Eric Clapton: Another Ticket (1981)

[Kronomyth 10.0]
Another alcoholiday in Paradise.

Just another Eric Clapton album on the surface, though things were apparently falling apart underneath. What’s here is actually his second attempt at a first album with his new English band, the original sessions having been produced by Glyn Johns in the Spring and rejected by RSO soon after. A couple of songs were carried over from the first attempt (e.g., “Rita Mae,” “Something Special”) but it was the addition of songs like “I Can’t Stand It,” “Another Ticket” and “Black Rose” that made the difference. Produced by Tom Dowd in the Bahamas, Another Ticket marks a turning point of sorts for Clapton toward a crisper, confident, streamlined sound. Gone was the loose, shuffling sound of Tulsa, replaced by a crackerjack squad of English ringers: Albert Lee, Gary Brooker, Henry Spinetti and Dave Markee. Really, all you need to do is wind these fellers up and watch them run. I wouldn’t tell you that Another Ticket is a better album than Backless (they’re about equal), but it is a more consistent record. His vocals seem more confident, his guitar solos stand out a little sharper and the blues covers (“Floating Bridge,” “Blow Wind Blow”) are stamped with Clapton’s personality. The backing band stays in the background, no small feat given the star presence of Brooker and Lee, the latter sharing the leads only on the aptly titled “Catch Me If You Can.” Among the middle-pack Clapton albums, Another Ticket is as good a destination as any for fans. It’s too bad they didn’t stick together for a second album, but you can hear a couple of leftovers on Gary Brooker’s album, Lead Me To The Water (1982).

Original LP Version
A1. Something Special (Eric Clapton) (2:36)
A2. Black Rose (Troy Seals/Eddie Setser) (3:47)
A3. Blow Wind Blow (McKinley Morganfield) (2:59)
A4. Another Ticket (Eric Clapton) (5:50)
A5. I Can’t Stand It (Eric Clapton) (4:08)
B1. Hold Me Lord (Eric Clapton) (3:27)
B2. Floating Bridge (Sleepy John Estes) (6:33)
B3. Catch Me If You Can (Eric Clapton/Gary Brooker) (4:24)
B4. Rita Mae (Eric Clapton) (5:02)

The Players
Eric Clapton (guitar & vocals), Gary Brooker (keyboards & vocals), Albert Lee (guiar & vocals), Dave Markee (bass guitar), Henry Spinetti (drums & percussion), Chris Stainton (keyboards). Produced and engineered by Tom Dowd.

Did You Know?

  • The new album was originally titled Turn Up Down—before RSO turned it down.
  • Carl Dean Radle, Clapton’s bass player through the 70s, passed away on May 30, 1980 at age 38 from a liver infection caused by drink and drugs. The album is dedicated to him.
  • Clapton had to cancel the supporting tour for Another Ticket after he was hospitalized for ulcers caused by excessive drinking.
  • The author of “Blow Wind Blow,” McKinley Morganfield, is better known to most of us as Muddy Waters.

The Pictures
Design and art direction by Rob O’Connor. Handlettering by Alan Dempsey. Photography by Steve Sandon.

The Plastic
Released on elpee, 8-track and cassette on February 17, 1981 in the UK (RSO, RSD-5008), the US (RSO, RX/8TX/CTX-3095), Canada (RSO, RS-1-3095), Japan (RSO, 28MW-0006), worldwide (RSO, 2394 295) and Yugoslavia (RTB, ST-222057); reached #18 on the UK charts and #7 on the US charts (RIAA certified gold record).

  1. Re-issued on elpee in 1984 in the UK (RSO, SPELP-67).
  2. Re-released on compact disc in the US (Polydor, 827 579).
  3. Re-issued on compact disc in 1988 in Japan (Polydor, POCP-9127).
  4. Re-issued on compact disc on September 3, 1996 worldwide (Polydor, 531 830).
  5. Re-issued on compact disc in Japan (Polydor, UICY-2333).
  6. Re-issued on compact disc in Japan (Polydor, UICY-9166).

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