Eric Clapton, Behind The Sun (1985)
So many of the big stars of the 1960s and 1970s really struggled to get to grips with where things were at in the 1980s. It’s as if they tried the same old tricks while being talked into the technology/recording techniques of the day – resulting, almost always, in something that wasn’t really quite fitting at the time and didn’t really sound like the artist in question. Eric Clapton’s Behind The Sun is an example of this – meant to be a “comeback” record, in a sense. And it features more of his guitar playing, solos – very much in a pepper-spray, splatter-painting approach – than anything from the decade beforehand. But does that make it good? I sat, horrified, listening to this record the other day. I loved this album at one time. I had it on tape – later I had it on CD. I don’t think I ever even listened to the CD. Now I have the LP. And I should have turned it off almost immediately, but I worked through She’s Waiting and decided that I could handle See What Love Can Do and Same Old Blues, a lurching plodder that features a bunch of the splatter-painting guitar solo squalls. Awful. Just awful. But it was like car-crash listening, I was a rubber-necker at the side of the road, this album playing on with its hackneyed attempts at tempestuous guitarishness and it was like I was powerless to turn it off. When all I really needed to do was get up and lift the needle. It became almost comical. And then I started to remember things: bad things. Very band things. Like how I hand-wrote the lyrics to the title song, play/pause/rewind/play/pause/rewind. They are not even good lyrics. It is not even a good song. But I was deep in the midst of my Clapton obsession. And, if it helps, I was about 14. There was a time when I had those lyrics on the wall in my bedroom. For shame. He (God) could not do wrong. I realise now that he not only could – he often did. This album is a weird clusterfuck with some occasional glimmers of hope, well, one song really – Forever Man – it’s far beyond anything else on the record. But that alone can’t quite recommend it. I didn’t really know that guitar playing could be overwrought but check out the sample-track below. Fucking ridiculous. What was I thinking?
Sample Track: Just Like A Prisoner
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