825 382-1 Time Pieces/The Best of Eric Clapton
previously released material
Released on April 1982
UK CHART POSITION #20 . . . US CHART POSITION #101 . . .
2x PLATINUM RECORD (5/28/91), 7x PLATINUM RECORD (8/9/95)
Find it at GEMM
825 382-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

A fter ten years, they usually give you a plaque. Eric Clapton got a watch. Time Pieces takes stock of the first decade, spotty creature that it was. You can rush to Clapton’s defense if you want, but if you’d told folks in 1968 that this is what his body of work would rise to ten years on, they’d have sunk low in their chairs and cried. Only three of the ten tracks presented here were written by Clapton: “Wonderful Tonight," “Layla” and "Lay Down Sally." They’re three of the best tracks on here, which is no surprise. In fairness, Clapton wrote more than 30% of the material on his own albums, but when it came time for singles the stiff covers were invariably trotted out: “I Shot The Sheriff,” “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” “Willie And The Hand Jive,” “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” I used to listen to this at night when I worked in that itchy crypt of the damned, Harmon Publishing. Amid the slow and steady repetition of loading, adjusting and photographing countless photos of houses, the mind reaches out to music as a means of escape. Even in such a receptive state, I rejected the overtures of Time Pieces until “Wonderful Tonight” rolled around and then disengaged after “Lay Down Sally” left. The live version of “Cocaine” wouldn’t have been my first choice either, but the guitar solo is excellent. Four good songs out of ten is par for a regular Eric Clapton album, but Time Pieces is supposed to be better. It isn’t. I’ve never subscribed to the “Clapton Is God” school, I’ve never had an affinity for the blues, and the credit earned from Cream ran out a long time ago. That may explain my cool reception to songs that simply feature Clapton being himself, as if his iconic status were enough to elevate “Promises” above the low hills of Margaritaville. I’m sure there are people with terrible taste in music who enjoy this album, but I can’t recommend it in good conscience. Time Pieces is one of the most lackluster compilation of hits I own, although the inclusion of the nonalbum “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” could be seen as a kindness to collectors.

825 382-1 back cover
825 382-1 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. I SHOT THE SHERIFF    (Bob Marley)    4:30
  2. AFTER MIDNIGHT    (J.J. Cale)    3:15
  3. KNOCKIN' ON HEAVEN'S DOOR    (Bob Dylan)    4:30
  4. WONDERFUL TONIGHT    (Eric Clapton)    3:41
  5. LAYLA    (Eric Clapton/Jim Gordon)    7:06
  6. COCAINE (LIVE VERSION)    (J.J. Cale)    7:10
  7. LAY DOWN SALLY    (Marcy Levy/Eric Clapton/George Terry)    3:52
  8. WILLIE AND THE HAND JIVE    (Johnny Otis)    3:46
  9. PROMISES    (Richard Feldman/Roger Linn)    3:01
  10. SWING LOW SWEET CHARIOT    (traditional arr. by Eric Clapton)    3:32

CREDITS

Bill Smith -- art direction/design
Gererd Mankowitz -- photography

return to ERIC CLAPTON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK April 1982 RSO LP RSD 5010  
US April 1982 Polydor LP/CS 825 382  
BRA 1982 RSO LP 2394 303  
US December? 1992 Polydor CD 800 014  

 

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