10 Timeless Eric Clapton Classics

10 Timeless Eric Clapton Classics

Eric Clapton is one of the most enduring guitar players of all-time. His career as a guitar player spans more than fifty years. He's played in different bands -- his own and as a guest -- and collaborated with other guitar players in the course of his musical career.


Many of his songs since his career began in the 1960's are timeless classics that never grow old. And the task of choosing 10 of them isn't easy at all.


But here are our 10 Timeless Eric Clapton Classics:


1. Wonderful Tonight

The sweet and familiar lead guitar intro of Wonderful Tonight sets the mood to this timeless love song. Eric Clapton wrote it in 1976 to his girlfriend Pattie Boyd. He sang it to her at a concert the day after they got married (1979). 

 

2. Tears In Heaven

Clapton reveals his vulnerability in this acoustic ballad. Eric Clapton lost his 4 year old son, Conor, in a tragic accident in 1991. Tears In Heaven is his tribute to Conor. 

 

3. While My Guitar Gently Weeps

George Harrison wrote this song. When he couldn't make his guitar weep on the Abbey Road recording of the song, he invited his close buddy Eric Clapton to play lead guitar. Eric Clapton made George Harrison's Les Paul weep.  

 

4. Bell Bottom Blues

A sweet and painful love song, written for Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife, whom Clapton was madly in love with. Pattie had asked Eric to buy her a pair of bell bottoms in one of his trips to America; this became the inspiration for the song.

 

5. Layla

The 7 note riff that fires up the intro of Layla was influenced by Duane Allman (Allman Brothers Band) a jamming partner of Eric Clapton. Clapton wrote this hopeless love song to Pattie Boyd, who was then still married to his buddy, George Harrison.

 

6. I Shot The Sheriff

A Bob Marley original reggae that Eric Clapton adapted in 1974 for the rock & roll world. The song tells the story of a man wrongfully accused of killing a deputy sheriff and pleading his innocence. The Eric Clapton single made #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 on that same year.

 

7. Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad

Eric Clapton rips his Fender in the 1970 Live at the Fillmore Concert performance of Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad. Duane Allman (Allman Brothers Band) who toured with Derek and the Dominos, is believed to have played lead guitar with Clapton in the studio recorded version of the song.

 

8. White Room

The song begins with a military style drumbeat that segues into its psychedelic lyrics. This rock classic is totally out of this world. So is Clapton's lead guitar in the adlib. Clapton used a Vox wah to create the spatial wah-wah effects on his one line licks. The Joker fans caught up with White Room in 2019.

 

9. Crossroads

Clapton plays impressive solo lead guitar to a basic blues riff by Jack Bruce, with excellent drumming runs by the legendary Ginger Baker. Cream performed Crossroads in their reunion concert at the Royal Albert Hall in 2005.  

 

10. Have You Heard

The superb noodles on the solo sax intro (a full minute) is only matched by the impressive vocal intensity of John Mayall and the dazzling exhibition of lead guitar prowess by the young Eric Clapton. This was a defining moment of Clapton's guitar skills.

 

Some of these songs display Eric Clapton's guitar prowess and some his emotional vulnerability.

Some are from 50 years ago and some from more recent times.