Eric Clapton was such a reluctant recipient of the solo spotlight in the early 1970s that he hid behind a different band name at least some of the time. But after Derek and the Dominos’ ‘Layla’ had belatedly become a top ten US hit on Atco in August 1972, Polydor hoped to keep the momentum going by returning to Eric’s self-titled debut solo album of two years before.
The result was the release of his soft-rock co-write with Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett, ‘Let It Rain,’ as a US single, and a new entry on the Billboard Hot 100 for 23 September 1972. The track entered at No. 80, two places ahead of Mott The Hoople’s career-changing version of David Bowie’s ‘All The Young Dudes.’ (Pictured above: the Japanese seven-inch single of ‘Let It Rain’).
The Eric Clapton album had reached No. 13, in a 30-week US chart run in 1970 for a record produced by Delaney Bramlett, who also played rhythm guitar while Bonnie contributed backing vocals. Leon Russell, Stephen Stills, Jim Gordon, Rita Coolidge and Bobby Keys were among the other guests.
‘Let It Rain’ started its ascent even as Atco released the single ‘A Man Of Many Words’ by Eric’s blues hero Buddy Guy, a track on which the Englishman guested along with Dr. John, and which Clapton produced. It was ‘Let It Rain’ that had the chart run, although it turned out to be a modest one by comparison with ‘Layla.’
The song stuttered up to halfway on the Hot 100, most weeks without the “bullet” that signified major sales or airplay increases, and stopped at No. 48 in the chart for the first week of December. Clapton wouldn’t make the top ten as a solo artist again until 1974, but when he did, he went all the way to No. 1, with ‘I Shot The Sheriff.’
‘Let It Rain’ is on the album Eric Clapton, which can be bought here.
Follow the official Eric Clapton Best Of playlist.