461 Ocean Boulevard

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461 Ocean Boulevard
Studio album by Eric Clapton
Released July 1974 (1974-07)
Recorded April–May 1974
Studio Criteria Studios (Miami, FL)
Genre Rock · blues rock · reggae
Length 43:21
Label RSO
Producer Tom Dowd
Eric Clapton chronology
Eric Clapton
461 Ocean Boulevard
There's One in Every Crowd
Singles from 461 Ocean Boulevard
  1. "I Shot the Sheriff"
    Released: July 1974
  2. "Willie and the Hand Jive"
    Released: October 1974

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]
Sputnikmusic 4/5 stars[5]
Uncut 4/5 stars[6]
MusicHound 3.5/5 stars[7]
Blender 2/5 stars[8]
Robert Christgau A[9]
Džuboks (favourable)[10]
The Music Times (favourable)[11]
Ultimate Classic Rock (favourable)[12]
Rolling Stone (unfavourable)[13]

AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine calls the studio album a "tighter, more focused outing that enables Clapton to stretch out instrumentally" and adds that the "pop concessions on the album [as well as] the sleek production [and] the concise running times don't detract from the rootsy origins of the material". Finishing his review, Erlewine notes, the 461 Ocean Boulevard "set the template for Clapton's 1970s albums". The critic awarded the release four and a half out of five possible stars.[4] For the Blender magazine review of the album's 2004 deluxe edition, 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".[8] Music critic Robert Christgau reviewed: "By opening the first side with 'Motherless Children' and closing it with 'I Shot the Sheriff', Clapton puts the rural repose of his laid-back-with-Leon music into a context of deprivation and conflict, adding bite to soft-spoken professions of need and faith that might otherwise smell faintly of the most rural of laid-back commodities, bullshit. And his honesty has its reward: better sex. The casual assurance you can hear now in his singing goes with the hip-twitching syncopation he brings to Robert Johnson's 'Steady Rolling Man' and Elmore James's 'I Can't Hold Out', and though the covers are what make this record memorable it's on 'Get Ready', written and sung with Yvonne Elliman, that his voice takes on a mellow, seductive intimacy he's never come close to before".[9] The critics at Sputnikmusic notes, that after listening to the album, it seems to be "very easy to tell why Clapton is the God of the guitar", however thinks the "only weak part on this album is that Clapton tends to hide behind other musicians and writers. Of course it has the Clapton sound and is an excellent album, it just could’ve used more of his raw talent and writing. At the end of the day, this is still one of his best solo efforts". The music website awarded the album four out of five possible points, rating it "excellent".[5]

Uncut magazine's journalist Nigel Williamson finds, that with 461 Ocean Boulevard, Clapton "rediscovered the primacy of music in his life".[6] Critic Ryan Book from The Music Times likes the tracklisting very much and thinks that out of this studio album "climate comes out in Clapton's work ten tracks ranging from bright".[11] Eduardo Rivadavia at Ultimate Classic Rock calls the release a "watershed solo LP" and notes the popularity of the album, stating it is a "wanted man". The journalist finished his review, calling the 461 Ocean Boulevard the album, in which Clapton's "incomparable talents and this inspired song set were finally captured".[12] In 1974, journalist 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.[13] 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.[14]

Track listings[edit]

461 Ocean BoulevardSide 1
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Motherless Children"   Traditional (Arrangement 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"   Eric Clapton · Yvonne Elliman 3:50
5. "I Shot the Sheriff"   Bob Marley 4:30
461 Ocean BoulevardSide 2
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "I Can't Hold Out"   Elmore James 4:10
2. "Please Be With Me"   Charles Scott Boyer 3:25
3. "Let It Grow"   Eric Clapton 4:47
4. "Steady Rollin' Man"   Robert Johnson 3:14
5. "Mainline Florida"   George Terry 4:05


Per book[1] and allmusic[16]

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1974–1975) Peak
Canadian Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[17] 1
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[18] 4
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 11
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[20] 8
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[21] 38
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[22] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 3
US Billboard 200[24] 1
Yugoslavia (Džuboks)[10] 2


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[25] 2× Gold 70,000^
Japan (RIAJ)[26] Gold 100,000^
Peru (IFPI Peru)[27] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 1,000,000[29]
United States (RIAA)[30] 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[31]
1974 "I Shot the Sheriff" Billboard R&B Singles 33[31]
1974 "Willie and the Hand Jive" Billboard Hot 100 26[31]
1974 "I Shot the Sheriff" UK Singles 9[32]


  1. ^ a b c d Clapton, Eric (2007). "461 Ocean Boulevard". Clapton: The Autobiography (1st ed.). United States: Broadway Books. 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 | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (album review ) | Sputnikmusic". Jeremy Ferwerda. Sputnikmusic.com. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Williamson, Nigel (December 1, 2004). "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard – Uncut". uncut.co.uk. Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ a b Pareles, Jon (November 1, 2004). "Review: Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard (Deluxe Edition)". Blender.com. Alpha Media Group. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  9. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Eric Clapton – Consumer Guide Reviews" (.Php). RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Džuboks (in Serbian) (Gornji Milanovac: Dečje novine) (3 (second series)): 22. 
  11. ^ a b Book, Ryan (August 17, 2014). "40 Years of '461 Ocean Boulevard': Music Times Looks Back and Ranks Eric Clapton's Classic Record : Genres : Music Times". The Music Times. Music Times. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b Rivadavia, Eduardo (July 27, 2014). "40 Years Ago: Eric Clapton Releases '461 Ocean Boulevard'". Ultimate Classic Rock. Diffuser Network. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  13. ^ a b Emerson, Ken. "Album Reviews – 461 Ocean Boulevard by Eric Clapton". RollingStone.com. Jann S. Wenner. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  14. ^ "500 Greatest Albums: 461 Ocean Boulevard – Eric Clapton | Rolling Stone Music | Lists". Rollingstone.com. May 31, 2012. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  15. ^ a b Small, Barry. "461 Ocean Blvd". thebestofwebsite.com. Retrieved October 9, 2015. 
  16. ^ "461 Ocean Boulevard: Deluxe Edition – Credits". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 22 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "RPM – Item Display: Top Albums/CDs – Volume 22, No. 2, August 31, 1974" (Php). Library and Archives Canada. 31 March 2004. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  18. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  19. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  20. ^ "Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Eric Clapton". Japanese Charts (in Japanese). Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  21. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  22. ^ "Eric Clapton – 461 Ocean Boulevard". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 7, 2015.
  23. ^ "British Albums Chart Position for "461 Ocean Boulevard". Ultimate Music Database. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  24. ^ "Eric Clapton – Billboard Albums". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 7, 2015. 
  25. ^ "ARIA Double Gold Sales Award". Equipboard. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  26. ^ Tatsaku, Ren (2011). The Oricon Sales Report (in Japanese). Tokyo: Oricon Style – Recording Industry Association of Japan. 
  27. ^ "Der britische Gott Eric Clapton bleibt ein globales Phänomen" (in German). Nachrichten.com. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  28. ^ "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
  29. ^ "461 Ocean Boulevard Platinum Sales Award". Nielsen SoundScan. Retrieved 2015-07-14. 
  30. ^ "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
  31. ^ a b c Eric Clapton Allmusic.com William Ruhlmann
  32. ^ "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.