This page has two readers polls to help find the best albums by Eric Clapton:
- the best live Eric Clapton albums
- the best studio Eric Clapton albums
What is the best Eric Clapton live album?
Eric Clapton developed a great reputation for his blistering guitar playing in concerts from the mid sixties but what was his best live album?
Was it with Cream – the live side of Wheels Of Fire or Live Cream Vol I or Volume II?
Was it as Derek & the Dominos at the Fillmore?
Or was it one of his solo albums which showed off his guitar prowess like EC Was Here, Just One Night or 24 Nights?
I’ve put together a poll to find out what you think is Eric Clapton’s best live album so please vote.
Sharing our opinions like this helps other people to find the best live music and they help us on artists and groups we don’t know as well.
My Thoughts On The Results Of The Best Live Albums By Eric Clapton
There are a few surprises in this poll.
#1 is 24 Nights, recorded during Clapton”s time at the Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991 with five songs from the Journeyman studio album.
This catches him in different formats, a four piece band, a blues band, a nine piece band and with an orchestra.
At #2 is Just One Night from 1979.
This combines the gentle pop of Lay Down Sally and Wonderful Tonight with traditional blues songs.
At #3 is the album that I expected to get the most votes, Derek & The Dominos Live At The Fillmore from 1970.
In my opinion, Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs is his one essential studio album and this, an extended version of In Concert that was originally released, is just as important. Duane Allman isn’t on the album but you get plenty of the lead guitar licks you’ve always wanted to hear from Clapton.
Fourth is the very successful Unplugged album from 1992 which helped to increase the focus on acoustic blues.
This was a big selling and has a certain charm of its own but what most of us really want is Clapton cutting lose with an electric guitar.
From #6 downwards, there are a series of albums that could easily switch positions when new voters make their opinions known.
At the time of writing this update, in sixth place and the highest ranked live album by Cream, is Live Cream Vol 2.
This has some of the better known and more accessible tracks by the band in 1968 including Sunshine Of Your Love, Tales Of Brave Ulysses and White Room. Personally I’d like to see these Live Cream albums reissued as full concerts rather than spread over a number of albums. Then we would have a definitive Cream album and the band could have a genuine classic.
Next, both with nine recommendations are two of the mid 1970s “recover” albums, Eric Clapton”s Rainbow Concert from 1973 and E.C. Was Here from 1974.
Both are vibrant performances and have aged better than their 1970s reputations would have suggested.
I’d also like to point you towards two other albums
- A boxset from the second half of the 1970s, Crossroads 2 Live In The Seventies.
- An album where Clapton guest-starred to pay tribute to one of his mentors, John Mayall”s 70th Birthday Concert.
Both are well worth hearing.
While Clapton never deserved his nickname of God, I feel that he’s underappreciated and often criticised these days. People don’t understand just how much he was innovating blues rock.
What are the Best Eric Clapton albums recorded in the studio?
I believe the best live albums and best studio albums are often linked in time. An artist becomes inspired at a particular time.
My Thoughts On The Poll Results To Find The Best Eric Clapton Studio Albums
As far as I’m concerned, there can only be one answer to his best studio album and that’s Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. Voters agree.
What Do You Think About the Results So Far?
Are you surprised at the albums coming out at the top of the polls?
Do you think that Eric Clapton is better recorded live or in the studio?
What Are The Best Live Albums Of All Time?
Please help me find the best live albums by voting in other readers polls: