Eric Clapton returned in February of 1981 with his first studio release in over two years. Another Ticket is one of those albums that tends to disappear into his vast catalogue. In this case that is a shame as it is one of his most unique works and should appeal to all Clapton purists.
He delivers a solid set of rock/blues. There may be no monster songs but everything is smooth and satisfying. It is his vocals, however, which make the album unique as they are strong, pure blues in presentation, and some of the most distinctive of his career.
He surrounds himself with a small but talented group of musicians. Albert Lee had been touring with Clapton and is on board as the second guitarist. Keyboardist Chris Stainton, drummer Henry Spinetti, bass player Dave Markee, and keyboardist & vocalist Gary Brooker formed a tight unit.
The Muddy Waters tune “Blow Wind Blow” is a three-minute burst of blues energy. The six-minute “Floating Bridge” allows Clapton to stretch a bit musically as he gives a slow and quiet performance. “Black Rose” returns him to his blues/rock fusion roots.
Clapton wrote or co-wrote six of the nine tracks. “I Can’t Stand It” is about as close to straight rock as he gets on this release as it features his guitar up front. At least for me, “Help Me Lord” is one of his better vocal performances of the eighties and has a nice combination of blues and gospel. “Rita Mae” is another lost Clapton track that deserves more attention as he rocks the album to a satisfying conclusion.
Twenty-eight years is a long time in the music world but Another Ticket stands the test of time well. His fans would embrace the album upon its release and it would quickly rise to number seven on the American charts. If you want to explore the Eric Clapton catalogue a little more deeply then this album is a good place to start.