[Slowhand] Re: Eric Clapton: Deluxe Edition

DeltaNick deltanick at comcast.net
Fri Jun 2 00:59:36 EDT 2006

>> And DN, the missing half second from the start of Slunky still doesn't bother you? <<

Of course it does. I haven't been able to sleep since 23 May as a result. It bothers me immensely ... NOT!

Actually, this is not my favorite EC album at all. However, having been the first one on my block to buy the LP, I found this release most interesting, mostly for its alternate mixes and the "Bonus Tracks" (labeled as "Additional Material").

Although I haven't listened to "The Unsurpassed Eric Clapton" -- the bootleg version of this album -- in a couple of years, I remember the Eric Clapton mix as different (and better, in my opinion) from the Delaney mix. In fact, thanks to Luke Pacholski, we all saw some months back producer Bill Levenson's e-mail comments documenting a third mix. Levenson, in an ICE Magazine Chat Room, back around February, wrote that the mix previously identified as the Delaney mix was, in fact, NOT the Delaney mix, but a mix by Eric Clapton. And if I'm not mistaken, this Deluxe Edition issued the real Delaney mix for the first time in any format.

And as Luke mentioned recently, there was a golden opportunity to include the Clapton mix in this Deluxe Edition release, which, of course, did not happen.

However, I must finally compliment Levenson. It finally looks as if he has hired an editor for packaging notes and other documentation included in this new release. This was indeed the main weakness in the Levenson-produced "Deluxe Edition" series, which included much remastered material. With the exception of Levenson's remastered "Blues Breakers," most of the recordings in the "Deluxe Edition" series have been improvements. The editing, however, is another story, sinking so low as to misspell the Deram label on the spine of the John Mayall "A Hard Road: Deluxe Edition" (it was spelled Derum). Other standard editorial rules were completely ignored, for example, in the Steve Winwood box set "The Finer Things." In other words, the documentation included with much of the "Deluxe Edition" series looked as if it were edited by an elementary school student.

And regarding "Blues Breakers," it was already remastered in a superior version -- including both mono and stereo versions of each track -- by John Astley in a 1998 European version (available in the US as an import, and re-released in Japan in Universal's mini-LP cover series under the Decca label).

However, with this "Eric Clapton: Deluxe Edition" release, it looks as if Levenson has turned a corner.

Someone recently mentioned that there isn't any more material in the Universal (previously Decca, Ace of Clubs, Deram, Polydor) Eric Clapton catalog remaining to be improved. Well, "Raw Blues" is out of print, and it could certainly use an improvement in both sonic and documentation departments. Although it's a "Various Artists" disc, both John Mayall and Eric Clapton are pictured on the recording's cover.


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