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Eric Clapton's Favorite Songs and Recording Artists

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 Clapton was the subject of a cover story for Uncut, a U.K. magazine. Each month, the magazine comes with a free CD of music. In some months, the editors ask the musician featured on the cover to compile the CD for listeners. Eric Clapton’s choices for his Uncut CD were:

01.  Freddy King - I Love The Woman
02.  Robert Johnson - Kindhearted Woman Blues
03.  John Lee Hooker - Hobo Blues
04.  Bukka White - Special Stream Line
05.  Elmore James - Hand in Hand
06.  Wes Montgomery - For Heaven’s Sake
07.  Blind Willie McTell - Statesboro Blues
08.  Thelonious Monk - Crepuscule With Nellie
09.  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 fans on America Online (AOL) 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. Eric commented that the latter was a big influence at the moment. (Note that 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, Eric Clapton 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 Renata Scotto (an aria from the opera Suor Angelica by Giacomo Puccini)
2. “Au Fond Du Temple Saint” by Ernest Blanc and Nicolai Gedda (an aria from the opera Les Pêcheurs De Perles by George Bizet)
3. “Cross Roads 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.”