Money And Cigarettes (1983)

Kronomyth 12.0: ALL IRONED OUT. Clapton emerged clean from a second stint in rehab and, against doctor’s orders, was soon back in the studio making another album with a new band for a new label. Money And Cigarettes (the title alludes to what Clapton felt remained after losing alcohol) is, fittingly, a clean-sounding record featuring originals, a few blues covers and the professionally penned hit, “I’ve Got A Rock N’ Roll Heart.” The backing band is his tightest group yet, with Ry Cooder, Duck Dunn, Roger Hawkins and a returning Albert Lee (now mostly on keyboards). While the original material isn’t all that original (“Ain’t Going Down,” for example, is essentially a rewrite of “All Along The Watchtower”) and the blues covers are likely too slick to please purists, Money And Cigarettes does move at a good, brisk pace and Clapton seems re-energized on the record. There are a few songs on here that would seem to be written for wife Pattie: “The Shape You’re In,” “Pretty Girl” (a fine piece of pop) and “Man In Love.” Speaking of which, Clapton definitely has the upper hand over George Harrison this time; I’d encourage this album’s detractors to listen to Somewhere In England or Gone Troppo before pronouncing judgment. Although the album didn’t go gold, it did mark the beginning of a second commercial wind that helped Clapton sail through the 80s. From this point forward, a Clapton record could be expected to feature crisp, clean pop and blues with at least one big hit on it. In a sense, the 80s smoothed out the rough edges of the 70s Clapton, which made for a better (if more predictable) product.

Original LP Version
A1. Everybody Oughta Make A Change (Sleepy John Estes) (3:16)
A2. The Shape You’re In (4:08)
A3. Ain’t Going Down (4:01)
A4. I’ve Got A Rock N’ Roll Heart (Troy Seals/Eddie Setser/Steve Diamond) (3:13)
A5. Man Overboard (3:45)
B1. Pretty Girl (5:29)
B2. Man In Love (2:46)
B3. Crosscut Saw (R.G. Ford) (3:30)
B4. Slow Down Linda (4:14)
B5. Crazy Country Hop (Johnny Otis) (2:46)

All songs written by Eric Clapton unless noted.

The Players
Eric Clapton (vocals, slide & electric guitar), Ry Cooder (slide & electric guitar), Donald “Duck” Dunn (bass guitar), Roger Hawkins (drums), Chuck Kirkpatrick (backing vocals), Albert Lee (keyboards, vocals, acoustic & electric guitar), John Sambataro (backing vocals). Produced by Tom Dowd; engineered by Michael Carnevale.

Did You Know?

  • Eric Clapton won the Silver Clef Award in 1983, which recognizes outstanding contributions to music in the UK.

The Plastic
Released on elpee, CD and cassette in February 1983 in the UK (Duck, W3773), the US and Australia (Duck, 23773-1/2/4), Canada and Germany (Duck, 92 3773), Japan (Warner/Pioneer, P-11322/WPCR-1111), Mexico (Warner Bros., LWB-6167) and Yugoslavia (Suzy, WB-923773); reached #13 on the UK charts and #16 on the US charts. This was also issued as a chromedioxide double-play cassette featuring an interview, “Eric Clapton talks about the making of Money And Cigarettes,” on side two in 1983 in the UK (Warner Bros., W3773-4) and Germany (Warner Bros., 92.3773-4). Re-issued on CD in 1986 in Japan (Duck/Warner Bros., 32XD-489). Re-issued on digitally remastered CD in September 1995 in the UK and on September 19, 2000 in the US (Warner Bros., 47734).

The Pictures
Photography and art direction by Graham Hughes. Design and art direction by For El & Nell Ink Ltd. Model made by Laurie Savage. Typography and design by Ian Murray Acrobat Design.

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