Eric Clapton’s favorite Blues records

Over the years, Eric Clapton has boldly declared his deep and abiding love for the blues.

From the infamous Robert Johnson to fellow B.B. King, here are Ten Blues records that changed his life.

Best Live Albums of All Time bb king live at the regal

B.B. King - Live at the Regal

“I’d never really got into B.B. King, because I thought he was too commercial. But this was the first time I’d heard improvisational passages on a blues album. He’d be singing into the middle of a slow blues and just stop the song, go into a guitar break and then the band would come up around him. Amazing!”

 

Essential Track: Sweet Little Angel

Howlin' Wolf The Rockin' Chair

Howlin' Wolf - The Rockin' Chair

“This is known as ‘The Rockin’ Chair Album’ because the original cover had a rocking chair on it. The band was another one of those incredible outfits with an incredible piano player on it. And Hubert Sumlin, another one of my great heroes was on there.”

 

Essential Track: Who’s Been Talkin’

The Best of Muddy Waters

Muddy Waters - The Best of Muddy Waters

“This was the first proper blues album I ever heard. It just floored me. What I liked best about Muddy Waters was his authority. His voice and accent were also incredible”

 

Essential Track: I’m Your Hoochie Coochie Man

The Best of Little Walter

Little Walter - The Best of Little Walter

I fell in love with Little Walter just because of what he was doing with Muddy – then I realised he actually had his own stuff. He was not a recognised singer, but tome, he was a better singer than anybody else because he sang without technique. It was just from the heart. I obviously found that really great to identify with. Also his harp playing was monumental.”

 

Essential Track: Juke

Freddy King Sings

Freddy King - Freddy King Sings

These albums I’ve picked here all played a big part in my life in my mid to late teens, when Iw as trying to piece together a style. And Freddie King, even before B.B., was the guy I wanted to model myself on because of the play he played, and the sound he got. This album has an incredible amount of great songs, but the best one for me has to be ‘Have You Ever Loved A Woman’. which I covered with Derek and the Dominoes”

 

Essential Track: Have You Ever Loved A Woman

Junior Parker Bobby Blue Bland Blues Consolidated

Junior Parker & Bobby Bland - Blues Consolidated

“This is the first album I really got into that had horns and a big band on it. Beautiful stuff and great guitar playing. Bobby Bland‘s singing ‘I Smell Trouble‘ and ‘Further On Up The Road‘. Junior Parker delivers ‘Next Time You See Me‘ and ‘That’s All Right‘.”

 

Essential Track: Further On Up The Road

Big Bill Broonzy Trouble In Mind

Big Bill Broonzy - Trouble In Mind

The first album I ever owned was ‘Chirping Crickets’ with Buddy Holly and  the second was Big Bill Broonzy. It had a song on it called ‘Hey Hey’ which I did on ‘Unplugged’. His style was probably the first style I com-pletely attempted to emulate on the acoustic guitar. I was 13. I didn’t ever really think that playing guitar was what I was going to do.”

 

Essential Track: Hey Hey

folk festival of the blues

Various - Folk Festival Of The Blues

Ostensibly it was a live gig in Chicago, with Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon, Ottis Spann, Sonny Boy Williamson, Howlin’ Wolf and Buddy Guy. And there were two tracks by Buddy Guy that I have never heard before. It was my first taste of what he could do. It was really the slowest blues I’ve ever heard. His way of singing and plauing was so wild. It blew me away.”

 

Essential Track: Don’t Know Which Way To Go

Lightnin' Slim Rooster Blues

Lightnin' Slim - Rooster Blues

Lightnin’ Slim was out of Louisiana, and not a particularly gymnastic guitar player, but he had a sound and a style of writing and singing that was completely unique. He had Crazy Lester playing harmonica on it. It was just like those two and a percussion, and a lot of echo. A fantastic blues record.”

 

Essential Track: It’s Mighty Crazy

Robert Johnson King Of The Delta Blues Singers

Robert Johnson - King Of The Delta Blues Singers

“This was the first time I’d heard a solo artist I could truly identify with, emotionally. Somebody played the record to me when I was about 15 and it was a horror! It was like I was hearing someone talking about me. I totally identified with it, to the point where it scared me.”

 

Essential Track: ALL