It’s What Jamaica Life.
The followup to 461 Ocean Boulevard was recorded in Miami and Jamaica with the same lineup and had a minor hit with the slightly reggaefied version of “Swing Low Sweet Chariot.” The album is pretty much a split between cover versions (a mix of reggae and blues) and originals, featuring the Tulsa sound on the blues selections and favoring George Harrison on the pop selections. As many have mused, it’s an underrated album, lacking a standout single but containing much good music, from a fiery version of “Singin’ The Blues” to the (all things must) Pass-able pop of “Pretty Blue Eyes” and “High.” It’s not a perfect record, of course; Clapton albums rarely are. “The Sky Is Crying” could have been given a more passionate reading, for example, and the sequel to “I Shot The Sheriff” (“Don’t Blame Me”) seems unnecessary. Generally, though, it’s a solid album, not so far removed from the mix of originals and covers that made Layla such a success, albeit on a less grand scale. Clapton had assembled a fine backing band behind him, and the vocal support of Yvonne Elliman and Marcy Levy helps immensely in making the man’s voice palatable to the ears over an entire album. If you enjoyed the last few Clapton studio records (and most people did), There’s One In Every Crowd is one to add to your collection. The reggae numbers are really a red herring; what’s here is more rooted in the Tulsa blues and The Beatles’ solo music than Bob Marley or Byron Lee.
Original LP Version
A1. We’ve Been Told (Jesus Coming Soon) (Traditional, arr. by Eric Clapton) (4:30)
A2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot (Traditional, arr. by Eric Clapton) (3:32)
A3. Little Rachel (Jim Byfield) (4:06)
A4. Don’t Blame Me (Eric Clapton/George Terry) (3:34)
A5. The Sky Is Crying (Elmore James/Morgan Robinson) (3:56)
B1. Singin’ The Blues (Mary McCreary) (3:23)
B2. Better Make It Through Today (Eric Clapton) (4:04)
B3. Pretty Blue Eyes (Eric Clapton) (4:47)
B4. High (Eric Clapton) (3:32)
B5. Opposites (Eric Clapton) (4:47)
Eric Clapton (lead vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, dobro), Yvonne Elliman (lead vocals, group vocals), Marcy Levy (group vocals), Jamie Oldaker (drums, percussion), Carl Radle (electric bass, electric guitar), Dick Sims (organ, piano, electric piano), George Terry (electric & acoustic guitars, group vocals) with Albhy Galuten (synthesizer). Produced by Tom Dowd; engineered by Graeme Goodall and Karl Richardson.
The front cover was photographed by Henri De Chatillon, the back cover by Robert Ellis. Clapton himself painted the inner sleeve.
Clapton’s third studio album was recorded in Miami and Kingston (Jamaica) and released in April 1975, reaching #15 on the UK charts (charted April 12, 1975) and #21 on the US charts. It was originally released internationally on elpee in the UK, Canada, Germany, Israel and the Netherlands (RSO, 2479 132), Argentina (RSO, 5323), Australia (RS), 2394 147), Japan (RSO, MW-2116) and Yugoslavia (RTB, LP 5816); in the US, the album was released on elpee and 8-track in both stereo and quadrophonic versions (RSO, SO/TP-4806 for the stereo versions, QD/QT-4806 for the quad versions). The album was re-pressed some years later in Germany as a budget-priced elpee (RSO, 2479 132). It has been re-issued over the years on various formats in Japan (RSO, MWX-4034, elpee, 1980), the UK (RSO, SPELP/SPEMC-92, elpee/cassette), Japan (RSO, P3W-25009, cd, 1986), the US (Polydor, 829 649-2/4, cd/cassette, 1987), the US (Polydor, 531 822-2/4, cd/cassette), Japan (Polydor, UICY-6187), the US (DTS, 710215442426, surround sound cd, 1997), Japan (Polydor, 9834605, cd, 2008) and Japan (Universal, UICY-93632, shmcd, 2008).