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Money And Cigarettes - Eric Clapton

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Genre: Rock - Classic Rock / Artist: Eric Clapton / Original recording remastered / Audio CD released 2001-01-22 at Warner

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      11.01.2011 23:04
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      early 80's Clappers

      Money and Cigarettes, Eric Clapton, 1983


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      Background
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      By 1983, Eric Clapton was a mess. Addled and recovered after a heroin addiction, Clapton was now a recovering alcoholic. After his release from the Hazelden Treatment Center in Minnesota, Clapton went straight into recording what he considers to be his most 'forced' album - what would become Money and Cigarettes. With the help of Albert Lee and Ry Cooder, Cigarettes sees Clapton cover some blues classics as well as writing his own new tracks.

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      Opinion
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      The bizarre Dali inspired record sleeve shows an 80's looking Clapton in a bare room with a melting Fender Stratocaster.

      The bass work on Money and Cigarettes is superb. Of course everyone knows Donald 'Duck' Dunn from his work with Booker T and the MG's and The Blues Brothers Band. Here we get to hear some deep funky and reggae inspired bass that coupled with Clapton's quite restrained guitar work. This is best heard on my favourite track on the album 'I've Got a Rock 'n' Roll Heart'.

      There are several tracks on the album that are pretty cheesy and poorly written. Apart from stretching the classic blues song to its limits on many other albums - here we see Clapton write a couple of duds here. 'Man Overboard' and 'Pretty Girl' are bland (but annoyingly hummable). One song - 'Man in Love' almost sounds like Chas and Dave.

      The heaviest track on the album is the Hendrix-esque 'Ain't Going Down' which borrows the All Along the Watchtower riff with some gravelly vocals from Clapton. It harks back to his Cream days, but is about the only song that really 'cooks'.

      'Everybody Oughta Make a Change' sets the album off at a good pace and from thereon in we get a taste for the sort of LP Clapton was aiming for. It's all very laid back and easy on the old ear, never really stretching your imagination or grating too much. There are a number of quite cheesy moments as I've said before, but nothing like the irritating 'Wonderful Tonight' (a song I cannot stand!). I've never actually heard any of the songs from this album before, but I would stop quite short of saying it's a great record.

      The production is crisp and clean giving the Clapton sound a polished sheen of 80's smartness. It never wavers from its course and I suppose still stands up today as an album you could chuck on in the background (I put it on during lunch break at school today and the Year 10's didn't bat an eyelid!). To think that Clapton was just coming out of a very dark period in his life after battling drink, it comes together without being a real comeback album.

      It's a decent album, but not really a great record and if you are new to Clapton then a best-of will suffice. But if you've got all that and want a slightly different take on things then Money and Cigarettes is worth a spin.

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      Tracklist
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      1. "Everybody Oughta Make a Change" (Sleepy John Estes) - 3.16
      2. "The Shape You're In" (Clapton) - 4.08
      3. "Ain't Going Down" (Clapton) - 4.01
      4. "I've Got a Rock 'n' Roll Heart" (Steve Diamond, Troy Seals, Tony Seals, Eddie Setzer) - 3.13
      5. "Man Overboard" (Clapton) - 3.45
      6. "Pretty Girl" (Clapton) - 5.29
      7. "Man In Love" (Clapton) - 2.46
      8. "Crosscut Saw" (R.G. Ford) - 3.30
      9. "Slow Down Linda" (Clapton) - 4.14
      10. "Crazy Country Hop" (Johnny Otis) - 2.46

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Everybody Oughta Make A Change
      2 Shape You're In
      3 Ain't Going Down
      4 I've Got A Rock 'n' Roll Heart
      5 Man Overboard
      6 Pretty Girl
      7 Man In Love
      8 Crosscut Saw
      9 Slow Down Linda
      10 Crazy Country Hop