Eric Clapton
" The 1960s Review "
(DVD/MVD Video)

Blueswax 9
Rating 9

An Excellent Blues Rockumentary

I wasn't sure if this documentary on Eric Clapton would shed any light about his (already) well documented past, not to mention the reality that a vast majority of these documentaries are typically boring. Not this one! Clapton's covered a lot of musical territories and has been recognized by his peers and critics throughout his career. Rolling Stone magazine rates Clapton as the fourth greatest guitarist of all time and fifty-third on their Greatest Artists of All Time. E.C. has also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame three times!

Clapton's moods and styles have changed over the years, but for the most part he's remained rooted and loyal to the blues. This documentary focuses on his developmental years, his thirst for the American blues music, his dislike for being disingenuous to blues, and more. There's vintage snapshots and video footage from most of the bands with which Clapton performed during the 1960s, and the interviews segments are very well blended with these rare performances that will hold your interest throughout and will not have you looking for the fast-forward button on your DVD remote.

While some of the early video clips are as expected not of vivid clarity, they are still fascinating to observe a very young Clapton formulating his craft and show how advanced his guitar playing was during his time with the Yardbirds. Plus there's a great segment with the Yardbirds backing Sonny Boy Williamson. The video makes it clear how he raised the bar further during his tenure with the Grandfather of British Blues, John Mayall and his band The Bluesbreakers. Documented also are the enormous successes Clapton had with the explosive (in more ways than one) popularity of the power blues-rock group Cream, and super-group Blind Faith. Unfortunately there's little spoken about E.C.'s time with Delaney & Bonnie, which I would have liked to have seen and known more about.

The DVD also includes new interviews with musicians and performers including John Mayall, Paul Jones, Neil Innes, Tom McGuiness, Chris Dreja, Top Topham, Ben Palmer, Dave Kelly, and Cream producer Bill Halverson, plus insight from Cream biographer Chris Welch, Yardbirds biographer Alan Clayson, and Uncut magazine Contributing Editor Nigel Williamson.

Bottom line: I found this DVD to be highly entertaining, insightful, and fast paced. The two hours just flew by and is well worth your hard earned dollars and time. Enjoy!

Bob Putignano a senior contributing editor at BluesWax. He is also the heart of Sounds of Blues at Bob maybe contacted at:

Bob Putignano: