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Clapton on Re-Release of ‘Slowhand’

Eric Clapton
(Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

Eric Clapton’s 1977 album, Slowhand, was re-released this week in celebration of its 35th anniversary. It was his most successful album of the ’70s, peaking at number-two on the Billboard chart, where it stayed for five weeks. It includes such classic songs as “Wonderful Tonight,” “Lay Down Sally” and “Cocaine.”

Clapton got the nickname that he used for the title while a member of The Yardbirds in the early ’60s. His bandmate Chris Dreja recalls, “To get his sound he went to incredibly light-gauge strings, so every evening he would break a string… And in a very good-natured way the audience used to slow hand clap while he changed the string. That’s how he got the name: slow hand clap, Eric ‘Slowhand’ Clapton.”

Clapton is happy with it. “It’s got a nice affectionate ring to it… And of course The Pointer Sisters made that great record – ‘Slow Hand’ – which makes it quite clear that a man with a slow hand is someone to actually go after. So it suits me down to the ground.”

The reissue from Universal Music is available in numerous configurations with bonus material, including session outtakes and concert performances.

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