Let It Grow

This is corny as hell, but whatever, still great. Eric Clapton has his reputation as a guitar god, and no one can argue that he is, but what he isn’t, is a blues guitarist. Not because he can’t play the blues, but because to me, he doesn’t convey the blues. He always was a great big cornball, and after Cream split, he began a descent into impeccably well-played but distinctly boneless adult-oriented MOR. Which is not to dismiss his solo career entirely. He produced much great music in the seventies, with his Derek &  the Dominos period being the most outstanding. On Layla, aided by a bad marriage and substance problem, he burned with fire like never before or since. 461 Ocean Boulevard is also a classic album, though I wouldn’t call in blues, or even blues-rock. Not dirty enough. I would call it the apex of a certain type of respectable, vaguely blues-based, middlebrow rock’n’roll. Music for middle-aged former hippies, before there was such a thing. Maybe it’s because Clapton doesn’t have a forceful personality to match his musical chops. Maybe I just find myself automatically turned off by anything that smells too strongly of baby boomer middle class complacency, and I’m unfairly taking it out on Eric Clapton for catering to those people in his own middle age. Agreed, the man made some great music in his time, but he is not God.


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