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Regarded as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time, Clapton has also been ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s “Top 50 Guitarists of All Time”. In 2009, Clapton was also named number five in Time magazine’s list of “The 10 Best Electric Guitar Players”.
Clapton left the Yardbirds in the mid-1960s to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. He subsequently formed the power trio Cream, after leaving Mayall, joining up with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce. During this period Clapton became known for his sustained blues improvisations.
His next move was to form the blues rock band Blind Faith with Baker, Steve Winwood, and Ric Grech. During the ‘70s, Clapton drew inspiration from artists such as JJ Cale and Bob Marley, introducing a more mellow and sometimes reggae-based flavour to his work. Clapton’s version of Bob Marley’s iconic “I Shot the Sheriff” did much to bring reggae more into the main stream at the time.
Two of Clapton’s most popular records are “Layla”, recorded with Derek and the Dominos; and Robert Johnson’s “Crossroads”, which he recorded with Cream.
Clapton has been the recipient of 18 Grammy Awards, and the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. He was awarded a CBE at Buckingham Palace in 2004 for his services to music.
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