Records That Made History

Eric Clapton – E.C. Was Here

todayDecember 30, 2023 38 3

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E. C. Was Here is a 1975 album by Eric Clapton, recorded live in 1974 and 1975 at the Long Beach Arena, Hammersmith Odeon and Providence Civic Center by Record Plant Remote during Clapton’s first tour after Derek And The Dominos in 1970 and their live album In Concert.

After his recovery from heroin addiction in 1974 and his subsequent comeback with the album 461 Ocean Boulevard, the guitar legend kept his band going by touring extensively, with this live album commemorating that era.

Despite Clapton’s more pop-oriented hits at the time, such as “I Shot The Sheriff,” E.C. Was Here makes it clear that Clapton was and will remain a blues musician. Album opener “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” makes this clear and highlights that Clapton had a firm grasp on his blues guitar prowess, with some brilliant, emotionally charged and sustained guitar riffs. A short, for example, performance of “Drifting Blues” drives us back home, with the feel of a lazy and heady Delta Blues track.

In addition to these standard blues tracks, Clapton offers us a surprise with two songs from the Blind Faith period. “Presence Of The Lord” and Steve Winwood’s classic “Can’t Find My Way Home”, which highlight his amazing band and especially his co-singer Yvonne Elliman, whose singing adds a melody to the vocal blues flames of Clapton.

The numerous guitar cuts are done with consummate professional agility, and while they lack the bare-bones intensity of Clapton’s live performance with Derek And The Dominos, they’re done with fluency and a steady stride. George Terry, Clapton’s second guitarist, follows the leader to the end, creating rapid playings on his Stratocaster.

The market at the time was a bit oversaturated with reissues of Clapton and Cream records, so this fine album has been lost to time, but in any case it remains an excellent document of the era.

“Presence Of The Lord,” which I pick, begins acoustically, with Clapton and Yvonne Elliman, who has added an extra vocal dimension to Clapton’s recent albums, singing alongside her usual coolness and sudden tempo changes at a higher tempo. The strong contrast between the parts of the song is quite obvious, but without the classic rhythm of wah-wah guitar mixes like in the original with Blind Faith.

Tracklist

1. Have You Ever Loved A Woman 7:42
2. Presence Of The Lord 6:42
3. Drifting Blues 3:25
4. I Can’t Find My Way Home 5:10
5. Rambling On My Mind 7:17
6. Farther On Up The Road 7:22

Written by: Dimitris Sigalos

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