Eric Clapton – "Complete Clapton" This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Eric Clapton is one the most influential artists of all time, and this album was intended to sum up his career. However, the 2007 best-of ­album “Complete Clapton” leaves you feeling empty and wanting more.

The album can be broken ­into three sections: the golden years, pop, and back to the blues. The golden years are the main and supreme part of the album. “Complete Clapton” features five popular songs by Cream (Clapton’s first band), including “White Room,” “Crossroads,” and “Badge,” but only three tracks from later groups Blind Faith and Derek & the Dominos. It also features several tracks from early in Clapton’s solo career. Then the album starts down a slippery slope ­toward Eric’s pop era.

The beginning of the pop sec­tion isn’t too gruesome. Songs like “Forever Man” and “Pretending” somewhat resemble rock songs. The remainder of this section can be sum­med up with an exasperated “Ugh!” Several singles like “Bad Love” and “Running on Faith (Unplugged)” make the listener want to break the second disc in half. Then “Complete Clapton” pulls you out of this depression by going back to the blues.

Clapton’s return to the blues is represented with four tracks, which is not nearly enough. This part features two songs Clapton recorded with other artists: “Riding With the King” with B.B. King, and “Ride the River” featuring J.J. Cale. In short, this brief blues bit is much too small to fill the ­appetite of an avid listener.

All said and done, two discs are far too few to cover Eric Clapton’s career, and “Complete Clapton” gave a decent try but was doomed from the start. Cream’s three-album lifetime can’t possibly be summed up in five tracks. The producers should have just cut out all the pop, but then it wouldn’t be a history of Clapton. And that’s what a best-of album is: a story, a recollection of the artist and his musi

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

Join the Discussion

This article has 5 comments. Post your own now!

I.R.B said...
Sept. 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm
Complete Clapton was the first Clapton I owned. I fell head over heals in love with the music, and now know most of his songs by heart. I even know his guitar style, and can tell when he is playing. Bell Bottom Blues is one of my favorite songs! And that is saying something, I listen to quite a bit of music. 
L.B.Cross said...
Jul. 28, 2011 at 1:04 pm
Alright! Nice to see some classic rock fans!
yaychloeyay This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 31, 2010 at 10:21 am
I absolutely LOVE Clapton! He really was one of the main reasons I ever picked up a guitar. :) And I'm sooo glad I did!
His autobiography, Clapton, is really great too. He really gives you a look into his life that is remarkable...and memorable. I'll always love that book...
Dec. 15, 2008 at 2:58 pm
NekoJ said...
Nov. 22, 2008 at 2:50 pm
This review is decently written. It is ironic, nevertheless, that the review is guilty of its primary criticism of the Clapton compilation album: sparseness. The review feels terribly incomplete, offering harsh criticism of the album's individual songs without any mention of these songs' shortcomings. The striking imagery of the author wishing to "break the second disc in half" is substantiated merely by the author's labeling of the songs as "pop." What defines a song as bein... (more »)
bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback