Eric Clapton: Behind the Sun – [Record 196]
Behind the Sun is the ninth studio album by English guitarist Eric Clapton, released in 1985. The title of the album comes from a line from Muddy Waters’s “Louisiana Blues”. It is also Clapton’s first collaborative project with Phil Collins
1, She’s Waiting.
2, See What Love Can Do.
3, Same Old Blues.
4, Knock on Wood.
5, Something’s Happening.
6, Forever Man.
7, It All Depends.
8, Tangled in Love.
9, Never Make You Cry.
10, Just Like a Prisoner.
11, Behind the Sun.
Background and recording: After nearly a decade of Clapton’s guitar playing taking a back seat to his singing/songwriting, this album featured more guitar work by Clapton since the Cream era of the 1960s. The album features synthesizers and drum machines played by Phil Collins, Ted Templeman, Peter Robinson, Michael Omartian, James Newton Howard, Chris Stainton and Greg Phillinganes, as well as Clapton’s Roland guitar synthesizer on the 9th track, Never Make You Cry. Bassists Donald Duck Dunn from Booker T. & the MG’s and Nathan East from the smooth jazz quartet Fourplay also played on the sessions.
In his autobiography, Clapton remembers the 1984 session pleasantly: “The whole thing is going so great, I hope it never stops.” However, his troubled marriage with Pattie Boyd became the subject matter for most of his original material: She’s Waiting, Same Old Blues and Just Like a Prisoner all contain extended guitar solos by Clapton. It was during this period that Pattie left him “and it was eventually decided that we should have a trial separation.” Clapton assuaged his pain by writing the song Behind the Sun featuring only his guitar & vocals and Phil Collins’ synthesizer, which became the final song on the album.
This was also Clapton’s first collaboration with songwriter Jerry Lynn Williams. Warner looked critically at this follow-up to the Money and Cigarettes album, which did not sell well and was Clapton’s first for the label. The Phil Collins-produced Behind the Sun, in the fall of 1984—the first version submitted—was rejected by the label, insisting that he record several new songs written by Jerry Williams, backed by Los Angeles session players. The label put the project under the auspices of veteran company producers Lenny Waronker and Ted Templeman. Warner then emphasised the new tracks, releasing two of them, “Forever Man” (which reached the Top 40) and “See What Love Can Do,” as singles. The resulting album, not surprisingly, was somewhat disjointed, though the company may have been correct in thinking that the album as a whole was competent without being very exciting in response to the original line-up of songs for the album because they wanted the album to have more hit single material, Clapton agreed to their terms, but asked them to provide some “hits” and record the songs with their own producer and musicians: “They sent me three songs by a Texas songwriter – Forever Man, Something’s Happening and See What Love Can Do – and they were good.” The sessions featured Toto guitarist Steve Lukather and former drummer Jeff Porcaro, as well as Clapton’s long-time collaborators, drummer Jamie Oldaker, bassist Nathan East and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, who officially joined Toto in 2005.
Promotion: The Behind The Sun tour was featured at the first Live Aid concert in 1985 where “She’s Waiting” was performed along with “White Room” and “Layla”. The video for Forever Man became an MTV favourite, featuring an accident where one of the cameras falls off the dolly.
Same Old Blues was resurrected for the After Midnight tour and the Montserrat charity show in 1988 and 1997, with Mark Knopfler on rhythm guitar; Clapton re-performed She’s Waiting in 1990, 1991 and 1992.