Eric Clapton’s Reptile LP Turns 20

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Submitted by karajayne on Thu, 03/18/2021 - 12:21

Eric Clapton’s Reptile LP Turns 20

Posted 18 Mar 2021
eric clapton
Eric Clapton. Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns/Getty Images. 

We’re remembering Eric Clapton’s 14th studio album, the soul-infused Reptile which arrived 20 years ago this month. The album was a critical success, reaching Top 10 in 20 countries!

 

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Following on from Riding With the King, Clapton’s Grammy-winning collaboration with B.B. King, Reptile featured many of the same players, with the addition of Billy Preston’s unmistakable organ skills and the sweet gospel backing vocals of The Impressions. The album was produced by Eric Clapton with Simon Climie and described by Rolling Stone as a blend of  "virtually every style he's worked in during the past thirty-five years" upon its initial release. 

In the LP’s liner notes, Clapton explained the meaning behind the title: "Where I come from, the word 'reptile' is a term of endearment, used in much the same way as 'toe rag' or 'moosh.' It is used sparingly and with the greatest respect. It's not an insult, it's a sign of recognition. In my recollection, the first person ever to use the word in reference to me was Charlie Cumberland. 'Here comes the reptile that plays the banjo.' And coming from Charlie, that was indeed a compliment." 

Eric Clapton | “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It”

The polished blues arrangements showcase the diversity of Clapton’s immense talent, from the soul-jazz fusion of title-track, “Reptile,” “Modern Girl” and “Believe In Life” to the acoustic balladry of “Find Myself,” the slick R&B of the Ray Charles hits ”Come Back Baby” and ”I Want a Little Girl” and the 70s soul revival lead single, “I Ain’t Gonna Stand For It” – Reptile is a strict exemplar of what makes Eric Clapton one of the finest musicians on the planet!

 

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