The latest Mojo magazine cd is one of those clever compilations that invoke a music star in order to regurgitate a musical anthology of those who influenced/shaped/affected and so on that star, not that this Blues collection is bad – indeed, it’s a superb selection of classics by the greats and makes for fine listening. In my own nerd compilation mode, I decided to make my own copy of this Mojo collection but add the Clapton versions of each song on the cd – a before/after or original/mirror pattern. Yes, just for the fun of it. Just to see if I could do it. And I did.
Most of my Clapton and Cream material is on cd – and needed to be to compile my extended compilation – but I was still surprised at the amount of Clapton in particular that I have on vinyl [not that this will compare with actual fans and/or much bigger record collectors]. A surprise because I wouldn’t say I’m a big fan of Clapton’s whole output, though I can’t imagine how anyone who likes music – and especially the guitar and the Blues – could not regard Clapton as a true great, but I simply didn’t remember that I had this number of records.
And all of this by way of a brief comment on Clapton’s latest Old Sock, which I referenced very briefly in a previous entry. It’s not really that good [a relative term!], not that Clapton would give a toss for my or anyone else’s opinion. When you have done and achieved what he has and can play as he does, why should he? But it is disappointing, and the title could be a deliberate piece of wit to reflect on its contents, but I suspect not. It almost [but doesn’t even have this as a full excuse] has that ‘star doing standards’ naffness about it, with for example the Paul McCartney duet The Folks Who Live On The Hill, which is dire. The album opens with a workmanlike reggae-tinged Further On Down The Road which is OK, but second track Angel is a dirge. It’s not until fourth Gotta Get Over that Clapton stands up from the rocking chair for a mild romp – the kind of rootsy number he can do blind-folded and handcuffed, so to speak. All Of Me is homage enough, if you like that sort of thing. But to end on a slightly higher note – though not commenting on all the tracks – eighth is a beautiful and atmospheric version of Gary Moore’s brilliant Still Got the Blues, Clapton in gruff Eric voice and pleasant Eric acoustic then electric blues guitar amble.
His album cover photo says it all: this is me as I am, hangin’ out and doing what I do as I want to do and lookin’ like this as that’s how it is - so take it or leave it.