Slowhand

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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.
Slowhand
EricClapton-Slowhand.jpg
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
(1976)
Slowhand
(1977)
Backless
(1978)
Singles from Slowhand
  1. "Lay Down Sally"
    Released: November 1977
  2. "Wonderful Tonight"
    Released: November 1977

Slowhand is a 1977 album by Eric Clapton. Released on 25 November by RSO Records, and titled after Clapton's nickname, it is one of his commercially and critically 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.

Recording[edit]

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 understood 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 GT4 BB, which Clapton bought after seeing George Harrison turning up with the same model at his Hurtwood Edge Estate. The car, which had 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 Argentinian 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 later said that it is useless to intentionally write an anti-drug song like "Cocaine" and hope that people grasp the meaning. After several years, Clapton began including the phrase 'that dirty cocaine' in live performances to highlight the anti-drug message of the song.[12] In addition, Clapton donated much of their funds to Crossroads Centre, a center that helps drug addicts kick their habit and rehabilitate themselves.[13]

Deluxe Edition[edit]

In November 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]

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:
39:06
2012 Deluxe edition
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"   Eric Clapton · Bobby Whitlock 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

Personnel[edit]

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1977–2013) Peak
position
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[15] 130
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[16] 89
Croatian Foreign Albums (HDU)[17] 20
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[18] 17
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[19] 66
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[20] 32
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[21] 5
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[22] 41
UK Albums (OCC)[23] 23
US Billboard 200[24] 2
US Top Catalog Albums (Billboard)[25] 48

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[26] 2× Platinum 200,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[27]
1990 certification
Gold 50,000^
Switzerland (IFPI Switzerland)[27]
1993 certification
Gold
United Kingdom (BPI)[28] Gold 100,000^
United States (RIAA)[29] 3× Platinum 3,000,000^

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

References[edit]

  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". WatchMojo.com. 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. ^ "Ultratop.be – Eric Clapton – Slowhand" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  16. ^ "Ultratop.be – 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. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Eric Clapton – Slowhand" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  19. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Musicline.de. Phononet GmbH. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  20. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  21. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  22. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  23. ^ "Eric Clapton | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  24. ^ "Eric Clapton – Slowhand | Awards | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 3 October 2015. 
  25. ^ "Eric Clapton – Chart history" Billboard Top Catalog Albums for Eric Clapton. Retrieved 3 October 2015.
  26. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slow Hand". Music Canada. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  27. ^ a b "The Official Swiss Charts and Music Community: Awards (Eric Clapton; 'Slowhand')". IFPI Switzerland. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 January 2016. 
  28. ^ "British album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 24 January 2016.  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
  29. ^ "American album certifications – Eric Clapton – Slowhand". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved 24 January 2016.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH