Under The Radar: Eric Clapton - Journeyman (1989)
Updated: Nov 30, 2022
Eric Clapton struggled in the 80’s where he struck an uneasy balance between the guitarist’s hunger for musical stimulation and the industry’s thirst for hits. But that all changed in 1989 when he released his eleventh solo studio album, Journeyman. The album was a considered a modest success, going double platinum with 2 million units sold.
Journeyman, produced by Russ Titelman (who also produced the likes of George Harrison, James Taylor, Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Steve Winwood and Brian Wilson) was made up of 12 tracks.
What makes Journeyman so great, you ask? It`s the fact that Clapton avoids the formulaic / hit single making and is simply being Eric Clapton in 1989; true to himself! Regardless if it’s a cover or an original Clapton song, he approaches each with equal passion and fire.
Yes, the album is slightly over produced, but Clapton’s blues sensibilities provides enough grit to lift the songs to another level.
Highlights on Journeyman include the album opener - Pretending, the pop rocker - Bad Love, the ballades - Lead Me On, Old Love and the blues covers - Before You Accuse Me and Hard Times.
Journeyman is arguably Clapton’s most entertaining and consistent record since the 1974 record, 461 Ocean Boulevard.
Journeyman is the album that got Clapton back on track and truly deserves to be rediscovered.