Eric Clapton is an English singer, songwriter, and guitarist who began his career in 1962. He is usually associated with the rock and blues genres of music. In the early stage of his career, Clapton was a member of various groups, including Yardbird, John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith. Clapton began his solo career in 1970 and released music alone and with other artists. During his solo career, Eric Clapton released 24 solo studio albums, 20 compilation albums, 15 live albums, 14 soundtrack albums, 23 albums with other bans, 86 collaborations, 61 solo singles, and various collaboration singles. Here are the 10 best Eric Clapton songs of all time.
10. Pretending (1989)
‘Pretending’ was the first of two singles released from Clapton’s 1989 album ‘Journeyman.’ It topped the Mainstream Rock chart in the United States, and it peaked at number three in the Netherlands. The single was written and composed by Jerry Lynn Williams. Although the production of the track faced criticism, live performances of the song receive praise and are popular amongst Clapton’s fans.
9. It’s in the Way That You Use It (1986)
‘It’s in the Way That You Use It’ is one of Eric Clapton’s singles to top the Mainstream Rock chart, and it was the second of four singles released from the 1986 album ‘August.’ Clapton co-wrote the song with Robbie Robertson, the composer and guitarist from The Band. This song was used as the theme tune to the Martin Scorsese film ‘The Color of Money.’ Clapton also produced the song with Tom Dowd.
8. Forever Man (1985)
‘Forever Man’ was the first single released from Clapton’s 1985 album ‘Behind the Sun,’ and it was one of his most successful singles during the mid-1980s. The song topped the Mainstream Rock chart in the United States. It was also the second of Clapton’s songs to top the Billboard Top Rock Tracks chart. The song was written by Jerry Lynn Williams.
7. I Can’t Stand It (1981)
Eric Clapton released ‘I Can’t Stand It’ in 1981 and is featured on the album ‘Another Ticket.’ The song topped the Mainstream Rock charts in the United States and also reached number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Interestingly, it was also the first-ever song to reach number one on Billboard’s Top Tracks chart, which made its debut in March 1981. It was one of Clapton’s biggest solo hits of the early 1980s.
6. I Shot the Sheriff (1974)
‘I Shot the Sheriff’ was written by Bob Marley and released by Bob Marley and the Wailers in 1973. A year later, Eric Clapton released a cover of the song, and it was featured on the album ‘461 Ocean Boulevard.’ Clapton added a soft rock feel to the reggae song, and his version outperformed the original on the charts. It peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
5. Change the World (1996)
Unlike many of the singles released by Eric Clapton, he did not write ‘Change the World.’ The song was co-written by Tommy Simms, Gordon Kennedy, and Wayne Kirkpatrick. Clapton released the song in 1996, and it appeared on the album ‘Phenomenon,’ which was the soundtrack for the film of the same name. The single reached the top 40 in 20 countries, including the United States, and it topped the charts in Canada. In total, the single won eight awards, including three Grammy Awards.
4. Lay Down Sally (1977)
Eric Clapton co-wrote ‘Lay Down Sally’ with Marcella Detroit and George Terry. The former also provided backing vocals for the track. It is one of the singles released from the 1977 album ‘Slowhand.’ This single is one of Clapton’s best in terms of chart performance, as it reached number three on the Billboard Hot 100. It is a country-blues song, so it also reached number 26 on the country charts in the United States.
3. Tears in Heaven (1991)
‘Tears in Heaven’ is possibly one of the most heart-rending songs ever released. Clapton co-wrote this song with Will Jennings following the death of his four-year-old son, who had fallen from an open window on the 53rd floor of a Manhattan skyscraper. The song was on the soundtrack album for the 1991 crime drama film ‘Rush’. ‘Tears in Heaven’ won three Grammy Awards.
2. Wonderful Tonight (1977)
‘Wonderful Tonight’ is Eric Clapton’s best-selling single, as it sold more than four million copies worldwide. Clapton wrote the song about Pattie Boyd, and the track appeared on his 1977 album ‘Slowhand.’ The backing vocals for the single were provided by Marcella Detroit and Yvonne Elliman. Other artists later released their own versions of this song, including David Kersh, Butch Baker, and Michael Bublé.
1. Layla (1972 and 1993)
According to Rolling Stone, the best Eric Clapton song of all time is Layla, as it topped the magazine’s reader’s poll. The song was written as an appeal to Pattie Boyd, who was Clapton’s girlfriend at the time and went on to become his first wife. Originally, the song was written as a ballad by Clapton, although he changed the music to make it a rock song. Clapton co-wrote the song with Jim Gordon for Derek and the Dominoes in 1990. Eric Clapton then released his own version of the single in 1972, followed by an acoustic version in 1993. The latter won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song.