Eric Clapton Biography
Eric Patrick Clapp was born in Ripley, ENGLAND, on March 30, 1945, he began playing guitar at age fifteen and subsequently moved to London where started his music career playing with a band called The Roosters. His popularity grew throughout the '60s as he joined The Yardbirds in 1963, subsequently John Mayall asked him to join his Bluesbreakers in the spring of 1965; one year later he formed Cream and when the band broke up, in November 1968, Clapton joined the short-lived group Blind Faith.
Eric Clapton released his solo debut album in the summer of 1970, it peaked at #13 in the U.S. and also climbed into the top 20 in Great Britain; the record included The Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit "After Midnight", written by J.J. Cale.
Before the year's end, he put together the band, Derek And The Dominos, which consisted of several sidemen, the group released the double album entitled "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs", which contained the single "Layla", a tribute to George Harrison's wife Patti Boyd, who had a famous love affair with Clapton; the single became a top 10 hit in America.
At some point the guitarist became a heroin addict and retired from music for nearly two years; Pete Townshend, The Who frontman, helped him relaunch his carrer with 1973's "Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert", a the live-compilation which made it into the top 20 in the United States.
The next year saw the release of the new studio album, "461 Ocean Boulevard", which hit #1 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart spawning the #1 smash "I Shot The Sheriff", a Bob Marley cover plus the top 30 hit "Willie And The Hand Jive"; the album also cracked the top 3 in Britain.
Both the follow-ups, 1975's "There's One In Every Crowd" and 1976's "No Reason To Cry" were less successful, reaching #21 and #15 slots, respectively, on the American charts; from that albums time period, "Hello Old Friend" was the lone top 40 single.
In November 1977, Eric Clapton, issued the explosive "Slowhand" which soared to #2 on The U.S. Pop Albums chart; it included the Classic-Rock staple "Cocaine", plus two more U.S. Top 40 hits: the #3 "Lay Down Sally" and "Wonderful Tonight", that helped skyrocket the album to multi-platinum status.
A year later, he released a further U.S. top 10 album, "Backless"; the lead single, "Promises" peaked at #9 and was followed by two American top 40 hits: "Watch Out For Lucy" and "Tulsa Time".
In spring 1979 Clapton married Patti Boyd who had recently divorced George Harrison; despite the guitarist became an alcoholic, he continued performing live and in April of 1980 he delivered the live-set, "Just One Night"; it peaked at #2 on the American Top 200 LPs & Tapes chart.
"Another Ticket", which arrived in February 1981, debuted at #7 on the U.S. Pop Albums chart, highlighted by the Mainstream Rock #1 single "I Can't Stand It" which also peaked at #10 on The Billboard Hot 100; the album spawned another Mainstream Rock top 20 hit, "Rita Mae". It was during a tour to support the album, that Clapton collapsed onstage in Wisconsin, nearly dead from alcohol-related ulceration and before the year was out he split from Polydor.
Clapton had signed a new contract with Warner Brothers, releasing "Money And Cigarettes" in early 1983, the record reached #13 in the U.K. and #16 in U.S. backed by the American top 20 hit single "I've Got A Rock N' Roll Heart".
Two years later he found a new audience following his performance at the worldwide charity concert, Live Aid and his 1985's "Behind The Sun" reached the British top 10 chart and climbed into the top 40 of The Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, finally hitting the platinum mark. The main track, "Forever Man", snagged a respectable #26 on The Billboard Hot 100 and rose to the top spot of the Rock Singles chart; "She's Waiting" and "See What Love Can Do" also cracked The Mainstream Rock Tracks peaking at #11 and #20, respectively.
On the personal side, in 1985 Clapton separated from his wife, Patti
Boyd and the next year, Italian model Lori Del Santo, gave birth to his
only child, Conor.
Meanwhile the guitarist retitled his 1986's release to "August", to celebrate the birth of his son; the record hit the top 3 in U.K. and reached the #37 position on The Billboard Top 200 list spawning three Mainstream Rock top 10 hits: the #1 "It's In The Way You Use It", "Miss You" and the duet with Tina Turner, "Tearing Us Apart", which rose to the #5 spot.
Two years later was released "Crossroads" a four-disc retrospective box set which features 73 songs spanning the entire career of the veteran guitarist; the compilation debuted at #34 in U.S. and by the time went on to sell over 2 million copies.
In the fall of 1989 Clapton returned with a new studio album, "Journeyman";
highlighted by four Active Rock top 10 singles including two #1s "Pretending"
and "Bad Love", the #4 "No Alibis" and "Before
You Accuse Me", the album would exceed the multi-platinum barrier
in U.S. peaking at #16 on The Billboard 200. "Journeyman" was
also a big hit on the U.K. Sales chart, falling just one position short
At the 33rd Annual Grammy Award the single "Bad Love" won for Best Rock Vocal Performance.
On March 20, 1991, Eric Clapton's son tragically died as a result of a fall from the 53rd floor of a New York City condo; Clapton released in October of that same year the live album, "24 Nights", which documented his annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London; the set included the single "Watch Yourself" which reached #21 on The Mainstream Rock chart.
While still mourning, he began work on the soundtrack to the movie "Rush",
a film about drug addiction, the record featured "Tears In Heaven",
a magnificent song written for his son, the single rose to #2 on The Billboard
Hot 100 becoming one of his most successful piece to date.
In the spring of 1992, Clapton, taped a concert for MTV's Unplugged series, this performance was issued on CD in August and became an instant #1 on The Billboard Top 200 chart selling over 10 million copies in the States, his biggest-selling record ever; it generated a string of singles which included "Layla", #12 on The Billboard Hot 100 and #9 on The Mainstream Rock chart; "Help Me Up", #6 on Billboard's Active Rock list and "Running On Faith", #15 on the same chart. "Unplugged" also peaked at #2 on the Official British Albums chart.
Eric Clapton was a big winner at the Grammys in early 1993, his CD "Unplugged" was awarded for Best Rock Vocal Performance and Album Of The Year, "Tears In Heaven" won for Best Pop Vocal Performance, Song Of The Year and Record Of The Year, "Layla" won for Best Rock Song.
Later that year, he contributed the song, "Stone Free", to the collection "Stone Free: A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix"; released as a single, it climbed into the top 5 of The Mainstream Rock chart.
In September 1994, the legendary guitarist returned to his Blues roots with the release of "From The Cradle", a tribute to his musical heroes which contained cover versions of Blues standards, the album peaked at #1 on both sides of the Atlantic, winning a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album and spawning another Mainstream Rock top 5 hit: "I'm Tore Down".
Two years later he recorded "Change The World", a song featured on the soundtrack to the John Travolta's movie "Phenomenon", the track hit #5 on The Billboard Hot 100 and earned Clapton yet another Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
"Pilgrim", which was issued in March 1998, hit #4 in Canada, #6 in the U.K. and #4 in U.S. while its main single, "My Father's Eyes", debuted at #2 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart and was awarded a Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance; a second single off the album, "She's Gone", made it into the top 20 of the American Active Rock Tracks.
He returned again to his roots when he issued "Riding With The King"
in June 2000; recorded in collaboration with B.B. King, the album was
a major success in the U.S. where it shot to #1 on the Top Blues Albums
chart and peaked at #3 on The Billboard 200 selling over 2 million copies;
the title-track entered the top 30 of The Mainstream Rock chart.
At the 43rd Annual Grammy ceremony, Clapton picked up his 13th Grammy, when "Riding With The King" was named Best Traditional Blues Album.
"Reptile", followed in March 2001, it continued the string of consistently successful albums, reaching the top 10 in British and North American charts; the lead single, "Superman Inside", reached the #21 position on The Active Rock chart and the title-track, won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental Performance.
Three years later, Clapton released "Me And Mr. Johnson", a 14-track collection assembled to celebrate the Mississippi-born bluesman, the disc hit #3 on the Top Canadian Albums chart, #6 on The Billboard 200 and #10 in Great Britain.
He released his next album, "Back Home", in August 2005, Clapton solely wrote only the title-track, while he and his longtime collaborator Simon Climie co-authored five of the songs on the record including first single "Revolution". The album quickly ascended into the top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic.
His next recording project was to be produced by one of the architects of the “Tulsa Sound”, J.J. Cale. Clapton had long admired Cale's work, having recorded cover versions of "After Midnight", "Cocaine" and "Travelin' Light". After working in the studio a short time, it turned into a collaborative effort. "The Road To Escondido" was released in November 2006 to critical acclaim. It won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album at the 50th Annual Awards Ceremony in Los Angeles in February 2008.
In September 2010 Eric Clapton released a new CD simply titled "Clapton"; the album featured an all star cast of musical collaborations started with J.J. Cale, well-known session drummer Jim Keltner, Steve Winwood, Sheryl Crow and Allen Toussaint. The set was an immediate top 10 hit in U.K and U.S. however, the sales figure was far lower than his previous albums.
March 2013 saw the release of "Old Sock", the album is a collection of some of Clapton's favorite songs spanning from his childhood to present day that highlights his vast appreciation and knowledge of music. It features two original songs, "Gotta Get Over" and "Every Little Thing".