Book & Magazine Reviews

Marc Roberty - 'Eric Clapton, Day By Day (The Early Years: 1963-1982)' Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     January 21, 2014    
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Well written and definitive.

Published by: Backbeat Books

The first of two volumes concerning the details of Eric Clapton's recordings and performances has been released and covers his professional career from 1963 to 1982. Marc Roberty has meticulously pieced together Clapton's beginnings with the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and listed every single concert along with setlists and details of any recordings that still exist. This is interspersed with a detailed biography of Clapton and a wealth of photographs of musicians, gig posters and the like. At 365 pages, the list of Clapton's endeavours which followed Cream (including Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his classic solo albums of the 70s) are treated with equal respect.

The book is exceptionally well presented in a solid hardcover and A4 size, not quite coffee table material but nearly there. Information is cleverly mixed with photographs, as the book could easily have otherwise ended up a list of lists and appeared very clinical. Instead, the book is lively and welcomes a dip every so often to check up on long lost venues or near forgotten recording studios.

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The book is clearly marketing itself as the definitive word on Clapton's gigs and recordings and so will be an obvious source for the doubtless future biographies on Clapton and the 60s London blues scene. As well as attracting Clapton aficionados, the book is enough of a good read for people simply interested in how he first stamped his mark on the musical world. What was astonishing for me was how Clapton moved from moderate fame with the Bluesbreakers to breaking America with Cream in such a short amount of time. Hence, the gig venue list jumps from small clubs to the legendary final concerts at the Albert Hall in the space of a chapter or two.

Well written and definitive.

Rob McKenzie

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