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This article is about the Eric Clapton album. For the Pointer Sister song, see Slow Hand. For the Interpol song, see Slow Hands.
Studio album by Eric Clapton
Released 25 November 1977 (1977-11-25)
Recorded May 1977 (1977-05)
Studio Olympic Studios
Genre Rock
Length 39:06
Label RSO
Producer Glyn Johns
Eric Clapton chronology
No Reason to Cry
Singles from Slowhand
  1. "Lay Down Sally"
    Released: November 1977 (1977-11)
  2. "Wonderful Tonight"
    Released: November 1977 (1977-11)

Slowhand is the fifth studio album released by the British recording artist Eric Clapton. It was released on 25 November in 1977 by RSO Records. The release, titled after Clapton's nickname, is to this date one of his both commercially and musically most successful studio albums. Slowhand produced the two hit singles "Lay Down Sally" and "Wonderful Tonight", reached various international music charts and was honored with numerous awards and recording certifications. In 2012, a deluxe edition was released to celebrate the album's 35th anniversary.


Clapton wanted to work with record producer Glyn Johns, because he thought Johns produced great work with famous groups like The Rolling Stones and The Eagles and understands how to work with both British and American musicians. While in the studio with Johns, Clapton notes that the A-list producer was very disciplined and disliked jamming, because it would kill important recording time. Although Clapton and his band were either drunk or stoned nearly all the time when recording, Johns liked Clapton's work and brought out the best in every musician, according to Clapton.[1]

Title and artwork[edit]

The album was titled after Clapton's nickname, which was given to him by Giorgio Gomelsky. In his 2007 autobiography, Clapton recalled that the name "Slowhand" seemed to be hanging on to his real name, because it seemed to be well received by both his American friends and fans who think of the wild west when hearing the nickname. The album's artwork was done by Clapton himself with the help of Pattie Boyd and Dave Stewart, credited as "El & Nell Ink". Besides choosing various photos for the inner side of the gramophone record packaging are two pictures, Clapton notes, which have deeper importance to him: one picture, in which he kisses Boyd and another photograph showing a demolished Ferrari 365 GTC/4, which Clapton bought after seeing George Harrison turning up with the same model at his Hurtwood Edge Estate. The car, which has been involved with Clapton in a car accident after the British recording artist finished touring in Australia, nearly killed him.[1]

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Retrospective reviews
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
Chicago Tribune 2.5/4 stars[3]
Christgau's Record Guide C+[4]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music 4/5 stars[5]
The Great Rock Discography 7/10[5]
MusicHound 3.5/5[5]
Q 3/5 stars[6]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide 5/5 stars[7]

Slowhand was released on 25 November 1977 by RSO Records.[8] In a contemporary review for Rolling Stone, John Swenson found Clapton's playing more subtle than before but his songs sobering and interesting psychologically, especially "Next Time You See Her", as they showed him "in touch with the horrible moral power and long-suffering self-righteousness that is the essence of the blues".[9] Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic, lamenting how most of the record's best guitar solos were played by George Terry and feeling Clapton had regressed as a singer, "sounding like he's blown his voice. Doing what, I wonder."[4]

In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote that the confident, virtuosic quality in the band's playing and the diversity of the songwriting made Slowhand "rank with 461 Ocean Boulevard as Eric Clapton's best albums".[2] Yahoo! Music's Dave DiMartino said the record was full of hits and "tasteful" music.[10] In 2003, Slowhand was ranked number 325 on Rolling Stone‍ '​s list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[11]

Censure in Argentina[edit]

The rock song "Cocaine" was censored and removed from the Argentinan edition of the album in late 1977. The military government of the time claimed that the song Clapton recorded was harmful to young people and inviting them to get high. The ban was finally lifted in 1984. Clapton felt indignation in later years after learning of censorship, since "Cocaine" is a song which is against drugs, and not to please as many people think. The musician once said that it is useless to intentionally write a song that goes against drugs and hope that people grasp the meaning. So it is better that lead to reflection. If the song is heard like a song about cocaine, but if you listen carefully, is ingeniously against cocaine. After several years, Clapton decided to add the lyrics of the phrase: 'that dirty cocaine' in live performances to highlight the message of the song against drugs.[12] In addition, Clapton donated much of their funds to Crossroads Centre, a center that helps drug addicts to fight to stop drugs and rehabilitate themselves.[13]

Deluxe Edition[edit]

In November of 2012, a remastered two-compact-disc 35th anniversary deluxe edition of Slowhand was released. The first disc consists of the remastered album, with additional bonus tracks and studio jam sessions. The second disc features a previously unreleased live concert, recorded in April 1977 at the Hammersmith Odeon; although the concert is of the same era as the Slowhand sessions, it was performed prior to the album's recording and release, and so does not include any of the album's tracks.[14]

Track listings[edit]

Original release[edit]

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cocaine"   J.J. Cale 3:38
2. "Wonderful Tonight"   Eric Clapton 3:44
3. "Lay Down Sally"   Eric Clapton · George Terry · Marcy Levy 3:56
4. "Next Time You See Her"   Eric Clapton 4:01
5. "We're All the Way"   Don Williams 2:32
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Core"   Eric Clapton · Marcy Levy 8:45
2. "May You Never"   John Martyn 3:01
3. "Mean Old Frisco"   Arthur Crudup 4:42
4. "Peaches and Diesel"   Eric Clapton · Albhy Galuten 4:46
Total length:

2012 Deluxe edition[edit]

Disc one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Cocaine"   J.J. Cale 3:38
2. "Wonderful Tonight"   Eric Clapton 3:44
3. "Lay Down Sally"   Eric Clapton · George Terry · Marcy Levy 3:56
4. "Next Time You See Her"   Eric Clapton 4:01
5. "We're All the Way"   Don Williams 2:32
6. "The Core"   Eric Clapton · Marcy Levy 8:45
7. "May You Never"   John Martyn 3:01
8. "Mean Old Frisco"   Arthur Crudup 4:42
9. "Peaches and Diesel"   Eric Clapton · Albhy Galuten 4:46
10. "Looking at the Rain"   Gordon Lightfoot 3:41
11. "Alberta"   Traditional 2:43
12. "Greyhound Bus"   Eric Clapton 2:58
13. "Stars, Strays and Ashtrays"   Eric Clapton 4:38
Disc two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Tell the Truth"     9:00
2. "Knocking on Heaven's Door"   Bob Dylan 5:17
3. "Steady Rollin' Man"   Robert Johnson 6:54
4. "Can't Find My Way Home"   Steve Winwood 6:05
5. "Further on Up the Road"   Joe Vease · Don Robey 6:33
6. "Stormy Monday"   T-Bone Walker 12:39
7. "Badge"   Eric Clapton · George Harrison 8:01
8. "I Shot the Sheriff"   Bob Marley 14:02
9. "Layla"   Eric Clapton · Jim Gordon 6:11


Chart positions[edit]


Region Certification Sales/shipments
Canada (Music Canada)[30] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[18] Gold 25,000^
Netherlands (NVPI)[31] Gold 50,000^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[citation needed] Silver 25,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[32] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[33] 3× Platinum 3,900,000[34]

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


  1. ^ a b Clapton, Eric (2007). Clapton:The Autobiography (1 ed.). Broadway Books. pp. 49, 174, 180–182. ISBN 978-0-385-51851-2. 
  2. ^ a b "Slowhand – Eric Clapton | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  3. ^ Kot, Greg (1993). "It's A Roller-coaster Career From Blues To Pop And Back". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Eric Clapton". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. p. 82. ISBN 0-89919-025-1. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c "Slowhand". Acclaimed Music. Retrieved November 10, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Review: Slowhand". Q (EMAP Metro Ltd) (113): 104. February 1996. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  7. ^ Considine, J. D. (2 November 2004). Nathan Brackett, Christian David Hoard, eds. The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4, revised ed.). Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8. 
  8. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2002). The Great Rock Discography. The National Academies. p. 280. ISBN 978-1-84195-312-0. 
  9. ^ Swenson, John (29 December 1977). "Slowhand". Rolling Stone (Jann S. Wenner). Album Reviews section. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  10. ^ DiMartino, Dave. "Eric Clapton Reviews". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on 22 February 2012. 
  11. ^ "500 Greatest Albums: Slowhand – Eric Clapton". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 7 January 2012. 
  12. ^ "Top 10 Eric Clapton Songs". YouTube. 19 July 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  13. ^ "Executive Drug Rehab | Private Drug Rehab | Crossroads Antigua". Crossroads Centre Antigua. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  14. ^ "Slowhand 35th Anniversary Commemorated With Multi-Format Release This November". Where's Eric! The Eric Clapton Fan Club Magazine. November 2012. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  15. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  17. ^ "Top Stranih [Top Foreign]" (in Croatian). Top Foreign Albums. Hrvatska diskografska udruga. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  18. ^ a b "Danmarks officielle hitlister". Hitlisten.NU. Retrieved 3 October 2015.  Note: "Slowhand" charted at that time at number nineteen but was wrongly labelled here. The cover is correct indicating the "Gold" certification award.
  19. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  20. ^ "InfoDisc : Tous les Albums classés par Artiste > "Eric CLAPTON" > "OK". Institut français d'opinion publique (in French). Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  21. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Yamachan Land (Archives of the Japanese record charts) – Albums Chart Daijiten – Eric Clapton". Japanese Charts. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  23. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  25. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Eric Clapton | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  27. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  28. ^ "Eric Clapton – Chart history" Billboard Top Catalog Albums for Eric Clapton. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  29. ^ Tatsaku, Ren (2011). Oricon Sales Report (in Japanese). Tokyo: Oricon Style. 
  30. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Music Canada. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  31. ^ "Dutch album certifications – Slowhand – Eric Clapton" (in Dutch). Nederlandse Vereniging van Producenten en Importeurs van beeld- en geluidsdragers. Retrieved 30 September 2015. 
  32. ^ "British album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 30 September 2015.  Enter Slowhand 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
  33. ^ "American album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 30 September 2015.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ "Eric Clapton US Album Sales". Nielsen SoundScan, RIAA. Greasy Lake. Retrieved November 17, 2015.