The release of the 4-CD box set CROSSROADS is the perfect package to commemorate Eric Clapton's first 25 years of making music. Starting out as a blues purist with the like-minded Yardbirds, Clapton left after the band moved in a decidedly more pop direction. He began an apprenticeship under John Mayall. Encouraged to indulge in his love for the songs of Freddie King ("Hideaway") and Robert Johnson ("Ramblin' On My Mind") among others, Clapton metamorphosed into a guitar god after forming Cream with two of Mayall's sidemen, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker. These three virtuosos set the bar for the classic power trio line-up and in the process redefined rock music and introduced unprecedented levels of improvisational freedom within songs such as "Crossroads." Post-Cream, Clapton took his godhead status into the supergroup Blind Faith before becoming a sideman with Delaney & Bonnie ("Comin' Home"). Using their back-up band on his solo debut led to the formation of Derek & The Dominos. This unit's synergy allowed Clapton to unleash all his accumulated creative might amidst the throes of personal unrest yielding the epic "Layla." Later, Clapton reinvented himself as a mellow singer-songwriter. CROSSROADS covers all this history and includes extensive liner notes by Anthony.
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