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Eric Clapton’s ‘461 Ocean Boulevard’ celebrating 50th anniversary

Universal Music Group

Fifty years ago, in July 1974, Eric Clapton released his second solo album, 461 Ocean Boulevard, which became a huge hit for the future three-time Rock & Roll Hall of Famer.

The album, named after the address of the Golden Beach, Florida, home he lived in while recording the record, featured Clapton’s classic cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff,” which would become his only #1 single. The track was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2003.  

Clapton recorded 461 Ocean Boulevard following his battle with heroin addiction, and its success marked a personal and professional comeback for the musician. In a 2007 Amazon interview to promote his memoir, Clapton: The Autobiography, he opened up about how fortunate he felt that he was able to find success again after kicking the habit.

“There’s no doubt that music, the things that I love in my life today and I’ve always loved, were there before any of the habits, the bad habits, anyway, came into my life. And the terrible thing is, those bad habits merely curtailed it,” he said. “And we know that the blessing is I was allowed, for whatever reason, to come back and have another go.”

The album, which featured two new songs along with a variety of covers, went on to become one of Clapton’s most successful releases, hitting #1 in the U.S. and spending four weeks on top. It also topped the chart in Canada, landed in the top 10 in eight other countries and went on to be certified Platinum by the RIAA.

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