To some, he’s known as Slowhand. Others call him God. To his friends, however, he’s simply Eric Clapton, one of the greatest musicians to ever pick up and play a guitar.
Born in Surrey, England, in 1945, Clapton was weaned at an early age on the blues. The sultry sounds pouring out of the cotton fields in the Mississippi Delta and from a small record label in Chicago (Chess) ignited a fire and a passion for music that hasn’t abated 70-plus years later. The Yardbirds, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos, the list goes on and on, eventually boiling down to just Clapton.
Across the decades, and in the midst of any number of collaborations, Clapton practically defined the term “guitar hero.” And while it’s true that his skills on six-strings were virtually unmatched, he also had a keen ear for melody and a terrific mind for songwriting. He drew inspiration from the people and events in his own world to create some of the most impacting music of the 20th Century.
With a catalog that runs well over 50 albums between his various bands and solo efforts, it’s a tall order to try and distill it all down to a mere 20 tracks, but we’ve decided to give it a shot anyway.