461 Ocean Boulevard

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461 Ocean Boulevard
Studio album by Eric Clapton
Released July 1974 (1974-07)[1]
Recorded April–May 1974, Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida[1]
Genre Rock, blues rock
Length 43:21
Label RSO
Producer Tom Dowd[1]
Eric Clapton chronology
Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert
461 Ocean Boulevard
There's One in Every Crowd

461 Ocean Boulevard is the second studio album by English musician Eric Clapton, released in July 1974 on the RSO label after the success of "I Shot the Sheriff".[1]

The house featured on the album cover was originally 461 Ocean Boulevard in the town of Golden Beach, Florida near Miami where Clapton lived while making the album. The number in the address of the house has since changed due to fans flocking to the property after the album's release.

In 2004, a remastered two-disc "deluxe edition" of 461 Ocean Boulevard was released. The second disc included in the packaging featured a live concert recorded at the Hammersmith Odeon. Disc One also has additional studio jam sessions.


After overcoming his heroin addiction, Eric Clapton was given a demo tape by Carl Radle – former bassist for Derek and the Dominos – with songs performed by Radle with keyboardist Dick Sims and drummer Jamie Oldaker. Clapton manager Robert Stigwood arranged for Clapton to record in Criteria Studios in Miami, with Radle, Sims, Oldaker, and record producer Tom Dowd.[1] Stigwood also paid for Eric to live at a rental house at the address 461 Ocean Boulevard in the town of Golden Beach near Miami.[2]

When Clapton started recording at Criteria, he hired guest vocalist Yvonne Elliman and guitarist George Terry as full-time members of his group. During this time, Terry played the album Burnin' by Bob Marley and the Wailers, inspiring the band to record a cover version of the song "I Shot the Sheriff". Initially, Clapton did not want to release the song on 461 Ocean Boulevard; however, the other band members persuaded him to include it.[1] The song was released as a single and became Clapton's only No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.[3]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[4]
Blender 2/5 stars[5]
Robert Christgau A[6]
Džuboks (favourable)[7]
MusicHound 3.5/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone (unfavourable)[9]

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic described the album as focused and consistent with Eric Clapton's aesthetic.[4] Robert Christgau, meanwhile, called the album honest and groundbreaking for Clapton, but praised the cover songs as the best part of it.[6]

For the Blender magazine review of the album's 2004 Deluxe Edition, however, Jon Pareles called the Eric Clapton of the Cream-era superior to the Clapton of the 461 Ocean Boulevard-era, because of what Pareles describes as strained singing on 461 Ocean Boulevard. Pareles also described Clapton's remake of "I Shot the Sheriff" as a copy with no original arrangement; he also praised the song "Let It Grow", but criticized it for sounding too much like "Stairway to Heaven".[5] Earlier, in 1974, Ken Emerson at Rolling Stone called Clapton's guitar work unnotable and criticized Clapton for hiding behind his other musicians, whom Emerson deemed less than capable. Emerson also questioned Clapton's decision to play a dobro on the album, but called "Let It Grow" a highlight. Emerson also considered Clapton's re-arrangement of "Motherless Children" to be too upbeat for a somber song.[9]

Despite Emerson's unfavorable 1974 review, Rolling Stone placed the album at #409 on its 2012 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, showing its change of heart when it lauded Clapton's return from heroin addiction "with (this) disc of mellow, springy grooves minus guitar histrionics" as well as Clapton's paying tribute to Robert Johnson and Elmore James.[10]

Track listing[edit]

Original album[edit]

Side one
  1. "Motherless Children" (Traditional; arr. by Eric Clapton, Carl Radle) – 4:55
  2. "Give Me Strength" (Louise King Mathews) – 2:51
  3. "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Johnny Otis) – 3:31
  4. "Get Ready" (Clapton, Yvonne Elliman) – 3:50
  5. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Bob Marley) – 4:30
Side two
  1. "I Can't Hold Out" (Elmore James) – 4:10
  2. "Please Be With Me" (Charles Scott Boyer) – 3:25
  3. "Let It Grow" (Clapton) – 4:57
  4. "Steady Rollin' Man" (Robert Johnson) – 3:14
  5. "Mainline Florida" (George Terry) – 4:05

Original CD Release[edit]

  1. "Motherless Children" (Traditional; arranged by Clapton, Radle) – 4:55
  2. "Better Make It Through Today" (Clapton) – 4:07 (from There's One in Every Crowd)
  3. "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Otis) – 3:31
  4. "Get Ready" (Clapton, Elliman) – 3:47
  5. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Marley) – 4:25
  6. "I Can't Hold Out" (James) – 4:14
  7. "Please Be With Me" (Boyer) – 3:26
  8. "Let It Grow" (Clapton) – 5:00
  9. "Steady Rollin' Man" (Johnson) – 3:14
  10. "Mainline Florida" (Terry) – 4:09
  11. "Give Me Strength" (Wrongly attributed to Clapton, after Clapton thought it was public domain. It was copy-written by singer-songwriter Louise King Mathews in 1939) – 2:54

Deluxe edition[edit]

Disc one
  1. "Motherless Children" (Traditional; arranged by Clapton, Radle) – 4:55
  2. "Give Me Strength" (Wrongly attributed to Clapton, after Clapton thought it was public domain. It was copy-written by singer-songwriter Louise King Mathews in 1939) – 2:54
  3. "Willie and the Hand Jive" (Otis) – 3:31
  4. "Get Ready" (Clapton, Elliman) – 3:47
  5. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Marley) – 4:25
  6. "I Can't Hold Out" (James) – 4:14
  7. "Please Be With Me" (Boyer) – 3:26
  8. "Let It Grow" (Clapton) – 5:00
  9. "Steady Rollin' Man" (Johnson) – 3:14
  10. "Mainline Florida" (Terry) – 4:09
  11. "Walkin' Down the Road" (Musgrave, Levine) – 5:17
  12. "Ain't That Loving You" (Jimmy Reed) – 5:30
  13. "Meet Me (Down at the Bottom)" (Willie Dixon) – 6:59
  14. "Eric After Hours Blues" (Clapton) – 4:23
  15. "B Minor Jam" (Clapton) – 7:11
Disc two

All songs recorded live 4 and 5 December 1974 at the Hammersmith Odeon, London, England.

  1. "Smile" (Charlie Chaplin, Geoffrey Parsons, John Turner) – 4:39
  2. "Let It Grow" (Clapton) – 6:23
  3. "Can't Find My Way Home" (Steve Winwood) – 4:49
  4. "I Shot the Sheriff" (Marley) – 7:49
  5. "Tell the Truth" (Clapton, Bobby Whitlock) – 7:03
  6. "The Sky Is Crying/Have You Ever Loved a Woman/Rambling on My Mind" (James/Billy Myles/Johnson) – 7:23
  7. "Little Wing" (Jimi Hendrix) – 6:49
  8. "Singin' the Blues" (McCreary) – 7:42
  9. "Badge" (Clapton, George Harrison) – 8:36
  10. "Layla" (Clapton, Jim Gordon) – 5:26
  11. "Let It Rain" (Bonnie Bramlett, Clapton) – 6:33


Per book[1] and allmusic[11]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1974–1975) Peak
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[12] 1
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[13] 4
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[14] 11
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[15] 8
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[16] 38
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[17] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[18] 3
US Billboard 200[19] 1


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[20] 2× Gold 70,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[21] Gold 100,000^
Peru (IFPI Peru)[22] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[23] Gold 1,000,000[24]
United States (RIAA)[25] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Single Releases[edit]

Year Single Chart Position
1974 "I Shot the Sheriff" Billboard Hot 100 1[26]
1974 "I Shot the Sheriff" Billboard R&B Singles 33[26]
1974 "Willie and the Hand Jive" Billboard Hot 100 26[26]
1974 "I Shot the Sheriff" UK Singles 9[27]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Clapton, Eric (2007). "461 Ocean Boulevard". Clapton: The Autobiography (1st ed.). United States: Broadway Books. pp. 147–154. ISBN 978-0-385-51851-2. 
  2. ^ Sokol, Brett, "Musical Mecca: After 30 years, they still flock to that most fabled of oceanfront homes", Miami New Times, Thursday, 9 December 2004
  3. ^ Eric Clapton Allmusic.com
  4. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "461 Ocean Boulevard – Eric Clapton : Overview". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (1 November 2004). "Review: Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (Deluxe Edition)". Blender.com. Alpha Media Group. 
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Eric Clapton – Consumer Guide Reviews" (.Php). RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Džuboks (in Serbian) (Gornji Milanovac: Dečje novine) (3 (second series)): 22. 
  8. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (eds) (1999). MusicHound Rock: The Essential Album Guide. Farmington Hills, MI: Visible Ink Press. p. 238. ISBN 1-57859-061-2. 
  9. ^ a b Emerson, Ken. "Album Reviews – 461 Ocean Boulevard by Eric Clapton". RollingStone.com. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "500 Greatest Albums: 461 Ocean Boulevard – Eric Clapton | Rolling Stone Music | Lists". Rollingstone.com. May 31, 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2014. 
  11. ^ "461 Ocean Boulevard: Deluxe Edition – Credits". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  12. ^ "RPM – Item Display: Top Albums/CDs – Volume 22, No. 2, August 31, 1974" (.Php). Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2004. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  13. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  14. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  15. ^ "Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Eric Clapton". Japanese Charts. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  16. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  17. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2015-07-16.
  18. ^ "British Albums Chart Position for "461 Ocean Boulevard". Ultimate Music Database. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  19. ^ "Eric Clapton – Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2015-07-16. 
  20. ^ "ARIA Double Gold Sales Award". Equipboard. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  21. ^ Tatsaku, Ren. The Oricon Sales Report. Tokyo: Recording Industry Association of Japan. p. 15. 
  22. ^ "Der britische Gott Eric Clapton bleibt ein globales Phänomen" (in German). Nachrichten.com. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  23. ^ "British album certifications – Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter 461 Ocean Boulevard in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select album in the field By Format. Select Gold in the field By Award. Click Search
  24. ^ "461 Ocean Boulevard Platinum Sales Award". Nielsen SoundScan. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  25. ^ "American album certifications – Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  26. ^ a b c Eric Clapton Allmusic.com William Ruhlmann
  27. ^ "UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyHit.com. 16 March 2000. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 3 September 2011.