Happy Birthday, Eric Clapton!

Happy Birthday, Mr Clapton!

Today we celebrate the 71st birthday of none other than Mr Eric Clapton – one of the most brilliant rock musicians in the world and one of my personal favorite rockstars of all time. He is such an inspirational figure and I don’t know any other musician that possesses so much talent, passion and devotion to music. Despite being 71 years old, he keeps on making music and touching the souls of millions of people around the world. Clapton is very special to me as I grew up listening to songs such as “Wonderful Tonight” and “Let It Rain”. In the spirit of his birthday, I decided to make a little publication, in appreciation of the limitless talent of this guitar God! I hope you guys would enjoy it and remind yourself of some of his most remarkable tunes throughout the years.


 

Eric Clapton was born on the 30th of March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England. His early career is associated with the infamous blues-oriented rock band – The Yardbirds. He stayed with them from 1963 till 1965. During that time, Clapton developed his own signature style and quickly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene.

YARDBIRDS.jpg
The Yardbirds

The Yardbirds’ manager, Giorgio Gomelsky, was actually the one who gave Eric Clapton his famous nickname “Slowhand” in early 1964.

In Clapton – The Autobiography (2007), Eric said, “On my guitar I used light-gauge guitar strings, with a very thin first string, which made it easier to bend the notes, and it was not uncommon during the most frenetic bits of playing for me to break at least one string. During the pause while I was changing my string, the frenzied audience would often break into a slow handclap, inspiring Giorgio to dream up the nickname of ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.”

 

The following year, Clapton undertook numerous projects with bands, such as John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers and the Glands. By 1966 – the time he formed his new band Cream, Clapton was already a well-established and extremely influential guitar player. Everyone was captivated by his talent and wanted to hear more and more…
The years he spent with Cream helped him reach his full song writing potential, which grabbed the attention of the American audience – something that was not achieved before that. Despite the Cream’s commercial success in both USA and Europe, the band had a relatively short life due to conflicts between the members and alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, they are still considered as one of the most influential rock bands of the era. Songs such as “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Crossroads” keep on living and reminding us of their musical virtuosity.

CREAM
Cream

 

 

CLAPTONISGOD

During the autumn of 1967, an admirer of Clapton spray-painted the famous slogan “Clapton is God” on an Islington Underground station. There a very famous photograph of this wall, capturing a dog that pees on the same wall…

“I never accepted that I was the greatest guitar player in the world. I always wanted to be the greatest guitar player in the world, but that’s an ideal, and I accept it as an ideal, ” he says…

 

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“Eric Clapton” – album cover

Eric Clapton’s next musical project was the supergroup Blind Faith (1969). In addition to being a member of Blind Faith, he was also participating in various other acts in bands such as Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, the Plastic Ono Band, playing lead guitar in some of Lennon’s songs and many others. He was probably the busiest guitarist at that time. In 1970, he finally released his first self-titled album, including masterpieces such as “Let it Rain”, “After Midnight” and “Blues Power”.

 

 

 

 

 

LAYLA
“Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” album cover

Originally called “Eric Clapton and Friends”, his next band – “Derek and the Dominos” was the first step towards a decade full of love and turbulence, mixed with rehab and immense commercial success. His deep infatuation for George Harrison’s wife Pattie Boyd inspired the band’s first and only album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” (1970) and gave birth to one of Clapton’s most famous and loved tunes of all time – “Layla”.

 

 

 

ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 70S ~

 

 

ERIC CLAPTON IN THE 80S~

 

 

 

The beginning of the 90s was very emotional for Clapton, as he lost his four-year old son. His sadness was channeled into the song “Tears in Heaven” for which he received six Grammy awards.

Since then, Clapton has released 11 studio albums and we are waiting for his 12th one which is going to be released on May 20th this year. Personally, among all the albums he made throughout the years, an honorable mention should receive “Riding with the King” (2000), “Me and Mr. Johnson” (a tribute to the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, 2004), “Back Home” (2005), “Clapton” (2010) and “Old Sock” (2013). If you are a fan of Clapton, those albums are a must!

 

 

ERIC - DISCOGRAPhy.jpeg

 

Needless to say, Eric Clapton is a true legend – one of the most respected and appreciated guitarists and music-writers of all time. People love him for what he is – a talented and passionate musicians and a true role model. Throughout his life, he had to fight with alcohol and drug abuse, see the death of his son and go through so many other personal and professional challenges. However, his love for music was always there to bring happiness, joy – a little bit of every feeling possible to the people all over the world. His spirit is unbreakable and his career is unstoppable. Thank you, Eric for all the songs and emotions you brought to this world. I hope you never stop making music! We love you…

xoxoxox


Credits:
“How did Eric Clapton got his nickname “slowhand”? , Retrieved from http://www.whereseric.com/the-vault/biographical-information-eric-clapton/how-did-eric-clapton-get-his-nickname-slowhand
Eric Clapton official Wikipedia Page – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Clapton
P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the rights and credits go to the owners and/or publishers.

Happy Birthday, David Gilmour!

Today we celebrate the 70th birthday of Mr. David Gilmour – one of the most talented and fascinating rock music icons. With his outstanding vocal abilities, musicianship, guitar and song-writing skills, he became one of the most essential elements of the development of progressive rock music and also one of the main reasons behind Pink Floyd’s distinctive sound and success throughout the years.

David Gilmour is one of the few rockstars who can brag about having a career that lasted for more than 50 years. Not to mention that he’s still making music and even last year, he released a phenomenal album called “Rattle That Lock”. Naturally, I assume that the majority of people know him for being the charismatic and mysterious co-lead vocalist and guitarist of Pink Floyd. However, in addition to his work with PF, over the years he has collaborated with numerous musicians and participated in countless projects with Eric Clapton, Tom Jones, The Who, Paul McCartney, David Crosby and many others. Also, he’s famous for producing the English folk rock band called The Dream Academy. Furthermore, the list of his accomplishments doesn’t end here. In 2008, he was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution award at the 2008 Q Awards and Rolling Stones magazine ranked him #14 in their list of the greatest guitarists of all time. It goes on and on…this man is not only a versatile music genius but a much respected visionary who knows how to make a statement.

David Gilmour has a very characteristic musical style. His memorable solos in some of Pink Floyd’s most famous songs such as “Money”, “Time” or “Comfortably Numb” perfectly illustrate what I’m saying – he is very expressive, “colourful” and passionate in his music. He is carefully mixing progressive thought with blues-influenced phrasing and then adds a note of melancholy. Maybe it’s just me – but the music of Pink Floyd always had a very perplexed impact on me – it’s like I’m both despondent and elevated at the same time…

 

Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

 

Wish You Were Here (1975)

 

Animals (1977)

 

The Wall (1979)

 

So far, David has released four solo studio albums, all of which welcomed with adoration and respect from his devoted fans. I have to say, among those four albums, his latest one “Rattle That Lock” is my favorite. I believe the reason behind it lies in the fact that this album gives us a personal and autobiographical glimpse of his life, filled with the usual presence of love, happiness and pain. It’s most certainly very far away from his golden days as a member of Pink Floyd. However, creating something so beautiful, real and majestic at this age – I cannot but be impressed and bow down to his talent…

 

David Gilmour (1978)

 

About Face (1984)

 

On an Island (2006)

 

Rattle that Lock (2015)

 

Once again, Happy Birthday to one of the most glorious and outstanding musicians of all time – David Gilmour. We can’t but thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his long and productive career that spawned so many songs we love, cherish and can’t stop listening to.
Hope he has a good one today!

——-

 

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits go to the owners, publishers and/or rights holders.

 

[Appreciation Post] Happy Birthday, George Harrison!

 

Today marks a very special occasion – on this day, in 1943, one of the greatest musicians was born – our beloved George Harrison. He was one of those brilliant artists without whom the world would’ve been a very different place, now. Throughout his career, he achieved unbelievable success, touched the hearts and souls of millions of people and left a legacy that can never be matched. In honour of George, I decided to prepare a little publication, dedicated to some of his major achievements in music. He was an outstanding artist – every word and note he wrote was revealing a part of him – his music was special, personal and unforgettable. That’s why many people say that he was the heart of the Beatles… I don’t know about that, but what I’m sure of is the fact that his artistic persona and exceptional music is truly missed…

George Harrison and the Beatles…

George became a member of the Beatles, back when they were still a skiffle band with only John Lennon and Paul McCartney being the other two members. At the beginning, his position was still uncertain – he was too young to be in their band. However, after some auditions and filling in on guitar when needed, he eventually became a full member of the band.

The band spent the following years in Hamburg, Germany. There Harrison kept on working hard and giving his all into polishing his talents on the guitar by taking lessons and learning as much as he could. He was too young, so unfortunately he had to be deported along with the Beatles who followed him back home to UK. In 1961, Brian Epstein – one of the most brilliant managers, took matters into his own hands and helped the guys establish their grounds, looks and image. A recording contract with EMI was also placed on the table. From that moment on, the career of the Beatles, with Harrison as their lead guitarist, turn into the biggest success story ever! Beatles changed the music industry, people’s perception of rock ‘n’ roll and conquered the world…

“Norwegian Wood” – a song from Harrison’s favorite Beatles’ album – “Rubber Soul”. At that time, he was beginning to take immense interest in Indian music culture and introduced the sitar to the Beatles.

Harrison was responsible for composing some of Beatles’ major hits during the first half of the 60s – “Taxman”, “Love You To”, “I Want to Tell You”, “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” and many more. However, by 1966, his focus of interest has shifted dramatically. In addition to his desire to write more songs, featuring Indian instruments and express himself through a different kind of music, George also took a long path of self-realization. At that time, all the creative decisions in the band were made, of course, by Lennon and McCartney – basically, there was no equality in terms of what kind of music the Beatles should make. Eventually, tensions escalated and in 1969, Harrison left the band.

Their last LP – “Abbey Road”, included George Harrison’s most famous works – “Here Comes the Sun” and “Something”.

The following years were quite productive for George – he released new albums, organized charity events in Bangladesh, toured over North America and basically didn’t stop writing, producing and performing the way he wanted it. One of his biggest successes was the album “Dark Horse”, released in 1974 – a record about “change and loss”.

Harrison’s song “All Those Years Ago” was written as a tribute to Lennon whose death really affected George’s life.

In 1987, Harrison released the platinum album “Cloud Nine” which spawned one of George’s most famous and loved hit songs – “Got My Mind Set on You”. (it was a rendition of James Ray’s “Got My Mind Set on You”)

The following step of his career was a project called “the Traveling Wilburys” with Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty.

Harrison died of cancer on November 29th, 2001 in Los Angeles at the age of 58. His final album – “Brainwashed” was completed by his son. 

 

Once again, Happy Birthday to George Harrison – one of the greatest musicians and rockstars of all time. His talent was limitless, his heart was made of gold and his music changed the lives of everyone.

Thank you, George.

“There never was a time when you or I did not exist. Nor will there be any future when we shall cease to be.”

P.S. I don’t own any audio or visual material used in this publication. All the credits and rights go to the owners and publishers.

 

[Song Appreciaion Post] Foreigner – Reaction to Action

 

…And the list of favourite rock songs I admire and cherish with all my heart goes on and on…
For today’s song appreciation post, I decided to take a journey back to 1984, when one of my favorite rock albums was released. Yes, I’m talking about “Agent Provocateur” by the American/British rock band Foreigner. I’ve always kept this album very close to my heart and that’s why to me, the following publication is a very special one. Not to mention that I owe a lot to Foreigner – they were one of the first rock bands I started listening to back in the day and one of the bands that introduced me to the genre when I was just a little girl. Anyhow, as I said, in my opinion “Agent Provocateur” is a very important album despite what all the critics say. One might think that in terms of musicianship, technicality and influence, “4” is their most distinctive and remarkable album, however to me things don’t just necessarily stand that way…Anyhow, this is not the time to defend the album from all the negative reviews it received throughout the years…

This morning I was once again listening through the songs of “Agent Provocateur” and decided to make this song appreciation post dedicated to (in my opinion) the second best song of the album – “Reaction to Action”, the first one being “That Was Yesterday”. I get that to many people “I Want to Know What Love Is” is probably THE song from this album and as a matter of fact to many fans it is their most respected and widely-recognized song of all time. It is a classic dreamy, emotional power ballad with inspirational chorus that will live forever – however, to me it’s not their greatest song and definitely not the song they should be remembered by.

That is why I decided to shift the focus to “Reaction to Action” which was released as the third single from the album back in 1984. It didn’t score that well on the charts. Even though it was one of the strongest and most hard-rock driven songs from the album, it only made it to #54 on Billboard charts. Doesn’t matter – to me and to many (Foreigner) fans such numbers cannot truly represent the personal value and meaning of a song in general.

“Reaction to Action” was written by Mick Jones – the founder of Foreigner and Lou Gramm – the lead singer of the band. Some other songs from the album were also written by those two – perfect collaboration and music craftsmanship, indeed. The song itself is a perfect example of AOR (Album Oriented Rock) and to many critics the characteristics of the song make it quite dull, cliché and even tasteless. Regardless, the song includes very charming and cheerful lyrics, in combination with a nice rhythm and perfect vocal delivery. In 2016, such AOR rock songs are definitely considered outdated and don’t attract much attention, except from those people who still listen to the music of a long gone era – the 80s.
I don’t believe in things such as “overall trend” and “common perceptions” – I believe in personal, subjective feelings and emotions that a song can bring to different people, at a different time and on a different level. With this song for example, each time I play it, I feel energized, uplifted, motivated and stimulated – as mainstream as it is, it also triggers some confidence and brightness. It’s very radio-friendly and perfect-for-a-party song that is mixing some elements of classic Foreigner hard rock with pop music. Many people, including critics seem to become quite mad when they see how classic rock bands start making such radio-friendly pop rock songs, however we need to understand that artists change, accept or reject new trends, try or don’t try new styles and directions. All I can say is that I love the lyrics, the upbeat sound and the soulful and profound vocal delivery by Lou.

Enjoy the nice song and play the whole album! Cheers all!

It’s hard getting through to me
I’m truly elusive
I got my own point of view
I am the one of a kind
And I tell you l’il girl
I’m fascinated by you
There’s something about you
That makes all the difference
Like the night is to day
Well I can get along without you
But I know that within you
You’ve got what I’m missing
And I’ll find a way
To get reaction to action
Hey, say the word that would thrill me
Yeah, I need reaction to action
Just one look that would kill me
You got a way of drawing attention to you
You know you stand out in a crowd
But the way that you play
With any man’s affections
Should never be allowed
See I consider myself
The one who will show you
I’d go as far as to say
Girl, I ain’t leaving here without you
But you better understand
There’s only one rule in this game we’re gonna play
And that’s reaction to action
Maybe like a word that would thrill me
I need reaction to action
One look that would kill me
Give me reaction to action
It’s getting late I’d better make a definite move
Reaction to action
And after that baby, it’s up to you
I need reaction to action
Just a word that would thrill me
I need reaction to action
You know what I’m talking about
Give me some reaction to action
You got a look, you got a way that’ll kill me
Reaction to action, reaction to action, action
Baby, don’t think about it, just react
Reaction to action (x6)

P.S I do not own any photo or video material used in this publication. All the credits go to the photographers, owners or uploaders of the visual/audio materials.