Picks and Pans Review: Behind the Sun
Clapton earned his spot in the rock world years ago, after stints with the Yardbirds, Bluesbreakers and Cream. From such hits as Layla through the live recording of Cocaine, he has managed to maintain his reputation as a master guitarist without sacrificing popular appeal. He continues to float in the mainstream while occasionally adding a splash or two of virtuoso brilliance. On Behind the Sun Clapton is working with the safety nets. The songs are comfortable and familiar. There are three pop tunes by Jerry Lynn Williams that are produced by mainstream veterans Ted Templeman and Lenny Waronker. The best of these is Something's Happening, with Lindsey Buckingham playing a ringing, balalaika-like rhythm guitar. The LP's other songs are produced by the lately omnipresent Phil Collins, who shows admirable restraint. Only on She's Waiting and Just Like a Prisoner does Collins lapse into his trademark gambit: treating the drums as if they were the dominant instrument in his mix. The only surprise on Behind the Sun is another amiable cover of Eddie Floyd's old R&B classic, Knock on Wood, for which Clapton's dusky voice is close to perfect. Otherwise no new ground is broken on the LP. (Duck/WB)
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