KamerTunesBlog

Revisiting my extensive music collection, one artist at a time

Forty Year Friday (1983) – ERIC CLAPTON “MONEY AND CIGARETTES”

It’s Forty Year Friday again. For more information on this series, please read the opening paragraph of the first post, which featured Never Surrender by Triumph.

Eric Clapton - Money and Cigarettes

Posted on my Facebook page Jan. 24, 2013:

This week’s featured album is ERIC CLAPTON “MONEY AND CIGARETTES” which was released in February 1983. I still remember spending a frigid January overnight in front of a record store to get tickets to his concert at The Meadowlands the following month, where I wore my Cream “Disraeli Gears” denim jacket. Yep, I was a pretty huge Clapton fan back then. Even though this isn’t up there with his best albums, it’s still unfairly overlooked. It was produced by Tom Dowd and featured guitarist Ry Cooder, Stax & Blues Brothers bass legend Donald “Duck” Dunn and great Muscle Shoals drummer Roger Hawkins. His version of “Crosscut Saw,” which I later knew via Albert King’s excellent recording, is fun and has some great guitar playing. It’s a mostly low-key record, including the Top 20 hit “I’ve Got A Rock & Roll Heart.” Happy 30th birthday to this very good album.

This is actually a very solid album with strong guitar work and vocals from Clapton. Other highlights for me include “The Shape You’re In,” “Slow Down Linda” and “Man Overboard.” It also avoids the ’80s over-production that would define his next couple of albums, including 1986’s August (which I discussed in a Thirty Year Thursday post back in 2016). Happy 40th anniversary to Money And Cigarettes.

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46 comments on “Forty Year Friday (1983) – ERIC CLAPTON “MONEY AND CIGARETTES”

  1. Heavy Metal Overload
    January 20, 2023

    Cool stuff. I just recently started to get into Clapton solo. Started with Eric Clapton and the Ocean Boulevard one. Good stuff! Would you recommend this next? (Got Cream stuff and Layla too)

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    • Thanks Scott. I’m glad you’re checking out Clapton’s solo work, and that you already know his stuff with Cream and Derek & The Dominos (the latter is my favorite, along with Cream’s “Disraeli Gears”). Most of his solo albums are spotty, but some are better than others. The two you have are the best entry points into his catalog, along with “Slowhand” (which I wrote about here: https://kamertunesblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/forty-year-friday-eric-clapton-slowhand/ ). “Money And Cigarettes” is very good, as I mentioned, but next I would check out “Journeyman” and “From The Cradle.” After that I lost interest in Clapton. You should also check out his work with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. I hope this is helpful. Happy listening.

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      • Heavy Metal Overload
        January 21, 2023

        Hey Rich, that’s great. Thanks for the recommendations. I’ve been loving the Dominos and Cream stuff more and more with each year. Disraeli Gears is brilliant. I’ve got Mayall too, forgot about that! I’ll keep a note of the solo albums you mentioned and try those next. That gives me a good bunch to try. Cheers!

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      • I hope you enjoy the ones I suggested, and I’m pleased that you’ve got the Mayall album. It’s been a long time since I was excited by Clapton’s music, but it’s great to return to his classics, which never get old.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jim S.
      January 23, 2023

      I like his “Just One Night” live album from 1980 with Albert Lee. ‘Further on up the road’ is worth it alone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 80smetalman
    January 20, 2023

    The weird thing is that I don’t remember this album back in 1983 but I remember “Rock and Roll Heart.”

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  3. christiansmusicmusings
    January 20, 2023

    I generally prefer ’70s Eric Clapton but agree “Money and Cigarettes” is not a bad-sounding album. The only tune I remembered right away is “Rock ‘n’ Roll Heart”, which I always liked.

    While I always dug his guitar-playing, I didn’t pay much attention to Clapton in the ’80s. He got back on my radar in the early ’90s with the excellent “Unplugged” album.

    Unfortunately, I’ve never seen him live. After what I would call his unhinged comments about Covid and the vaccine, nowadays, I’m not sure I would want to see him, even if an affordable opportunity would present itself.

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    • I’m really surprised to hear that your never saw Clapton. I figured you would have caught him numerous times over the years. At this point you’re probably not missing much, regardless of his political views, because I think he lost his muse years (or decades) ago. For me his last essential album was “From The Cradle,” and that was nearly 30 years ago. I’m glad I got to see him twice in ’83 and again in ’85, and he was the lead guitarist when I saw Roger Waters in 1984. That was it for my Clapton live experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        January 21, 2023

        Yep, and I wish I could say Clapton was the only one who got away! I’ve lived in the New York area since 1997, so it’s safe to assume I had multiple opportunities. That said, I guess you’re right at that time he perhaps had passed his peak.

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      • He’s one of those legendary artists who are important to see before they’re gone, since that generation of rockers is disappearing before our eyes. That would probably be the only reason to see him at this point.

        Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        January 21, 2023

        With Jeff Beck and now David Crosby gone, these words do ring true!

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      • Yep, they keep dropping and unfortunately it will continue to happen. Looking back on everything those rock stars did back in the ’60s & ’70s, it’s amazing that any of them made it this far.

        Liked by 1 person

      • christiansmusicmusings
        January 21, 2023

        Yep, Rich, as painful as it is, it’s very true. So many great artists from that era died at such a young age. Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, Brian Jones…it’s just mind-boggling to think of all the lost talent, not to mention the human tragedy!

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      • You hit the nail on the head with “human tragedy.” It’s amazing to think how much potential great music we lost when those artists died. Even as far back as Buddy Holly. I think his career would have been tremendous.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 21, 2023

        I saw him a few years ago. Along with the Rumours-lineup Fleetwood Mac around the same time, the most expensive concert I’ve been to. It was well done. I have passed on more-expensive concerts, though, so won’t be paying EUR 300 to see (what is left of) The Who this summer (saw them for much less a few years ago—good show, especially Zak Starkey). The last Genesis tour, Paul McCartney: too much even for fans.

        I too saw Clapton with Waters on the Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking tour in 1984. (Fun fact: while still in Pink Floyd, he pitched that and The Wall to the band; they chose the latter.). Ironically, a friend and I were—drumroll, please—-hitchhiking through England when we saw in ad in London (after sleeping in a graveyard), bought tickets, and came back about 10 days later to Earl’s Court. In-between, we visited someone we knew in Birmingham whose mother turned out to be the person who sold shoes to Black Sabbath after they had earned some money, confirming the legend that they were so poor they had to share a pair of shoes. (I read today that Ozzy—for whom I have tickets in May, postponed several times due to COVID and Ozzy’s non-COVID-related health issues—is still in the running for a knighthood.) We then went to Stonehenge to see the stones before they were roped off (a year later, I believe), not knowing that around the summer solstice (when we were there—and it was hot for England, about 35 Celsius, which influenced the state of (un)dress of the participants) there was a huge free festival at the site. At sundown, VW minibusses would open up and bands would play until dawn, connected by long cables to generators out in the woods.

        As MarkTwain said, Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. One does need to separate the artist from the art. There is probably no-one I agree with on everything. I can enjoy Bach’s music even though I’m not religious. But at some point one has to draw the line. Both Clapton and Waters are now in the news for rather bizarre political opinions (Clapton on COVID, Waters unconsciously replaying the theme of The Wall by turning into that which he used to despise in his extreme pro-Palestine stance) and that might keep me from seeing them again (in fact, it has). It’s not so much a different opinion as using their fame for political ends, something I find rather dodgy even if I agree with the stance.

        I just finished the autobiography of Bruce Dickinson. Highly recommended. By chance, next Tuesday I’m going up to Cologne for An Evening with Bruce Dickinson, which is a spoken-word show. Will be seeing him with Maiden in July.

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      • Phillip, I’m glad we both got to see the Pros & Cons tour. It was a fantastic show. My only regret is not seeing Gilmour when he was touring that same year. I love his ’84 album “About Face” a lot more than Pros & Cons, and in hindsight I should have chosen Gilmour over Waters. I did see Pink Floyd and Roger Waters a few months apart in ’87, in nearly the same seats at Madison Square Garden. As great as Floyd was (still the only time I saw them), Waters’ “Radio KAOS” tour was phenomenal. As for him being a curmudgeon now, and his loud political views, I find it hard to listen to anything new from him, but it doesn’t impact my enjoyment of the music he’s made in the past.

        My reading time is limited, but I would probably enjoy the Dickinson autobiography. He’s a fascinating guy. I’m sure you’ll enjoy his spoken-word show.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        January 21, 2023

        Floyd weren’t known for cover versions, but allegedly there is a recording of them playing “Layla”.

        I’ve also seen Nick Mason—they one who has always been in Pink Floyd—-a couple of times recently. Good show.

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      • Interesting about Floyd covering “Layla.” I’ve never heard them doing any covers.

        Mason hasn’t played near me but I would love to see him and his Saucerful Of Secrets band. I bought the blu-ray released last year and loved it. As a Spandau Ballet fan, I was pleasantly surprised to see & hear Gary Kemp play those songs.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        January 21, 2023

        He’s one of those legendary artists who are important to see before they’re gone, since that generation of rockers is disappearing before our eyes. That would probably be the only reason to see him at this point.“

        Beck, Crosby. More to come.

        A few years ago I started going to shows by people of whom I wasn’t a big fan but in whom I still had some interest, keeping in mind that it might be the last chance. Already, it has happened (Paul Kantner with the then current version of Jefferson Airplane/Starship/whatever (interestingly, their first singer, Signe Anderson, who had married a Merry Prankster, died on the same day), Edgar Froese with Tangerine Dream. I fear that John Mayall (will be 90 this year) might be next. I read a while back that, though he still performs, he doesn’t travel far for medical reasons, so I’ve probably seen my last show with him. Has any other band leader—except perhaps Ashley Hutchings—had more talent go through his ranks? In particular, the 1960s and the time with Walter Trout and Coco Montoya were great. Will be seeing Trout again soon. What a player!

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      • I don’t know Trout’s playing that well but I think I still have one of his albums, as well as some of his playing with Mayall. I’ll have to revisit those soon.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Phillip Helbig
        January 22, 2023

        I’ve seen Floyd twice, on the two post-Waters tours. (By the way, is the cover of The Endless River an indication that there is no more waters?) When coming into the stadium on the second tour (which I liked better than the first), a friend remarked how big the backstage area was. Me: “This place is bigger than our apartment”. The show began in the rain, and at first I felt sorry for Gilmour standing in it in a T-shirt, then I thought about his hourly wage during that solo.

        Apart from the Pros and Cons tour (which also included Mel Collins: great player, but replacing the guitars solo in “Comfortably Numb” with a sax was a bad move), a friend and I (same as the one at the Floyd shows, different from the one in England) saw Waters and assorted guests perform The Wall at the site of the former Berlin wall.

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      • I don’t recall the details of the Pros & Cons… tour, so I forgot about the guitar solos on “Comfortably Numb” being replaced by sax. I’m sure Clapton could have nailed those solos with his own unique spin. I’ve heard that Waters re-worked the song on his recent tour, removing the solo sections completely. That’s an unfortunate decision, as they’re essential to the brilliance of that track.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        January 23, 2023

        IIRC, “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell” had been written by Gilmour (music, not lyrics) before the project of The Wall got started. Can’t help but think that leaving out the guitar solos was a dig at Dave.

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  4. Phillip Helbig
    January 22, 2023

    Also saw Gilmour twice in the last few years. I’ve always been a fan of “Fat Old Sun” and it was great to hear him play it. At one show there was an amazing sunset. He should have changed the running order to play it then rather than after dark.

    Gary Kemp remarked that he saw many Floyd T-shirts in the audience, some Gilmour, even some Waters, but no Spandau Ballet.

    Mason has played with people from Spandau Ballet and Duran Duran recently (a surprise to many). After rehearsing for one gig, one of the musicians said about Mason: “Rio” is probably the fastest thing he has ever played.

    It was probably a bad move to choose not to go to a Gilmour “About Face” show in 1984. However, we had seen the “Blue Light” video on television and were disappointed with the sound. I recently read that Gilmour said that he doesn’t like the 80s production sound on that album.

    Any truth to the rumour that the infamous 80s gated-reverb snare sound came about because someone left an overhead mic (intended to pick up musicians’ chat in the recording room so people in the control room could hear it) on by mistake during the recording of a Peter Gabriel album?

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    • “Fat Old Sun” is a great song, and I’m sure it was special seeing him play it, even if the timing in the set list wasn’t ideal. Not sure why I never got to see any of his solo tours. I’m glad he’s released so many live DVDs & blu-rays. Needless to say I have them all and have watched them multiple times. It’s a shame that he dismisses his first two solo albums and never includes any of those songs in his concerts. I think you’re right about the gated snare sound being the result of a happy accident. I think that Gabriel album doesn’t have any cymbals on it.

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      • Phillip Helbig
        January 23, 2023

        Indeed; the first solo album has some good stuff on it.

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      • I love his first two solo albums A LOT. There are a couple of songs on About Face with ’80s production, but it doesn’t impact the whole record. And “Near The End” is one of my all-time favorite Gilmour songs, with an outro guitar solo that’s gotta be in his top 5.

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  5. Phillip Helbig
    January 22, 2023

    By “the one who has always been in Pink Floyd”, I didn’t mean “that particular Nick Mason, out of all the Nick Masons in the world”, but rather “the only member of Pink Floyd who has always been in the band”.

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    • How did a discussion of this Eric Clapton album turn into an ongoing conversation about Pink Floyd? Not that I’m complaining, as it’s all connected.

      Like

  6. Jim S.
    January 23, 2023

    You won’t find a bigger Clapton fan than me. Well, maybe you will. It’s not like I’ve seen him a hundred times. But by the time he released this album it seemed like he was neither fish nor fowl. Was he the blues guy? The JJ Cale guy? The Wonderful Tonight Guy? The pop guy? I confess I knew about this album but when I heard ‘I’ve Got a Rock and Roll Heart’ I got turned right off. And it’s not like I don’t like his poppier stuff. I like ‘Promises’ for example. So, I kind of avoided it. Plus, it was only a few months later that SRV came out with Texas Flood, and I thought, man that’s the real deal.

    So, I am happy to say that I kinda dug this album. It rocks pretty hard in places, and it’s got some good blues. I even liked stuff like ‘Crazy Country Hop.’ I wouldn’t call it a great album but certainly (for me) an overlooked one. (Side note – I’ve always found it amusing that Clapton quit Yardbirds as he didn’t want to do pop stuff. And he’s now released so much pop stuff that a lot of people aren’t even aware of his blues background.)

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    • Hey Jim, I’m glad you like this album too. It’s sounds like we have the same feeling about it; not a classic but very enjoyable. What didn’t you like about “I’ve Got A Rock & Roll Heart”? Sure, it’s not the most rockin’ song, but there’s nothing bad about it. Although I have mixed feelings about his next album, Behind The Sun, I still remember freaking out at “Forever Man” the first time I heard it, and I still love it.

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      • Jim S.
        January 23, 2023

        Rock n roll Heart? Just don’t care for it. Those lyrics sound like something Donny Osmond would sing. ‘Forever Man’ is another story. Great tune, great guitar. My wife’s favorite Clapton tune.

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      • Haha, now I can imagine Donny Osmond singing that song. But I still like it. Any thoughts on “I Can’t Stand It,” his single from ’81? I always loved that one. Your wife chose a good song as her favorite.

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      • Jim S.
        January 25, 2023

        I do loke it, yeah. I’m hit or miss on his poppies stuff bu he always brings something you it it. I love his version of “Change the World.”

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      • Jim S.
        January 25, 2023

        That should say “something to it” not whatever my phone chose to write

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      • I guess I’m also hit-and-miss with his poppier material. “Change The World” never did anything for me, and that pretty much applies to most of his work since “From The Cradle.”

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      • Jim S.
        January 26, 2023

        To each his own on that tune. Interestingly you reminded me of “From the Cradle” and then I heard a song from it on satellite. I take it as an omen to do some level of post. BTW, the interesting thing about “Change the World” is how he sneaks a blues solo into a decidedly non -bluesly song.

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      • I need to play From The Cradle again soon, as it’s been many years since I gave it a spin. I look forward to reading your post about it, if/when you get to it.

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      • Jim S.
        January 26, 2023

        It won’t be about the album per se. Just time for one of my periodic blues sampler posts.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Alyson
    January 25, 2023

    Eric Clapton wasn’t really on my radar in 1983 so difficult to comment although I’ve enjoyed reading what the others have said. I also enjoyed listening to the songs you shared however so on that basis will give Eric’s album the edge over Triumph’s last week, 6/10.

    Is it just me but I find it really hard to see the man behind the beard and I wouldn’t recognise him in early pictures – he looks like a totally different person. As for the person he has become today, he has probably alienated a fair few fans. A lot of it about.

    Like

    • I’m not surprised that Clapton wasn’t really in your wheelhouse back then, so 6/10 is a pretty fair grade. I try not to let artists’ personal stuff interfere with my enjoyment of their work, but I understand why some people will be alienated, especially when it comes to political views.

      Liked by 1 person

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