitarist's earliest work, most of it as a member of the Yardbirds playing on albums such as Five Live Yardbirds and Sonny Boy Williamson and the Yardbirds. Five of the tracks -- "Choker," "Snake Drive," "Freight Loader," "Draggin' My Tail," and "Tribute to Elmore" -- come from an informal session probably held in June 1965 with Jimmy Page, Mick Jagger, Bill Wyman, Ian Stewart, and Chris Winters and originally appeared in 1968 on the Immediate Records LPs Blues Anytime, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (in the U.K.) and An Anthology of British Blues, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (in the U.S.). Some of the Yardbirds tracks actually come from after Clapton's tenure in the band, and they feature Jeff Beck on guitar, not Clapton. Pay no attention to the designation "live versions" affixed to some of the tracks. There are live recordings not so noted, and some of those called live are actually studio recordings. On the whole, then, this is a sloppy, deceptive collection that cannot be recommended, even though the sound quality is good and there are some impressive early Clapton performances.

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