Five insanely overrated albums from the 1970s

Strap yourselves in, this is going to get messy. It's going to be controversial.

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Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard

This was a recovery record from Eric Clapton. It rescued his musical career after three years out due to his drugs addiction. In addition to putting him back on the music trail again there was perhaps some life saving too as he refocused and rebuilt. 

461 Ocean Boulevard was released in July 1974 and quickly became one of Clapton’s most successful albums, and he's had plenty of those. This one had plenty of critical acclaim and was number one on the Billboard 200 with a US Platinum disc to follow. 

There were a couple of singles, in a fairly straight cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff” and the somewhat dull, slowed-down version of “Willie And The Hand Jive”. A high point is “Let It Grow” which became my favourite from this album. It grows nicely from a quiet and laid-back start with a great guitar break at the end. 

Laid back can be good, but this album in places feels almost horizontal. There are some ok songs, but they lack the real strength of Clapton, exquisite guitar playing, and more of the Blues. Rolling Stone magazine summed it up nicely: “Clapton returned from heroin addiction with a disc of mellow, springy grooves minus guitar histrionics"

That's not enough for me for a Clapton album rated so highly. Maybe it suffers from him only having written three of the songs. As an album, it’s ok, it’s not bad, but where's the thrills?