Eric Clapton, Clapton Blues

Vinyl enthusiasts are going to have Eric Clapton for the holidays. announces the November release of Clapton Blues, a five-vinyl box set that encompasses three of Clapton’s great late-period blues albums.

First up is From the Cradle, Clapton’s first LP since the triumphant success of his MTV Unplugged appearance in 1992. It’s a raw, straight pass of a set (the liner notes detail only two overdubs and no editing) comprised of 16 classic covers of blues legends from Elmore James to Muddy Waters. Strange as it sounds, this was Clapton’s first true all-blues album as a solo performer, but it was just what folks wanted to hear, topping the Billboard 200 and earning a triple platinum certification.

Clapton’s next foray into the blues was 2000′s Riding with the King, a collaboration with – who else? – the one and only B.B. King. While the then-74-year-old guitarist had worked with Clapton before (they first met Clapton when he was Cream’s guitarist and worked together on King’s Deuces Wild in 1997), this was their first full-blown joint effort. The response was exactly what you’d expect from two giants of the genre getting together: strong sales, critical respect and a Grammy for each of their shelves for Best Blues Album.

Finally, while not a collaboration in the strict sense of the word, Clapton in 2004 tackled the work of late blues pioneer Robert Johnson for Me and Mr. Johnson. Of course, the guitarist was no stranger to his work – his interest in Johnson in the ’60s paved the way for the critical reassessment and resurgence that Johnson’s output would enjoy in the decades to follow – but the record was kind of an accident, the output of a studio session with no new written material. The loose sessions were turned into an album, and Clapton’s blues legend was further underlined.

The box will feature Cradle and King on double vinyl and Johnson on single vinyl. According to the report, an exclusibe online preorder will feature the discs on blue vinyl as well.

Clapton Blues is available November 22.

Eric Clapton, Clapton Blues
Format: 5 LP set / Label: Warner Reprise / Release: 22 November 2011

LPs 1 and 2: From the Cradle (originally released as Reprise 9362-45735-2, 1994)

Blues Before Sunrise
Third Degree
Reconsider Baby
Hoochie Coochie Man
Five Long Years
I’m Tore Down
How Long Blues
Goin’ Away Baby
Blues Leave Me Alone
Sinner’s Prayer
Motherless Child
It Hurts Me Too
Someday After a While (You’ll Be Sorry)
Standin’ Round Crying
Groaning the Blues

LPs 3 and 4: B.B. King and Eric Clapton, Riding with the King (originally released as Reprise 9 47612-2, 2000)

Riding with the King
Ten Long Years
Key to the Highway
Marry You
Three O’Clock Blues
Help the Poor
I Wanna Be
Worried Life Blues
Days of Old
When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer
Hold On, I’m Comin’
Come Rain or Come Shine

LP 5: Me and Mr. Johnson (originally released as Reprise 9362-48423-2, 2004)

When You Got a Good Friend
Little Queen of Spades
They’re Red Hot
Me and the Devil Blues
Travelling Riverside Blues
Last Fair Deal Gone Down
Stop Breakin’ Down Blues
Milkcow’s Calf Blues
Kind Hearted Woman Blues
Come on in My Kitchen
If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day
Love in Vain
32-20 Blues
Hellhound on My Trail

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