Eric Clapton – Let It Rain

Let It Rain peaked at #48 in the Billboard 100 and #42 in Canada in 1972. It was on Eric’s self-titled album released in 1970 but this song was released on a single in 1972.

Clapton wrote this with the help of Bonnie and Delaney Bramlett. They put most of it together while they were touring together in 1969; Clapton with Blind Faith, and The Bramletts supporting them with their group Delaney & Bonnie. Blind Faith broke up after their first tour, and Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos with Delaney & Bonnie’s backup group, who Clapton became friends with on the tour.

From Songfacts.

This was the last track on Clapton’s first solo album. Delaney Bramlett produced it.

Organist Bobby Whitlock, bass player Carl Radle and drummer Jim Gordon were part of Clapton’s backing band on his first album and played on this track. After recording the album, these four formed their own group, Derek and the Dominos, and released the classic album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.

Jim Gordon wrote the piano part for “Layla” and later suffered terrible mental illness and bludgeoned his mother to death.

Jerry Allison and Sonny Curtis sang backup on this track. They were former members of The Crickets, Buddy Holly’s backup band. The female backup singers were Bonnie Bramlett and Rita Coolidge.

This wasn’t released as a single until 1972, two years after the album came out. This was done to capitalize on the success of “Layla,” which became a hit that year when it was re-released as a long version and after people figured out that Derek and the Dominos was Clapton’s group.

This was one of the few Eric Clapton solo tracks Derek and the Dominos played when they toured. At one point, they used it to teach drummer Jim Gordon a lesson. “Jim Gordon was going on about how he never got a drum solo, so we fixed his little wagon,” Bobby Whitlock said in his Songfacts interview. “We gave him a drum solo in ‘Let It Rain’ and it lasted for nine-and-a-half minutes. And he kept going – you could hear it in the solo. He would stop and he was looking at Eric. We were on the side of the stage behind the curtain smoking a cigarette and having a drink, and we wouldn’t come back out, so he had to keep going and keep going. Okay, Mr. Drummerman, you want a solo? Take your solo.”

Stephen Stills played the guitar solo in the middle of the song.

 

 

Let It Rain

The rain is falling through the mist of sorrow that surrounded me
The sun could never thaw away the bliss that lays around me

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Her life was like a desert flower burning in the sun
Until I found the way to love, it’s harder said than done

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Now I know the secret; there is nothing that I lack
If I give my love to you, you’ll surely give it back

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Let it rain, let it rain,
Let your love rain down on me
Let it rain, let it rain,
Let it rain, rain, rain

Robert Johnson – Crossroad Blues

My introduction to Robert Johnson came from Eric Clapton while playing with Cream. Johnson was a great blues guitarist that supposedly sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads to be able to play the blues. Some of the songs he wrote played into this myth. He only cut 29 songs that he recorded in a two year period of 1936 and 1937.

I’m not a blues expert, nor do I play one on tv, but I love these old blues recordings. Johnson wasn’t the only one but they influenced everything I’ve liked since. They are also historical documents of the time.

Robert Johnson’s slide playing was so complete that he sounded like two guitar players instead of one on some songs. The atmosphere of those recordings is incredible to me and something that you can’t duplicate. Johnson’s influence is huge. Keith Richards, Eric Clapton,  Bob Dylan. Duane Allman, and too many more to list.

Movies such as the 1980’s film Crossroads brought Johnson many more fans. My friend Ronald was one of those people and went out and bought everything he could find of Johnson in the 80s. Many people have searched out Johnson after listening to artists that were influenced by him. His voice will haunt you after you listen to his recordings. His songs are pure and timeless.

Some quotes on Robert Johnson

Keith Richards – Brian Jones had the first album, and that’s where I first heard it. I’d just met Brian, and I went around to his apartment-crash pad, actually, all he had in it was a chair, a record player, and a few records. One of which was Robert Johnson. He put it on, and it was just-you know-astounding stuff. When I first heard it, I said to Brian, “Who’s that?” “Robert Johnson”. I said, “Yeah, but who’s the other guy playing with him?” Because I was hearing two guitars, and it took me a long time to realize he was actually doing it all by himself.
Eric Clapton – His music is like my oldest friend, always in the back of my head and on the horizon. It’s the finest music I’ve ever heard.  I’ve always trusted its purity. And I always will.’ I don’t know what more you could say….”
Robert Cray – He is a perfect example of what anybody should listen to if they want to get an understanding of the blues… and American history.’

Below is Robert Johnson and down below is Cream’s version.

Cross Road Blues

I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad
fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now
save poor Bob if you please”
Yeeooo, standin at the crossroad
tried to flag a ride
ooo ooo eee
I tried to flag a ride
Didn’t nobody seem to know me babe
everybody pass me by
Standin at the crossroad babe
risin sun goin down
Standin at the crossroad babe
eee eee eee, risin sun goin down
I believe to my soul now,
Poor Bob is sinkin down
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
You can run, you can run
tell my friend Willie Brown
(th)’at I got the croosroad blues this mornin Lord
babe, I’m sinkin down
And I went to the crossroad momma
I looked east and west
I went to the crossroad baby
I looked east and west
Lord, I didn’t have no sweet woman
ooh-well babe, in my distress

Supergroup…The Dirty Mac – Yer Blues

Maybe the first “”Supergroup”…In 1968 John Lennon, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, and Mitch Mitchell got together and played the Beatle’s Yer Blues. The Rolling Stones were taping a Television special featuring The Who, Jethro Tull, Taj Mahal, Marianne Faithfull, called “The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus” but was shelved for 28 years.

Yer Blues was on the White Album and had only been released 3 weeks before this December 11th recording. John Lennon came up with the band name “Dirty Mac” from a play on words of the hot new group at the time…Fleetwood Mac.

The show did not see the light of day until 1996. The Stones were not happy with their performance which would be the last with Brian Jones. The Who had just returned from a tour and were really tight and some thought upstaged the Rolling Stones.

The best thing to come out of the film to me is this performance…and The Who performing “A Quick One, While He’s Away.”

The Dirty Mac performed two songs…Yer Blues and “Whole Lotta Yoko” with Yoko…uh…”singing” so we will stick with this one.

A DVD of this event was released in 2004…It’s worth buying.

Yer Blues

Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
Yes, I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
In the morning, wanna die
In the evening, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
My mother was of the sky
My father was of the earth
But I am of the universe
And you know what it’s worth
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
The eagle picks my eyes
The worm he licks my bone
I feel so suicidal
Just like Dylan’s Mr. Jones
Lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
The black cloud crossed my mind
Blue mist round my soul
Feel so suicidal
Even hate my rock and roll
I’m lonely, wanna die
If I ain’t dead already
Woo! Girl you know the reason why
[Instrumental Break]
Wanna die, yeah, wanna die
[Instrumental Break]

Derek and The Dominos – Bell Bottom Blues

I like this song just as much as Layla. The song was written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock. This song and “I Looked Away” are my favorites on the album. This song peaked at only #91 in the Billboard 100 in 1971.

Yet another song that was written about Pattie Boyd.

From the American Blues Scene site

In 1970, Eric Clapton was experiencing emotional anguish at the hands of lover Pattie Boyd. His romantic agony inspired an entire album worth of songs, “Bell Bottom Blues” being one of them. In Eric Clapton: The Autobiography, he recounts writing the song for Boyd after she asked him to get her a pair of bell-bottom jeans while he visited the US.

Bell Bottom Blues

Bell bottom blues, you made me cry
I don’t want to lose this feeling
And if I could choose a place to die
It would be in your arms

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

It’s all wrong, but it’s all right
The way that you treat me baby
Once I was strong but I lost the fight
You won’t find a better loser

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it because
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Bell bottom blues, don’t say goodbye
I’m sure we’re gonna meet again
And if we do, don’t you be surprised
If you find me with another lover

Do you want to see me crawl across the floor to you?
Do you want to hear me beg you to take me back?
I’d gladly do it ’cause
I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day, please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

I don’t want to fade away
Give me one more day please
I don’t want to fade away
In your heart I want to stay

Eric Clapton – I’ve Got a Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart

A very smooth Eric Clapton song. He had a very clean guitar tone on this single. The single was released in 1983 and peaked at #18 in the Billboard 100, #83 in the UK and #17 in Canada. The song was off of Clapton’s Money and Cigarettes album. The song was written by Troy Seals, Eddie Setser, Steve Diamond and produced by Tom Dowds.

This certainly is not the “screaming guitars” of Clapton long ago. I know many Clapton fans that did not like it but it fit in with the times…

I’ve Got A Rock and Roll Heart
I’ve got a feeling we could be serious, girl;
Right at this moment, I could promise you the world.
Before we go crazy, before we explode,
There’s something ’bout me, baby, you got to know,
You got to know.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.
Feels like we’re falling into the arms of the night,
So if you’re not ready, don’t be holdin’ me so tight.
I guess there’s nothing left for me to explain
Here’s what you’re gettin’ and I don’t want to change,
I don’t want to change.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.
I don’t need to glitter, no Hollywood,
All you got to do is lay it down and you lay it down good.
I get off on ’57 Chevy’s
I get off on screaming guitar.
Like the way it gets me every time it hits me.
I’ve got a rock and roll, I’ve got a rock and roll heart.

Eric Clapton – Promises

A country rock song by Eric Clapton that’s always been a favorite of mine. It was released in 1978 and peaked at #9 in the Billboard 100, #82 in the Country Charts, #37 in the UK and #7 in Canada. This song was from his album “Backless” at a time when Eric was influenced by Don Williams the country artist.

The female singer on “Promises” is Marcy Levy.

It was written by Richard Feldman and Roger Linn

“Promises”

I don’t care if you never come home,
I don’t mind if you just keep on
Rowing away on a distant sea,
‘Cause I don’t love you and you don’t love me.You cause a commotion when you come to town;
You give ’em a smile and they melt.
Having lovers and friends is all good and fine,
But I don’t like yours and you don’t like mine.La la, la la la la la.
La la, la la la la la.

I don’t care what you do at night,
Oh, and I don’t care how you get your delights.
I’m gonna leave you alone, I’ll just let it be,
I don’t love you and you don’t love me.

I got a problem. Can you relate?
I got a woman calling love hate.
We made a vow we’d always be friends.
How could we know that promises end?

[Bridge]

I tried to love you for years upon years,
You refuse to take me for real.
It’s time you saw what I want you to see,
And I’d still love you if you’d just love me.

[Chorus]

[Bridge 2x]

Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll 1987

This documentary starts off in 1986 with Chuck Berry reminiscing about the Cosmopolitan Club where he played in the earlier days.

The film is centered around Chuck Berry’s 60th birthday and Keith Richards assembling an All-Star Band to support Chuck in concert. Chuck had been touring since the 60s by traveling town to town and playing with any pickup band he found…all he brought was his guitar. He would get paid with cash in a paper bag in many places. That was his motivation more than playing with a good band. Chuck could be very sloppy playing live.

Chuck could also be difficult, to say the least. Keith was determined that Chuck was going to be backed by a great band for this concert… Chuck was Keith’s idol but Chuck seemed to want to give Keith as much trouble as possible. Richards says in the documentary that Chuck was the only man that hit him that he didn’t hit back. During the rehearsals for the song “Carol”, you can feel the tension in the air between the two.

Seeing Keith’s reaction to Chuck at times is worth the price of admission and I’m glad Keith was persistent and patient and got this done. It’s great footage of Chuck playing his classics.

The concert at the Fox Theatre ended up a success. Chuck sounded great and so did the band.

During the documentary, there are some great comments by Little Richard, Bo Diddley, Bruce Springsteen, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Dixon and more.

Little Richard, Bo Diddley, and Chuck have a very interesting conversation about how hard it was to get played on the radio because of being African American in the 50s. They also talk about payola and Alan Freed.

The band was incredible… Keith Richards, Robert Cray, the great Johnnie Johnson (Chuck’s original piano player), Steve Jordan, Bobby Keys, Chuck Leavell and Eric Clapton guests on a few songs.

Some of the artists that came on and sang were Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, and Julian Lennon.

Chuck was a complicated man but he was a poet as well. I can’t recommend this documentary enough. If you are a music fan you should like it. Chuck Berry may have influenced Rock and Roll more than anyone else…

My favorite story is from Bruce Springsteen. Bruce and the E Street Band volunteered to back up Chuck Berry for a show in the early seventies. Being Chuck’s temporarily pickup band must have been nerve-wracking for musicians. Chuck didn’t tell them what songs he was playing or what key…this is Bruce’s quote “About five minutes before the show was timed to start, the back door opens and he comes in. He’s by himself. He’s got a guitar case, and that was it,” Springsteen said. “[I said] ‘Chuck, what songs are we going to do?’ He says, ‘Well, we’re going to do some Chuck Berry songs.’ That was all he said!”

Below is the video…not extremely clear but watchable.