Eric Clapton – There’s One In Every Crowd

More Eric Clapton

  • This outstanding pressing boasts solid Double Plus (A++) sound from start to finish
  • Balanced, musical and full throughout – this pressing is a big step up from many of the other copies we played
  • Bigger and bolder, with more bass, more energy, and more of that “you-are-there-immediacy” of ANALOG that set the best vintage pressings apart from reissues, CDs, and whatever else you care to name
  • The sound and music here are very similar to 461 Ocean Boulevard, so if you’re a fan of that title, you’ll find much to like here

It is tough to find copies of There’s One In Every Crowd that aren’t murky, overly smooth and/or lifeless. If you’re a fan of this music and want to hear it come to life, this copy can do it!

This vintage RSO pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records can barely BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with the band, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the Best Sides of There’s One In Every Crowd Have to Offer Is Not Hard to Hear

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1975
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the instruments having the correct timbre
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional studio space

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now. Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the qualities we discuss above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Best Practices

If you have five or ten copies of a record and play them over and over against each other, the process itself teaches you what’s right and what’s wrong with the sound of the album. Once your ears are completely tuned to what the best pressings do well that the others do not do as well, using a few specific passages of music, it will quickly become obvious how well any given pressing reproduces those passages.

The process is simple enough. First you go deep into the sound. There you find something special, something you can’t find on most copies. Now, with the hard-won knowledge of precisely what to listen for, you are perfectly positioned to critique any and all pressings that come your way.

What We’re Listening For on There’s One In Every Crowd

  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.
  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.


Side One

We’ve Been Told (Jesus Coming Soon)
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
Little Rachel
Don’t Blame Me
The Sky Is Crying

Side Two

Singin’ The Blues
Better Make It Through Today
Pretty Blue Eyes

Rolling Stone Review

Eric Clapton’s sense of well-being is reiterated on There’s One in Every Crowd, but on this album it seems less a cause for joy than an occasion for musical indifference. As on 461 Ocean Boulevard, Clapton plays guitar with utilitarian economy but here it is also without the ring of purposeful authority. As on its predecessor, the lack of riveting or attention-drawing guitar work places the primary focus on Clapton’s singing, which through experience, growing confidence and a touching candor has become as distinctive and as eloquent as his playing. But where Clapton sounded either quietly tormented or beatifically serene, on the last album, through most of the new one he sounds only languid or charming.

The album’s opening pair of spirituals generates little energy or feeling. The ensemble (the same as on 461) affects a Motel Shot sort of casualness but lacks spark. Compared with the stirring religious/psychological songs of before, “We’ve Been Told (Jesus Coming Soon)” sounds redundant, while the reggae “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” is clever but static.

The next pair comes off slightly better. “Little Rachel” is a sequel to “Willie and the Hand Jive” but without the earlier work’s smoldering innuendo. “Don’t Blame Me” is the sequel to Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” The band, especially the exceptional timekeeping drummer, Jamie Oldaker, lends the right blend of the ominous and sprightly, but Clapton can only partially restate, let alone advance, the earlier song’s mood.

By now the record is at least up and moving. On the fifth track, a remake of Elmore James’s “The Sky Is Crying,” you’d expect Clapton to play some guitar. But he conceives of this classic slow blues as a vocally centered one. He establishes the mood through his slightly boozy, offhanded statement of the melody. And when he finally solos, it’s in the same mellow mood. It’s nice but safe and I expected more.

The second side contains the album’s justification, a quartet of Clapton originals, generally in the mode of 461‘s “Let It Grow.” Taken in sequences, “Better Make It through Today” is the album’s simplest and best song. It contains his most moving vocal and although it only recapitulates the struggle between resignation and faith that resonated out of “Give Me Strength,” it does so with coherent and unquestionable intensity.

“Pretty Blue Eyes” and “High” balance lilting Allmanesque instrumental passages off against slowed, moody sections. They seem to float by without ever really introducing themselves. They do lead airily into the related but more substantial “Opposites,” the lyric of which describes the same dialectic as “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and the music of which grows in vertical layers to an instrumental resolution of elegance and near grandeur.

Bud Scoppa

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