Behind the Sun (Eric Clapton album)

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Behind the Sun
Studio album by
Released11 March 1985
GenreRock, pop rock, hard rock
LabelDuck / Warner Bros.
ProducerEric Clapton, Phil Collins, Ted Templeman, Lenny Waronker
Eric Clapton chronology
Behind the Sun
Edge of Darkness

Behind the Sun is the ninth solo studio album by Eric Clapton, released by Duck Records / Warner Bros.. It is Clapton's first collaborative project with Phil Collins who co-produces and plays on some of the tracks. While recording the album Clapton temporarily split with his wife.

The title of the album comes from a line from Muddy Waters's "Louisiana Blues".

Background and recording[edit]

After nearly a decade of Clapton's guitar playing taking a back seat to his singing/songwriting, this album contains several guitar solos. The album includes synthesizers and drum machines played by Phil Collins, Ted Templeman, Peter Robinson, Michael Omartian, James Newton Howard, Chris Stainton and Greg Phillinganes, as well as Clapton's Roland guitar synthesizer on the 9th track, "Never Make You Cry". Bassists Donald Duck Dunn from Booker T. & the MG's and Nathan East from the smooth jazz quartet Fourplay also played on the sessions.

In his autobiography, Clapton remembers the 1984 session pleasantly: "The whole thing is going so great, I hope it never stops." However, his troubled marriage with Pattie Boyd became the subject matter for most of his original material: She's Waiting, Same Old Blues and Just Like a Prisoner all contain extended guitar solos by Clapton. It was during this period that Pattie left him "and it was eventually decided that we should have a trial separation." Clapton assuaged his pain by writing the song Behind the Sun featuring only his guitar & vocals and Phil Collins' synthesizer, which became the final song on the album.

This was Clapton's first collaboration with songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams. Warner looked critically at this follow-up to the Money and Cigarettes album; Clapton's first for the label, which did not sell well. The Phil Collins-produced Behind the Sun, in the fall of 1984—the first version submitted—was rejected by the label, insisting that he record several new songs written by Jerry Williams, backed by Los Angeles session players. The label put the project under the auspices of veteran company producers Lenny Waronker and Ted Templeman. Warner then emphasised the new tracks, releasing two of them, "Forever Man" (which reached the Top 40) and "See What Love Can Do," as singles. The resulting album, not surprisingly, was somewhat disjointed, though the company may have been correct in thinking that the album as a whole was competent without being very exciting in response to the original line-up of songs for the album because they wanted the album to have more hit single material, Clapton agreed to their terms, but asked them to provide some "hits" and record the songs with their own producer and musicians: "They sent me three songs by a Texas songwriter – Forever Man, Something's Happening and See What Love Can Do – and they were good." The sessions featured Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and then-drummer Jeff Porcaro, as well as Clapton's long-time collaborators, drummer Jamie Oldaker, bassist Nathan East and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes.


The Behind the Sun tour was featured at the first Live Aid concert in 1985 where "She's Waiting" was performed along with "White Room" and "Layla". The video for "Forever Man" became an MTV favorite, featuring an accident where one of the cameras falls off the dolly. "Same Old Blues" was resurrected for the 25th Anniversary world tour and the Montserrat charity show in 1988 and 1997, with Mark Knopfler on rhythm guitar; Clapton resurrected "She's Waiting" for his 1992 world tour. Clapton came to sit in with Paul Shaffer to promote the album on Late Night with David Letterman in 1985. Letterman was impressed by the songs on the album joking to Clapton if it would be alright for him, if Letterman would sing "Forever Man".[1]


Deborah Frost, in a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, felt the album was "slick but inconsistent", and was concerned that Clapton's move into commercial ballads would eventually see him turn his back on his rock fans, instead playing his greatest hits on the Vegas circuit.[2] Robert Christgau in his Village Voice Consumer Guide described the album as "[s]ad [a]nd also bad" because Clapton was simply following commercial market fashion.[3]

In a retrospective summary for AllMusic, William Ruhlmann feels that the album is "somewhat schizophrenic" due to the tinkering of the record label, Warner Bros., who were concerned that the original version of the album contained no hits, and was too downbeat, so brought in new writers and producers. Ruhlman concludes that despite some effective guitar work the album is competent rather than exciting, and is not among Clapton's best.[4]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "She's Waiting" – 4:55 (Eric Clapton, Peter Robinson)
  2. "See What Love Can Do" – 3:58 (Jerry Lynn Williams)
  3. "Same Old Blues" – 8:15 (Clapton)
  4. "Knock on Wood" – 3:19 (Eddie Floyd, Steve Cropper)
  5. "Something's Happening" – 3:23 (Williams)
  6. "Forever Man" – 3:13 (Williams)
  7. "It All Depends" – 5:05 (Clapton)
  8. "Tangled in Love" – 4:11 (Marcy Levy, Richard Feldman)
  9. "Never Make You Cry" – 6:06 (Clapton, Phil Collins)
  10. "Just Like a Prisoner" – 5:29 (Clapton)
  11. "Behind the Sun" – 2:13 (Clapton)

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

  1. "Loving Your Lovin'" – Released on the Wayne's World movie soundtrack
  2. "Heaven Is One Step Away" – Released on the Back to the Future movie soundtrack and later on Crossroads Box Set
  3. "Too Bad" – Released on Crossroads Box Set
  4. "Jailbait" – Released as B-Side of She's Waiting Single
  5. "You Don't Know Like I Know" – Released in Australia only
  6. "One Jump Ahead of the Storm" – Unissued



  • Producers: Phil Collins (tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11); Lenny Waronker and Ted Templeman (tracks 2, 5 & 6).
  • Engineers: Nick Launay (tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11); Lee Herschberg (tracks 2, 5 & 6).
  • Assistant Engineer (tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11): Steve Jackson.
  • Mixing – Nick Launay (tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11); Mark Linett (tracks 2, 5 & 6).
  • Mix assistant Steve (Barney) Chase (tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11)
  • Tracks 1, 3, 4 & 7-11 recorded at AIR Studios (Montserrat, West Indies); Mixed at Townhouse Studios (London, England).
  • Tracks 2, 5 & 6 recorded at Lion Share Recording Studio (Los Angeles, CA) and Amigo Studios (North Hollywood, CA); Mixed at Amigo Studios.
  • Mastered at Townhouse Studios (London) and Sheffield Lab Matrix (Santa Monica, CA).
  • Production Coordination (tracks 2, 5 & 6): Joan Parker
  • Art Direction, Design and Painting: Larry Vigon
  • Photography: Patti Clapton

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1985) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[5] 30
Canadian Albums (RPM)[6] 20
Dutch Albums (Album Top 100)[7] 5
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[8] 15
Japanese Albums (Oricon)[9] 14
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[10] 21
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[11] 5
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[12] 10
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[13] 3
UK Albums (OCC)[14] 8
US Billboard 200[15] 34


Region Certification Certified units/Sales
United States (RIAA)[16] Platinum 1,000,000^

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


  1. ^ "05-07-1985 Letterman Fred Willard, Beverly D'Angelo, Eric Clapton". The Last Show with David Letterman. YouTube. Retrieved 28 July 2015.
  2. ^ Frost, Deborah (11 April 1985). "Album Review: Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 3 February 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2013.
  3. ^ Christgau, Robert (30 April 1985). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Music section. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
  4. ^ Ruhlmann, William. "Behind the Sun – Eric Clapton: Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards: AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 15 October 2012.
  5. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  6. ^ "RPM Top 100 Albums" (PDF). RPM Magazine. Library and Archives Canada. 42 (11). 25 May 1985. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  7. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 October 2016.
  8. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  9. ^ "Hits of the World > Japan" (PDF). Billboard Magazine. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 97 (17): 63. 27 April 1985. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  10. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  11. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  12. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  13. ^ " – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Hung Medien. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  15. ^ "Eric Clapton Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved November 28, 2015.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – Eric Clapton – Behind the Sun". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 11 February 2016. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.