Frontal Assault: The Top 10 Guitar-Playing Frontmen in Rock
Guitar World's guide to the top 10 guitar-playing frontmen in rock—past and present.
Frontman: Eric Clapton
Bands: Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton
What else can be said about the amazing six-string gifts of Eric Clapton, one of the most lauded guitarists in the universe, 1966's blues-breaking virtuoso who went on to blow minds in Cream, Blind Faith and Derek and the Dominos?
Still, If you need to read more, be sure to pick up the March 2014 issue of Guitar World magazine, which counts down his 50 greatest guitar moments — but doesn't mention a word about his voice.
It's a voice first heard on the Bluesbreakers' 1966 version of Robert Johnson's "Ramblin' on My Mind," a song Clapton was actually reluctant to sing because he didn't think he was good enough.
He eventually shared the vocal duties in Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and went on to sing an endless stream of hits and classic-rock staples, starting with 1970's "After Midnight," "Let It Rain" and "Layla," coasting through the Seventies with "Cocaine" and "Lay Down Sally," kicking it up a notch in the Eighties with "Forever Man" and toning things back down again in recent years.
As he told Rolling Stonein 2010, these days Clapton is pretty fond of his voice. "It's taken me to be an older guy, an old man, to have an old man's voice. Because I only liked old men's voices. As a kid, I didn't like pip-squeaked singers. It was always someone with authority. And for a singer to have authority, they have to have some kind of social standing. Otherwise, it's fake."
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