Richard Clapton

Decades: 1990s 2000s


Unfortunately, Clapton remains one of Australian rock’s hidden secrets. A perceptive lyricist and a talented songwriter, Clapton returned from travelling in Europe in 1972, where he had played in a couple of bands and recorded a remarkable debut album, which displayed his laconic, wailing vocal style, strong lyrics and ear for melody. The sparse production assisted the album’s impact, though some critics felt the Van Morrison influence was very evident. In 1974 he gathered excellent musicians around him and began performing and writing material more suitable for a group. The surf fraternity embraced Clapton but his appeal was much wider, although his strongest work ‘Capricorn Dancer’ invoked images of the sea and surf. His best album remains Goodbye Tiger, his lyrics accurately portraying life in the city, on the beaches, growing up and the ‘meaning of life’. His most commercial success was an almost throwaway song in early 1975...

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