New Releases

Live In Amsterdamn

Beth Hart / Joe Bonamassa

Going Back Home

Wilko Johnson / Roger Daltrey

In My Soul

Robert Cray

In My Soul

The Robert Cray Band

Silver Rails

Jack Bruce

Haul Away!

Liz Green

Witches Brew

George Benson

Songs for Syria

Owen Campbell


Percy Sledge

Complete 1960-1962 Recordings

Freddie King

Bo Diddley Is a Lover

Bo Diddley

20th Anniversary of Rock'n'roll

Bo Diddley

Every Day I Have The Blues

T-Bone Walker

Live At McCabe's (February 23rd, 1991)

Tom Paxton

Zem Putna Spārniem


Beautiful Wild



Left Lane Cruiser

Sweet Giant Of The Blues

Otis Spann

Certified Blue

The Black Sorrows

Into Something Blue

Bill LaBounty

Top Albums


The Black Keys
Retreating from the hazy Danger Mouse-fueled pot dream of Attack & Release, the Black Keys headed down to the legendary Muscle Shoals, recording their third album on their own and dubbing it Brothers. The studio, not to mention the artwork patterned after such disregarded Chess psychedelic-era relics as This Is Howlin’ Wolf’s New Album, are good indications that the tough blues band of the Black Keys earliest records is back, but the group hasn’t forgotten what they’ve learned in their inwardly psychedelic mid-period. Brothers still can get mighty trippy -- the swirling chintzy organ that circles “The Only One,” the Baroque harpsichord flair of “Too Afraid to Love You” -- but the album is built with blood and dirt, so its wilder moments remain gritty without being earthbound. Sonically, that scuffed-up spaciness -- the open air created by the fuzz guitars and phasing, analog keyboards, and cavernous drums -- is considerably appealing, but the Black Keys' ace in the hole remains the exceptional songwriting that Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney are so good at. They twist a Gary Glitter stomp into swamp fuzz blues, steal a title from Archie Bell & the Drells but never reference that classic Tighten Up groove, and approximate a slow ‘60s soul crawl on “Unknown Brother” before following it up with a version of Jerry Butler’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” and it’s nearly impossible to tell which is the cover. And that’s the great thing about the Black Keys in general and Brothers in particular: the past and present intermingle so thoroughly that they blur, yet there’s no affect, just three hundred pounds of joy.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

El Camino

The Black Keys
Picking up on the ‘60s soul undercurrent of Brothers, the Black Keys smartly capitalize on their 2010 breakthrough by plunging headfirst into retro-soul on El Camino. Savvy operators that they are, the Black Keys don’t opt for authenticity à la Sharon Jones or Eli “Paperboy” Reed: they bring Danger Mouse back into the fold, the producer adding texture and glitter to the duo’s clean, lean songwriting. Apart from “Little Black Submarines,” an acoustic number that crashes into Zeppelin heaviosity as it reaches its coda, every one of the 11 songs here clocks in under four minutes, adding up to a lean 38-minute rock & roll rush, an album that’s the polar opposite of the Black Keys’ previous collaboration with Danger Mouse, the hazy 2008 platter Attack & Release. That purposely drifted into detours, whereas El Camino never takes its eye off the main road: it barrels down the highway, a modern motor in its vintage body. Danger Mouse adds glam flair that doesn’t distract from the songs, all so sturdily built they easily accommodate the shellacked layers of cheap organs, fuzz guitars, talk boxes, backing girls, tambourines, foot stomps, and handclaps. Each element harks back to something from the past -- there are Motown beats and glam rock guitars -- but everything is fractured through a modern prism: the rhythms have swing, but they’re tight enough to illustrate the duo’s allegiance to hip-hop; the gleaming surfaces are postmodern collages, hinting at collective aural memories. All this blurring of eras is in the service of having a hell of a good time. More than any other Black Keys album, El Camino is an outright party, playing like a collection of 11 lost 45 singles, each one having a bigger beat or dirtier hook than the previous side. What’s being said doesn’t matter as much as how it’s said: El Camino is all trash and flash and it’s highly addictive.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Texas Flood

Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble


John Mayer
Anybody who was initially confused by singer/songwriter John Mayer's foray into blues with 2005's Try! John Mayer Trio Live in Concert could only have been further confounded upon listening to the album and coming to the realization that it was actually good. And not just kinda good, especially for guy who had been largely labeled as a Dave Matthews clone, but really, truthfully, organically good as a blues album in its own right. However, for longtime fans who had been keeping tabs on Mayer, the turn might not have been so unexpected. Soon after the release of his 2003 sophomore album, the laid-back, assuredly melodic Heavier Things, Mayer began appearing on albums by such iconic blues and jazz artists as Buddy Guy, B.B. King, and Herbie Hancock. And not just singing, but playing guitar next to musicians legendary on the instrument. In short, he was seeking out these artists in an attempt to delve into the roots of the blues, a music he obviously has a deep affection for. Rather than his blues trio being a one-off side project completely disconnected to his past work, it is clear now that it was the next step in his musical development. And truthfully, while Try! certainly showcases Mayer's deft improvisational blues chops, it's more of a blues/soul album in the tradition of such electric blues legends as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, and features songs by Mayer that perfectly marry his melodic songcraft and his blues-slinger inclinations. In fact, what seemed at the time a nod to his largely female fan base (the inclusion of "Daughters" and "Something's Missing" off Heavier Things) was actually a hint that he was bridging his sound for his listeners, showing them where he was going.

That said, nothing he did up until the excellent, expansive Try! could have prepared you for the monumental creative leap forward that is Mayer's 2006 studio effort, Continuum. Working with his blues trio/rhythm section of bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Steve Jordan, along with guest spots by trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Ben Harper, Mayer brings all of his recent musical explorations and increasing talents as a singer/songwriter to bear on Continuum. Produced solely by Mayer and Jordan, the album is a devastatingly accomplished, fully realized effort that in every way exceeds expectations and positions Mayer as one of the most relevant artists of his generation. Adding weight to the notion that Mayer's blues trio is more than just a creative indulgence, he has carried over two tracks from the live album in "Vultures" and the deeply metaphorical soul ballad "Gravity." These are gut-wrenchingly poignant songs that give voice to a generation of kids raised on TRL teen stars and CNN soundbites who've found themselves all grown up and fighting a war of "beliefs." Grappling with a handful of topics -- social and political, romantic and sexual, pointedly personal and yet always universal in scope -- Mayer's Continuum here earns a legitimate comparison to Marvin Gaye's What's Going On. Nobody -- not a single one of Mayer's contemporaries -- has come up with anything resembling a worthwhile antiwar anthem that is as good and speaks for their generation as much as his "Waiting on the World to Change" -- and he goes and hangs the whole album on it as the first single.

It's a bold statement of purpose that is carried throughout the album, not just in sentiment, but also tone. Continuum is a gorgeously produced, brilliantly stripped-to-basics album that incorporates blues, soft funk, R&B, folk, and pop in a sound that is totally owned by Mayer. It's no stretch when trying to describe the sound of Continuum to color it in the light of work by such legends as Sting, Eric Clapton, Sade, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Steve Winwood. In fact, the sustained adult contemporary tone of the album could easily have become turgid, boring, or dated but never does, and brings to mind such classic late-'80s albums as Sting's Nothing Like the Sun, Clapton's Journeyman, and Vaughan's In Step. At every turn, Continuum finds Mayer to be a mature, thoughtful, and gifted musician who fully grasps his place not just in the record industry, but in life.

Matt Collar, Rovi

The Best Of Bonnie Raitt On Capitol 1989-2003

Bonnie Raitt
The Best of Bonnie Raitt on Capitol 1989-2003, its 18 tracks handpicked by the artist herself as a portrait of her renaissance years, are indicative of the high-quality work ethic she has imposed on herself. Sometimes these songs reveal the queen doing a definitive read, such as on John Hiatt's "Lovers Will" (a song that deserves far, far more than it got -- the ache in her voice is the real grain of somebody who has been on both sides of love's hot broken arrow and still has faith enough to sing) or "Thing Called Love." Sometimes she's bringing the songs of Paul Brady ("Not the Only One"), Bonnie Hayes ("Love Letter" and "Have a Heart"), or even David Gray ("Silver Lining") and Richard Thompson ("Dimming of the Day") to the masses in ways that define them for a different audience. And sometimes, it's simply Raitt playing her own songs ("Nick of Time" and "Spit of Love") full of a poetic, sensual ferocity that oozes tenderness and commitment. And throughout it all is her trademark bottleneck slide, coaxing love notes or razored snarls out of her Stratocaster. There aren't any unreleased tracks here, but for the money you get the best of the best and her own comments on each song as well as a short essay about what this music means to her. Given that you don't have that box set (yet), that means this is worth whatever you happen to pay for it -- but don't forget about getting some of those Warner albums (Give It Up is a great place to start). Here is the astonishing range, from deep blue-eyed bluesy soul, sheeny reggae-tinged pop, and adult rock & roll that moves and inspires anyone with an open mind.

Thom Jurek, Rovi

Attack & Release

The Black Keys
Back in 2002, it seemed easy to discern which of the Midwestern minimalist blues-rock duos was which: the White Stripes were the art-punks, naming albums after Dutch art movements, while the Black Keys were the nasty primitives, bashing out thrilling, raw records like their 2002 debut The Big Come Up and its 2003 follow-up Thickfreakness. Six years later, the duos appear to have switched camps, as Jack White leads the Stripes down a path of obstinate traditionalism while the Black Keys get out, way out, on their fifth album, Attack & Release. Evidently, their 2004 mini-masterpiece Rubber Factory represented the crest of their brutal blues wave, as ever since singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney have receded from the gnarled precision of their writing and the big, brutal blues thump, they started to float into the atmosphere with their 2006 EP-length tribute to Junior Kimbrough, Chulahoma. Ever since then, the Black Keys have emphasized waves of sound over either ballast or song, something that should be evident from the choice of Danger Mouse as the producer of Attack & Release, a seemingly unlikely pair that found common ground in the form of Ike Turner. Danger Mouse worked with the rock & roll renegade when he produced the Gorillaz's Demon Days and the plan was to have the Black Keys cut an album with Ike but Turner's death turned the project into a full-fledged Keys album. That's the official story, anyway, but the timeline doesn't quite seem to fit -- Ike died December 12, 2007 and a finished copy of Attack & Release was out in February, which is an awfully short turnaround to complete an album -- nor does the sound of the album seem to fit that timeline, either, as it's elliptical, open-ended, and reliant on the spacy sonics the Black Keys have sketched out since Rubber Factory, so it's hard to imagine where Turner would have fit into this. But it's not hard at all to see how avant guitarist Marc Ribot fits into this elastic mix, as this is the kind of restless, textural roots-aware rock reminiscent of the spirit, if not quite the sound, of Elvis Costello and Tom Waits, two mavericks Ribot has played with in years past. This shift to sound over song has been so gradual for the Black Keys that Ribot's cameo doesn't seem intrusive, nor does Danger Mouse's hazy production feel forced upon the band, it's filled with details so sly they're almost imperceptible. As always, Danger Mouse encourages the band to intensify what's already there, and so Attack & Release willfully drifts, as dreamy, artfully sonic sculptures are punctured by Auerbach's rumbling guitars and Carney's clattering drums. But where the interplay of the Auerbach and Carney always felt immediate in their earliest work, there's a bit of a remove here, with the riffs used as paint brushes instead of blunt objects. The same can be said of the songs, where even the most immediate tunes -- "Psychotic Girl," the B-side "Remember When" -- don't grab and hold like those on the group's earliest records, and they're not really growers either, as the point here is not the individual tunes but rather the greater picture, as everything here weaves together to create a mood: one that shifts but doesn't stray, one that's nebulous but not formless, one that's evocative but not haunting. To be sure, it's an accomplishment and one that showcases the Black Keys' deepening skills but at times it's hard not to miss how the duo used to grab a listener by the neck and not let go.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Rumble And Sway EP

Jamie N Commons

Blak And Blu (Deluxe Version)

Gary Clark Jr.
Gary Clark, Jr. has been hailed by a number of critics as "the New Hendrix," which seems to be the fate of any guitarist who combines blues and rock styles at a considerable volume (particularly if they cover "Third Stone from the Sun"). While that's a blurb that may look good in Clark's press kit, it rather misses the point; Clark isn't a visionary, game-changing artist like Hendrix, but instead he's a canny singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist who has learned from the past and present, fusing them into a style that's distinctive and exciting if not necessarily revolutionary. Warner Bros. is also pitching Blak and Blu as Clark's "groundbreaking debut album," when in fact it's just his major-label debut, with four indie releases preceding it, making the confidence and ambition of this set a bit less remarkable. But if Gary Clark, Jr. isn't likely to change the way we look at rock & roll or rewrite the aesthetic of the electric guitar, he "is" one of the most interesting talents to come out of the contemporary blues scene in quite some time. On Blak and Blu, most of Clark's tunes are solidly rooted in the blues, but he's also folded in hearty servings of hard rock, funk, retro-soul, and even a dash of hip-hop, and the way he lets the flavors mix is a big part of what makes this album work so well. There's an undertow of Northern Soul on the dance-friendly opener "Ain't Messin' Round," "Travis County" is a no-frills rocker that recalls the Stones in fifth gear, "The Life" finds Clark moving back and forth between singing and rapping in a streetwise tale of drug addiction, "Numb" recalls the punk blues attack of the Black Keys and the White Stripes in its fuzzed-out blast, and the title cut samples both Gil Scott-Heron and Albert King as Clark melds conscious themes with blues backdrops. While the typical modern-day guitar hero goes out of his way to throw his dexterity in your face at every turn, here Clark shows off a tougher and more primal style, and though his chops are certainly good, he keep his solos concise and his attack muscular throughout. And if his songwriting is a bit uneven, he has an inarguable talent with both lyrics and melodies, and he's a good-to-great singer, sounding soulful and honest on every cut. Blak and Blu's production (by Rob Cavallo and Mike Elizondo in collaboration with Clark) is too polished and processed for its own good, but if this album isn't likely to change your life, it will make an hour of it a lot more interesting, and there's no arguing that Gary Clark, Jr. is a talent strong enough to match his record company's hype.

The Bright Lights EP

Gary Clark Jr.
Texas guitarist Gary Clark Jr. mixes up blues, jazz, soul, and rock as well as any player on the scene, and his two-song, four-track EP The Bright Lights only underscores things -- Clark is the real deal. Two of these tracks are live and acoustic, including a wonderful take on "Things Are Changin'."

Steve Leggett, Rovi

The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan And Double Trouble

Stevie Ray Vaughan
Epic's The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble gathers two discs' worth of the late blues guitarist's work, including many live performances and a few tracks with the Vaughan Brothers. The collection presents Vaughan's material in roughly chronological order, from the 1980 live recording "Shake for Me" to 1989's "Life by the Drop." It also touches on most of Vaughan's definitive songs and performances, including "Tightrope," "Wall of Denial," "Couldn't Stand the Weather," and "Cold Shot," and live versions of "The Sky Is Crying," "Superstition," and "Rude Mood/Hide Away." Though this album doesn't offer anything that hasn't already been released in some form or another, it does go into slightly more depth than several of the other Stevie Ray Vaughan retrospectives by presenting both his greatest studio hits and some of his best live work.

Heather Phares, Rovi

The Best Of John Lee Hooker 1965 To 1974

John Lee Hooker
MCA's The Best of John Lee Hooker has a misleading title. All of the 16 selections are taken from his recordings for ABC, which were made at the end of the '60s and beginning of the '70s. During this time, his producers were experimenting with his sound, adding contemporary sonic touches like funk rhythms and wah-wah pedals. Needless to say, this sound didn't sit particularly well with Hooker's lean, haunting blues. However, these songs do take the best material from generally poor albums -- anyone who wants to sample his ABC material should turn here first and they'll realize that they don't need to explore much further.

Thom Owens, Rovi

The Real Deal: Greatest Hits Volume 1

Stevie Ray Vaughan
This is a fine 16-track introduction to Stevie Ray Vaughan. Here are the early rollicking blues hits like "Texas Flood," "Couldn't Stand the Weather," and "Cold Shot," to the middle period Hendrix-drenched "Say What?" "Come On, Pt. 3," and the late R&B-drenched tunes such as "Crossfire," "Tightrope," and "The House Is Rockin'." There is also a live version of Elmore James' "The Sky Is Crying" tagged on at the end that digs deep into blues history. This is a great introduction for novices and a cool comp for those who already have everything.

Thom Jurek, Rovi


Jimi Hendrix
While Jimi Hendrix remains most famous for his hard rock and psychedelic innovations, more than a third of his recordings were blues-oriented. This CD contains 11 blues originals and covers, eight of which were previously unreleased. Recorded between 1966 and 1970, they feature the master guitarist stretching the boundaries of electric blues in both live and studio settings. Besides several Hendrix blues-based originals, it includes covers of Albert King and Muddy Waters classics, as well as a 1967 acoustic version of his composition "Hear My Train a Comin'."

Made Up Mind

Tedeschi Trucks Band

Beacon Theatre: Live From New York

Joe Bonamassa
Joe Bonamassa is a guitar hero and a road dog -- the blues-rock crusher plays up to 200 shows a year, and it's significant that of the 15 albums he released between 2000 and 2012, four of them were live sets. When Bonamassa played the Beacon Theatre in New York City in November 2011, the marquee declared it "the guitar event of the year," and something that important would certainly merit another live album, wouldn't it? Beacon Theatre: Live from New York is a hefty two-disc set that features plenty of Bonamassa's trademark guitar work, at once precise and bombastic and firmly rooted in the traditions of British blues, and for this show he had Paul Rodgers on hand to lend appropriately swaggering lead vocals to a pair of Free covers, "Fire and Water" and "Walk in My Shadows." Two other guest singers pop up on this set: John Hiatt, whose craggy tone lends a welcome bit of texture to versions of two of his tunes, "Down Around My Place" and "I Know a Place," and Beth Hart, who has collaborated with Bonamassa in the past and lends her voice to spirited versions of "Sinner's Prayer" and "I'll Take Care of You." There's no arguing the technical skill of Bonamassa and his band (Carmine Rojas on bass, Rick Melick on keys, and Tal Bergman on drums), who perform with the accuracy of a Swiss watch, but some might question his taste -- there's nothing the least bit subtle about Bonamassa's big, burly sound, and the emotional shadings of these songs are pretty much trampled into the dirt by the end of disc one, while the presence of the guest stars unfortunately reminds listeners that Bonamassa's vocals are not on a par with his skills on the fretboard. But if you're already a convert, Beacon Theatre: Live from New York finds Bonamassa playing with all his might for a crowd who are clearly digging what he has to offer, and if, like many of his fans, you're convinced he sounds stronger and more powerful on-stage, this album will tide you over nicely until he next rolls into your area.

Mark Deming, Rovi

Blues Legends

Various Artists

Nick Of Time

Bonnie Raitt
Prior to Nick of Time, Bonnie Raitt had been a reliable cult artist, delivering a string of solid records that were moderate successes and usually musically satisfying. From her 1971 debut through 1982's Green Light, she had a solid streak, but 1986's Nine Lives snapped it, falling far short of her usual potential. Therefore, it shouldn't have been a surprise when Raitt decided to craft its follow-up as a major comeback, collaborating with producer Don Was on Nick of Time. At the time, the pairing seemed a little odd, since he was primarily known for the weird hipster funk of Was (Not Was) and the B-52's' quirky eponymous debut, but the match turned out to be inspired. Was used Raitt's classic early-'70s records as a blueprint, choosing to update the sound with a smooth, professional production and a batch of excellent contemporary songs. In this context, Raitt flourishes; she never rocks too hard, but there is grit to her singing and playing, even when the surfaces are clean and inviting. And while she only has two original songs here, Nick of Time plays like autobiography, which is a testament to the power of the songs, performances, and productions. It was a great comeback album that made for a great story, but the record never would have been a blockbuster success if it wasn't for the music, which is among the finest Raitt ever made. She must have realized this, since Nick of Time served as the blueprint for the majority of her '90s albums.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Dust Bowl

Joe Bonamassa
For his second solo album in a year -- not counting his excursion with Black Country Communion -- Joe Bonamassa, the hardest working blues-rock guitarist of the 21st century, strikes up a bit of a smoky Black Keys vibe, signaling that he’s not quite as devoted to the past as he may initially seem. It’s not the only trick he has up his sleeve, either. Appropriately enough for an album entitled Dust Bowl, Bonamassa kicks up some country dirt on this record, enlisting John Hiatt for a duet on the songwriter’s “Tennessee Plates” and bringing Vince Gill in to play on the lazy shuffle “Sweet Rowena.” These are accents to an album that otherwise sticks to Bonamassa’s strong suit of blues in the vein of Cream, Stevie Ray, and Gary Moore, but it’s just enough of a difference to give Dust Bowl a distinctive flavor and suggests that the guitarist’s constant work is pushing him to synthesize his clear influences into something that is uniquely his own.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Cabin Fever

Corb Lund
Canadian cowboys are less about flash and brag than getting the job done -- check out the Calgary Stampede sometime -- and Canadian cowpunks are often the same way, especially Corb Lund. Lund's music fuses a strong classic Western sound with a darkly witty rock & roll sensibility, and Lund plays both sides of the fence with style and heart on his seventh studio album, Cabin Fever. "Getting' Down On the Mountain" kicks the album off in idiosyncratic fashion, spinning a rough-hewn tale of living off the land in the wake of some global apocalypse, and while the album never gets quite that grim again, his drinking songs speak of genuine heartache (especially the harrowing closer "Pour ‘Em Kinda Strong"), and even when the tunes are funny, they often have a wicked edge, in particular "Priceless Antique Pistol Shoots Startled Owner." And while some rockers sound like they're play acting when they make like cowboys, Lund always seems like the real thing, discussing the joys of cattle ownership on "Cows Around," pining for a city girl while looking after the ranch on "September," and offering the sage advice "(You Ain't a Cowboy) If You Ain't Been Bucked Off." Lund's rock & roll moves are more felt than heard --- most of this sounds like stripped-down variant of classic 1950s honky tonk -- but his tales of too-fast motorcycles and hot rockin' gals prove the heart of a rocker co-exists with the soul of a cowboy (in true rocker's fashion, he also passes along some worthwhile advice about life on the road in "Bible On the Dash"), and the dry, lonesome twang of the six-strings and the steel mesh beautifully with his rich, emotive, but unfussy vocals. Cabin Fever is tough without sounding callous, heartfelt without being melodramatic, and true and straightforward enough that plenty of rock and country acts could learn a lot from it, and if you like roots rock with the emphasis on roots, this should be right up your alley.

Mark Deming, Rovi

Driving Towards The Daylight

Joe Bonamassa
Eleven albums in as many years, three more with his group Black Country Communion, plus too many cameos to count—yessir, Joe Bonamassa is one of modern blues-rock's most prolific artists. That said, what truly distinguishes him from his peers isn't productivity, but diversity. Driving Towards the Daylight proves this, boasting as it does a wide-spectrum balance of rippling groovers (the Zep-tinged "Stones in My Passway"), rambunctious houserocking ("I Got All You Need") and introspective ballads (the title track). Moreover, Bonamassa's arrangements are always ambitious and full-tilt. The seven-minute reworking of Bill Withers' "Lonely Town, Lonely Street" contains a treasure trove of nasty licks and breakdowns that will blow away old school classic rock fans.

Justin Farrar, Google Play

Chronicles: The Best Of Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton
Clapton Chronicles ignores Eric Clapton's 1983 Reprise debut, Money and Cigarettes (which sounded more like an RSO album, anyway), starting with the pair of Phil Collins-produced mid-'80s albums, Behind the Sun and August. Though these had a pop sheen, they were album rock holdovers. Clapton didn't get the balance between hard rock and commercial gloss right until 1989's Journeyman, whose featured songs -- "Before You Accuse Me," "Bad Love," and "Pretending" -- form the heart of this compilation. Journeyman was overshadowed by the phenomenal success of "Tears in Heaven" and 1992's Unplugged. Not only did Unplugged go platinum ten times, it established a new public image -- classy, stylish, and substantial. That's the image that prevails on Clapton Chronicles. His triple-platinum blues album From the Cradle is written out of the picture, with songs from movie soundtracks taking its place. Apart from the Babyface-produced "Change the World," these tunes are a little too self-conscious and subdued, as are selections from 1998's Pilgrim. However, this deliberate move to paint Clapton's '80s and '90s recordings as adult contemporary fare is accurate. Clapton's musical journey from 1985 to 1999 was taken mostly in the middle of the road, and Clapton Chronicles certainly captures that journey, missing no major hits from the late '80s and '90s. Whether it's a necessary addition to a Clapton collection is a matter of taste. It's certainly an excellent compliment to Unplugged and Time Pieces, his two most popular and pop-oriented albums, but that might not be what every fan wants.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Top Songs


John Mayer

Free Bird

Lynyrd Skynyrd

At Last (Single Version)

Etta James

Waiting on the World to Change

John Mayer

Tighten Up

The Black Keys

Bad Company

Bad Company

The Preacher

Jamie N Commons


Stevie Nicks

Howlin' For You

The Black Keys

Pride and Joy

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Radar Love

Golden Earring

At Last

Etta James

Something To Talk About

Bonnie Raitt

I Can't Make You Love Me

Bonnie Raitt

Life By The Drop

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Tears In Heaven

Eric Clapton

Shooting Star

Bad Company

Angel Eyes

Jeff Healey

Higher Love

Steve Winwood