August

Eric Clapton

Reprise, 1986

http://www.ericclapton.com

REVIEW BY: David Bowling

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 03/21/2011

Phil Collins and Eric Clapton joined together for a second collaborative effort with the November 1986 release August. They shared producing chores, as Collins pop sensibilities combined with Clapton’s blues/rock foundation to provide a solid and satisfying listening experience. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The drumming and synthesizers may have been very ‘80s, but they allowed room for Clapton’s guitar excursions. It may have been slicker and more polished than many of his past album releases, but it retained his signature sound.

Clapton assembled his usual collection of stellar backing musicians. Greg Phillinganes was back on board as the keyboardist and would become an important part of his touring band for the next several years. Saxophone player Michael Brecker, trumpet player Randy Brecker, and a couple of friends brought their brass sound to five of the tracks and were a welcome addition.

August only reached number 37 on the American charts, but continued to sell well for years and ultimately became one of his bigger commercial successes.

The songs roll smoothly into one another. “It’s The Way That You Use It,” co-written with Robbie Robertson, features a gritty vocal and excellent guitar solo. “Tearing Us Apart” contains a fine vocal by the legendary Tina Turner. “Taking A Chance” finds Clapton’s guitar floating over Phillinganes’ keyboards. All three tracks were hits on the American mainstream rock charts and received considerable airplay.

“Run” and “Hung Up On Your Love” were both written by Motown soul artist and composer deluxe Lamont Dozier and receive a horn laden treatment in support of his classic guitar playing.

August may be a product of the ‘80s, but it is ‘80s eighties. It remains a good effort by one of rock music’s guitar gods.

Rating: B+

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