Friday, June 24, 2022

Nothing But The Blues is a documentary that explores Eric Clapton’s lifelong passion for the blues. A rarity, the film from executive producer Martin Scorsese was broadcasted just once in the U.S. on PBS in 1995 before it was nominated for an Emmy® Award. At long last, the film is officially available today, upgraded to 4K quality, along with a soundtrack to the documentary. The soundtrack includes more than an hour of previously unreleased live performances recorded in 1994 during Clapton’s tour supporting From The Cradle, the legendary guitarist’s Grammy®-winning, multi-platinum blues album.

A previously unreleased video of Clapton’s searing, seven-minute performance of “Groaning The Blues” from the upcoming releases was also released today. The song was originally written by singer-bassist Willie Dixon, whose prolific songwriting helped define Chicago blues. Guitarist and fellow Chicagoan Otis Rush released the song in 1957 as a single on Cobra Records, the independent Chicago blues label. Clapton recorded this version in San Francisco at the Fillmore in November 1994. Watch Now.

Written, directed, and produced by Scooter Weintraub and executive produced by Scorsese, Nothing But The Blues is a documentary that includes an in-depth interview with Clapton conducted by Scorsese. Throughout the interview, Clapton discusses his love for the blues and the profound impact bluesmen like Muddy Waters and B.B. King had on his music. Many of those artists (Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, T-Bone Walker) appear in the film through vintage performances, interviews, and photographs.

Clapton’s performances of blues standards and lesser-known blues songs are at the heart of the film and audio formats. The CD features 17 songs; the double LP 18, and the DVD and Blu-ray each contain 20 songs. Two nights at the Fillmore in San Francisco (November 8 & 9, 1994) were filmed and recorded during his acclaimed From The Cradle Tour, and the highlights from the two shows were selected for this release. Clapton’s longtime co-producer, Simon Climie, has remixed the audio from those performances from the original multi-tracking recordings.

NOTHING BUT THE BLUES and the accompanying soundtrack are available in multiple formats. The Super Deluxe Edition ($229.98) comes with the documentary on Blu-ray, the soundtrack on both 2-LP vinyl and CD, and a bonus CD with four extra tracks “Driftin’,” “County Jail Blues,” “Kid Man Blues,” and “It’s Too Bad,” and an exclusive hardcover book with memorabilia, including a numbered lithograph, 12x24 poster, Clapton guitar string set, custom guitar picks, and an exclusive bandana.
The documentary is also available separately on Blu-ray ($24.99), DVD ($19.99), and CD ($18.98) and is available from digital and streaming services. Additionally, the soundtrack will be released as a standalone on 2-LP vinyl ($34.98) on July 29.

The previously unreleased live performances on NOTHING BUT THE BLUES are a vital counterpart to From The Cradle, which was recorded in the studio. While several songs appear on both (“Motherless Child,” “Standing ’Round Crying,” and “I’m Tore Down”), the performances are entirely different.

The soundtrack also includes songs that did not appear on From the Cradle, including Jimmy Rogers’ “Blues All Day Long” and Robert Johnson’s “Malted Milk,” as well as the standards “Every Day I Have The Blues” and “Forty-Four.”

Initially released in 1994 by Reprise Records, From The Cradle was certified triple-platinum in the U.S., where it topped the Billboard 200. The album was certified gold and topped the charts to become certified gold, platinum, or multi-platinum in many countries.