LaylaCover#2– Derek & The Dominos – “Layla” – (1970)

I can’t stress it enough: Just remember, no matter how good you are at what you do, you’ll never be as good as Eric Clapton at what he does. Here are the major bands Clapton has been a part of: The Yardbirds, Cream, John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers, Derek & The Dominos, Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Not to mention his illustrious solo career.

This band was short-lived, they were only around in 1970 and 1971 and kind of seemed like a vehicle to release this epic track. They only release one album and were made up of a lot of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. This was a top ten hit upon release and Clapton would take it to #12 in 1992/1993 after doing it on MTV’s Unplugged.

ericslow#3 – Eric Clapton – “Wonderful Tonight” – (1977)

This is a wonderful slow dance song from Slowhand himself. This charted into the top 20 on the Hot 100 when released and has remained a staple at weddings either as the first dance (for older couples, primarily) or as just a slow dance song. It’s beautiful.

#91 – Eric Clapton – “Tears in Heaven (Unplugged)” – (1992)

Unplugged was a great television institution. They (MTV) took great artists and made them play acoustically. Now, it would be miraculous is they took artists and made them do anything musical. This brilliant piece of music was written about the death of Clapton’s four-year-old son and this makes the song that much more haunting than it already is. I’ll grant you that Eric Clapton may not fit with the general pop-music theme of this list – he’s been churning out this since the 60s – but this song was very popular (it hit no. 2 on the Hot 100) and it’s definitely one of the best songs of the decade. Clapton also helped rejuvenate his career with the Unplugged version of his (Derek & The Dominos) 1970 classic “Layla.” In 1996, he released the incredibly popular (#5) “Change the World” from the soundtrack for the Travolta movie Phenomenon. And 1998 saw the spectacular “My Father’s Eyes.” Clapton no longer plays “My Father’s Eyes” or “Tears in Heaven” and I think that only adds to their luster.