Over the years, Eric Clapton has discussed with a number of interviewers the music he was currently listening to or what he simply enjoys. Despite his deep and abiding love for the blues, the other recurrent theme is the wide variety of music he listens to. The music crosses all age groups, cultures and genres.
In May 2004, Eric was the subject of a cover story for Uncut, a U.K. magazine. Each month, the magazine comes with a free CD of music. Editors ask the musician featured on the cover to compile a CD for listeners which comes with each magazine. Eric Clapton’s choices for his Uncut CD were:
1. Freddy King - "I Love The Woman"
2. Robert Johnson - "Kindhearted Woman Blues"
3. John Lee Hooker - "Hobo Blues"
4. Bukka White - "Special Stream Line"
5. Elmore James - "Hand in Hand"
6. Wes Montgomery - "For Heaven’s Sake"
7. Blind Willie McTell - "Statesboro Blues"
8. Thelonious Monk - "Crepuscule With Nellie"
9. Leroy Carr - "Alabama Woman Blues"
10. Luciano Pavarotti - "Che Gelida Manina"
11. Blind Lemon Jefferson - "Chock House Blues"
12. Louis Armstrong & The Hot Five - "Struttin’ With Some Barbecue"
13. Chocur De L’Orchestre Symphonique De Montreal - "Pavane, op 50"
14. Pat Metheny Group - "Another Life"
15. Mississippi John Hurt - "Frankie & Albert"
In a cyberchat with America Online on 24 July 2000, Eric Clapton discussed his favorites amongst the current generaion of musicians. Eric said he was listening to music by Doyle Bramhall II, Massive Attack, many of the European DJs, dance music, Green Day, Juvenile, the current underground bands in England and Joao Gilberto. He commented that the latter was a big influence at that time. (This cyberchat took place during the recording of Eric’s album, Reptile). He also said he listens to Middle Eastern and Classical music.
In the late 1990s, he said in several interviews that he liked newer bands like the Subdudes and Radiohead. He also expressed a growing interest in dance, rap and electronica.
In 1989, Eric Clapton was a guest on the BBC Radio 4 program, Desert Island Discs. His eight record choices were:
1. “Senza Mama” by Ranata Scotto
2. “Au Fond Du Temple Saint” by Ernest Blanc and Nicolai Gedda
3. “Crossroads Blues” by Robert Johnson
4. “Feel Like Going Home” by Muddy Waters
5. “I Was Made To Love Her” by Stevie Wonder
6. “Hard Times” by Ray Charles
7. “I Love The Woman” by Freddie King
8. “Purple Rain” by Prince
In the Journeyman Tour Program (1990) an explanation for these choices appeared. It said “Listeners may have been startled to hear him choose operatic excerpts among his most coveted records, as well as Muddy Waters and his all-time favourite — Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’.” Eric’s one luxury item was no surprise: a guitar. Asked to take a book of his choice (apart from the Bible or Shakespeare) and denied the chance to take a full set of Charles Dickens, Eric settled for Dickens’ Barnaby Rudge.”