Eric Clapton is the eponymous debut studio album from British rock musician Eric Clapton, released in August 1970 under Atco and Polydor Records. It reached the Top 20 on four national music charts, was awarded two gold certifications and has sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide.
After being successful with bands including The Yardbirds, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream and Blind Faith, Clapton decided to record his own album in late 1969 and early 1970. The album cover shows Clapton sitting in a room which is going to be decorated and in which a ladder, a chair and some carpets are placed. Clapton holds a cigarette in his right and has his Fender Stratocaster Brownie electric guitar with him.
Clapton recorded some tracks in November 1969 at LondonsOlympic Studios and went on to record more songs in 1970 which was divided into to sessions; one in January 1970 at the Village Recorders Studio in West Lost Angeles and a second session in March the same year at the Island Studios in London. A large amount of musicians that worked with Clapton on the album had been working with the band Delaney & Bonnie, which previously backed the Blind Faith gigs. In an interview from 2006, promoting The Road to Escondido, Clapton recalled that he was very happy making this album and was pleased with the results of the recording sessions, but also noted that "the only thing [he] didn't like about the album is [his] voice", because it sounds so "high" and "young", which Clapton disliked, because he "always wanted to sound like an old guy".
AllMusic critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine awards the release 4.5 of five possible stars and recalls that on the album Clapton "sounds more laid-back and straightforward than any of the guitarist's previous recordings. There are still elements of blues and rock & roll, but they're hidden beneath layers of gospel, R&B, country, and pop flourishes. And the pop element of the record is the strongest of the album's many elements". Erlewine finished his review by stating "it's encouraging to hear him grow and become a more fully rounded musician, but too often the album needs the spark that some long guitar solos would have given it. In short, it needs a little more of Clapton's personality." Music critic Robert Christgau rates the album with the "B" mark and notes: "I blame a conceptual error, rather than Clapton's uncertain singing, for the overall thinness. As a sideman, Clapton slipped into producer Delaney Bramlett's downhome bliss as easily as he did into Cream's blues dreamscape, but as a solo artist he can't simulate Delaney's optimism".
^Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN0-646-11917-6. Note: This reference gives Australian albums and singles information. It is used for chart peak positions as early materials were released before ARIA regulated the Australian charts itself (1989).