August (Eric Clapton album)

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Eric Clapton August.jpg
Studio album by
Released24 November 1986 (UK)
RecordedApril–May 1986
LabelDuck / Warner Bros.
ProducerEric Clapton, Phil Collins, Tom Dowd
Eric Clapton chronology
Edge of Darkness
The Cream of Eric Clapton
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars[1]
Kerrang!4.5/5 stars[2]
Rolling Stoneunfavorable[3]

August is the tenth solo studio album by Eric Clapton, released in 1986 by Duck Records/Warner Bros. Records. Described as a "hard R&B" album, it was primarily produced by Phil Collins, in association with longtime Clapton associate Tom Dowd.[1]


Among the songs on the album are the Dowd/Clapton-produced signature tune "It's in the Way That You Use It" (co-written with Robbie Robertson, and featured in the Paul Newman-Tom Cruise film The Color of Money in October 1986, a month before the album's release, subsequently reaching No. 1 on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart for one week) and three Collins-produced numbers—the up-tempo, horn-laden "Run" and the guitar-laden rockers "Tearing Us Apart" (with Tina Turner), "Holy Mother", a tribute to Richard Manuel of The Band,[4] and "Miss You".

The album's only UK top 20 hit, "Behind the Mask", was recorded at the suggestion of Greg Phillinganes. Legend has it that upon hearing Yellow Magic Orchestra's original track, around 1980–82, producer Quincy Jones fell in love with the track, and he and Michael Jackson recorded their own version with new lyrics by Jackson during his Thriller sessions. The track never made the Thriller album but Phillinganes, at the time keyboard player for Jackson, later released his own version of the song on his 1984 Pulse album, which resembles the Clapton version that became August's lead single in the UK. Jackson's version was finally released in 2010 on the posthumous album Michael.

Clapton's studio band for the album included drummer/vocalist Collins; bassist Nathan East and keyboard player Greg Phillinganes; saxophonist Michael Brecker, trumpeters Randy Brecker and Jon Faddis, and trombone player Dave Bargeron.

Veering between Collins soul/pop and Clapton blues/rock, August cemented Clapton's comeback. Clapton, drummer/vocalist Collins, bassist East and keyboard player Phillinganes would recreate their studio roles for Clapton's acclaimed live appearances over the next two years.

Track listing[edit]

  1. "It's in the Way That You Use It" (Eric Clapton, Robbie Robertson) – 4:11
  2. "Run" (Lamont Dozier) – 3:39
  3. "Tearing Us Apart" (with Tina Turner) (Clapton, Greg Phillinganes) – 4:15
  4. "Bad Influence" (Robert Cray, Michael Vannice) – 5:09
  5. "Walk Away" (Richard Feldman, Marcella Detroit) – 3:52
  6. "Hung Up on Your Love" (Dozier) – 3:53
  7. "Take a Chance" (Clapton, Nathan East, Phillinganes) – 4:54
  8. "Hold On" (Clapton, Phil Collins) – 4:56
  9. "Miss You" (Clapton, Bobby Columby, Phillinganes) – 5:06
  10. "Holy Mother" (Stephen Bishop, Clapton) – 4:55
  11. "Behind the Mask" (Chris Mosdell, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Michael Jackson) – 4:47
  12. "Grand Illusion" (Bob Farrell, Dave Robbins, Wesly Stephenson) – 6:23 (CD Only)

Some tracks were recorded for the album, but not included:

  1. "Wanna Make Love to You" (released on the "Behind the Mask" single; later included on Crossroads)
  2. "Lady of Verona" (unissued)
  3. "Walking the White Line" (unissued)



  • Producers – Eric Clapton (Track 1); Tom Dowd (Tracks 1-12); Phil Collins (Tracks 2-12).
  • Engineers – Steve Chase and John Jacobs (Track 1); Paul Gommersall, Peter Hefter and Magic Moreno (Tracks 2-12).
  • Photography – Terry O'Neill
  • Photography Assistant – Tony Burdett
  • Artwork – Zarkowski Designs, Ltd.
  • Management – Roger Forrester

Chart positions[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1986–87) Peak
Canadian Albums (RPM)[5] 40
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[6] 29
European Albums (IFPI)[7] 10
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[8] 32
Italian Albums (AFI)[7] 17
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[9] 38
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[10] 12
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[11] 7
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[12] 23
UK Albums (OCC)[13] 3
US Billboard 200[14] 37


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[15] Platinum 300,000^
United States (RIAA)[16] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Year Single Chart Position[17]
1986 "It's in the Way That You Use It" Mainstream Rock Tracks 1
1986 "Tearing Us Apart" Mainstream Rock Tracks 5
1987 "Miss You" Mainstream Rock Tracks 9
1987 "Run" Mainstream Rock Tracks 21


  1. ^ a b Ruhlmann, William. "Eric Clapton August review". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  2. ^ Putterford, Mark (11 December 1986). "Eric Clapton 'August'". Kerrang!. 135. London, UK: United Magazines ltd. p. 18.
  3. ^ DeCurtis, Anthony (12 February 1987). "Eric Clapton August". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  4. ^ "Eric Clapton: August". Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums/CDs". RPM Magazine. Library and Archives Canada. 45 (21). 28 February 1987. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  6. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b "Hits of the World" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 7 March 1987. p. 72. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  8. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  9. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  10. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  11. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  12. ^ " – Eric Clapton – August". Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  14. ^ "Eric Clapton Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  15. ^ "British album certifications – Eric Clapton – August". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 25 July 2016.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type August in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Eric Clapton – August". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 5 October 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH. 
  17. ^ "August – Eric Clapton : Awards : AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 October 2012.