There is simply no one like Eric Clapton, in this reviewer’s opinion. From the days when “Clapton is God” was common graffiti on walls everywhere to today, Clapton is simply one of the best guitar players and most disarmingly charming singers in pop, blues and rock music. The original Slowhand contains some of his very best and most beloved songs, including “Lay Down Sally,” “Wonderful Tonight,” and “Cocaine.”
Slowhand: The 35th Anniversary Deluxe Edition offers the original album, remastered and expanded, with all nine original numbers plus four bonus tracks: a great version of “Alberta”, plus the previously unreleased “Looking at the Rain,” “Greyhound Bus,” and “Stars, Strays and Ashtrays.” These comprise Disc One of the set.
Disc Two contains nine songs from a concert which Clapton performed at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on April 27, 1977. These include riveting versions of “Tell the Truth,” “Knocking on Heaven’s Door,” “Stormy Monday,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Layla” and “I Shot the Sheriff,” a pretty good version of “Steady Rolling Man,” and “Badge,” which perhaps rambles on just a bit.
The streaming audio which I received also included “Key to the Highway,” “Alberta,” “Hello Old Friend,” and “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out.” But according to the press release, these are only available on the Super Deluxe Edition, which also contains other material this reviewer was not provided.
Altogether, this collection provides more than two hours of stellar music, a total of 22 tracks. Listening to these songs feels like sharing time with an old friend, one who just happens to be a brilliant musician.
This edition (and the Super Deluxe Edition) will be an essential addition to the collection of any Clapton fan. Everything is interesting and worth listening to, from the familiar songs to the new releases and live material. The sound quality is excellent and you will not miss the scratches and hisses that your original album developed, if you are a long-time fan like this journalist is.