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  Eric Clapton: 461 Ocean Boulevard
  "461 Ocean Boulevard"

Eric Clapton
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Reviews: 10 show all

Review by veltri May 11, 2005 (10 of 10 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
When listening to albums featuring Eric Clapton I try to pinpoint an undisputable reason for his reputation as one of the greatest guitarists. While I believe this to be true, it is very hard to do.

In a similar way, when listening to an SA-CD, I look for an undisputable part that can be used as proof why SA-CD is miles ahead sonically of regular CD’s.

461 Ocean Boulevard is an album that makes a case for both Clapton and SA-CD.

Overall a mid-tempo to mellow album, it is the slower songs that are most notable sonically. “Give me Strength” has some guitar picking that while not virtuoso, shows amazing control and feeling. Each crystal clear pick seems to emit a different emotion. When the slide is used as in “Please Be with Me” you can hear the journey of the note. The sound bends to a precise point until the hand cuts the note. This deliberateness was not evident until hearing the SA-CD. On this album it is the nuance that shows Clapton’s greatness and it is now evident through SA-CD.

Other notables:

“Get Ready”, a powerful duet with Yvonne Elliman has the two vocals as if they are standing side by side – perfect images.

“Let it Grow” gives twice as many chills on SA-CD.

Incidentally, “Steady Rolling Man”, in a departure of Robert Johnson’s one-man performance is done with several musicians.

The only low points on this SA-CD are the bonus tracks which have each instrument coming out of all speakers at once.

This is a terrific album made better through SA-CD.

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Review by Jagan April 30, 2005 (7 of 8 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
I have been a fan of Eric Clapton since borrowing a friend's "Cream" CD in high school, and hearing the electric and acoustic versions of Layla on the radio, but I had not heard this album until 2004.

My first copy of this album was a DTS-surround CD version. This latest SACD release blows the DTS version away. The mixes are more balanced here, and the tones of the instruments, especially on the surround mixes, are fantastic!

It is a treat to hear such precisely clean cymbal splashes on the intro to "Motherless Children", it is like a live performance. The great tone also showcases Clapton's guitar playing on "Give Me Strength".

One of the prettiest songs on the disc is "Please Be With Me".

If you are a Clapton fan at all, seriously consider getting this SACD release. The production quality is very high, and the music has stood the test of time - long enough for me to have discovered it 30 years after its initial release!

It makes me happy when I can buy such quality products these days. What a treat!

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Review by JW December 19, 2004 (5 of 7 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
My review on the Layla disc is also published here. Now, to me, that is a 'must have' SACD. I am not so sure about this one and the other Clapton though I like 461 OB better than Slowhand musically speaking. It's more complex and interesting. EC's singing is very good on this album. The album stands as a 'whole' and I think it invites people to listen and discover its moods. Beautiful ballads like 'Let It Grow' and 'Please Be With Me' are worth the price of admission alone. Overall it has a similarly relaxed bluesy feel as 'Slowhand'. But better. Plus it has three seductive blues bonus tracks, with EC at his most intimate. Actually, I will revise my opening statement: this is a 'must have' after all :-)

What about the sonics? First of all the recording level of the CD is much lower than on the SA-CD's. I used a RS SLM to level-match. The CD has much less weight, sounds harder and less rich compared to its SA-CD issue. There is a similar distant presentation on both RBCD and SA-CD I feel. The SA-CD is better on voice and instrument separation and soundstage. Not a huge difference, but to me an important one.

On the RBCD there is a really nice ballad called 'Better Make It Through The Day', originally released as a track on Clapton's 1975 studio album "There's One In Every Crowd". It sort of ended up on this CD and not on the SA-CD, though I have been made aware of the fact that it was released on the Mobile Fidelity issue of 461 OB as well. So I guess Clapton fans need both :-)


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