10 of the Best Eric Clapton Songs You May Have Never Heard

Eric Clapton has been one of my favorite artists since I first listened to his music in the mid eighties. Dad played his albums on the record player, and he said he can remember me staring at the speakers in awe even then. Slowhand had an immediate fan. While trying to think of the best ten Eric Clapton songs (an almost impossible list to really put together), I decided to go a different direction. A lot of my friends from high school and college discovered our favorite classic rock decades after it happened. Some of these songs might be familiar to people who grew up with them, but for late arrivals like me, there are tons of amazing Eric Clapton songs that many of us may never have heard. So this is my list of ten of the best Eric Clapton songs that many young fans may never have heard.

As with any music, taste changes opinions, so my #10 might be your #1 on this list, but these are all amazing Eric Clapton songs and/or collaborations, and I hope you find some here you don’t know and love them as much as I do.

#1 “Can’t Find My Way Home” as part of Blind Faith. This is my favorite Eric Clapton song by quite a bit. I absolutely love this song. Amazing lyrics, a gentle bluesy song filled with soul, and a double meaning that is stunning. “I’m wasted and I can’t find my way home.” There’s the bluesy story, and then there’s the spiritual double meaning, tied together by some of the best vocals you’ll hear in any Clapton song. This one is a winner.

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#2 “Let it Flow” as Eric Clapton. I’m a huge fan of the Clapton songs that are bluesy rock as opposed to just rock or just blues, and the story telling and guitar work in this song is great. This isn’t so much a song as it is a beautiful lyrical story, ending with a full minute of the great Slowhand guitar work that helped make him famous.

#3 “Riding with the King” playing with B.B. King. Okay, if you were in college in the late nineties, then there’s no way you missed this one. But if you did, this song is the best song on a great album. It’s not often you get two blues giants on the same project, and this one is a treat.

#4 “I Can’t Stand It” as Eric Clapton from the Journeyman album. This is a fantastic song, and as a side note, Journeyman is also the best Eric Clapton album many people don’t know about, which is why two songs off of it make the list. This is probably the best song off of a fantastic CD, and shows you a stronger rock side to the bluesy Eric Clapton.

#5 “Tears in Heaven” on the Unplugged album, acoustic version. This one is definitely a cheat. Every Eric Clapton fan has heard of the song “Tears in Heaven,” but the acoustic version from the Unplugged album, in my opinion, on a whole level above the original. If you haven’t heard the acoustic version, you need to find this acoustic version.

#6 “Next Time You See Her” as Eric Clapton. This song is often overlooked on the very popular Slowhand CD. This is a great song that juxtaposes a very light, easy going instrumentals with a gentle voice, but with lyrics indicating cheating lovers and death threats. It’s a great balance that is vintage Clapton.

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#7 “Ride the River” J.J. Cale & Eric Clapton. Many of the most popular Eric Clapton songs are actually remakes of originals by J.J. Cale (like “After Midnight” and “Cocaine”). Recently, and somehow quietly, these two got together and performed together for “The Road to Escondido” album, an amazing collaboration and this song is probably my favorite, as hard as it is to choose one. Listen to the first 30 seconds on Amazon if you have any doubt.

#8 “I Feel Free” as part of Cream. There were several Cream songs that have gained international recognition. While many people know “I Feel Free,” it’s one that many young fans aren’t as familiar with. It’s hard rock, it’s capturing the feeling of the sixties and seventies, and it’s one of those songs that could be a young man’s anthem to getting out on his own for the first time. That’s the way I felt about it in college.

#9 “Running on Faith” from the Journeyman album. A great gentle blues song sung in a soft tone. This is a great change of pace to many of the normal hard rock or hard blues songs and shows the full range of Eric Clapton’s abilities. Once again, the entire Journeyman album is amazing, and you can’t go wrong getting a copy of this CD.

#10 “Bell Bottom Blues” as part of Derek & The Dominos. Layla” might be the far more popular song from Eric’s days with the Dominos, but “Bell Bottom Blues” is another great song from this group. This combines great soulful blues lyrics with some of the best hard guitar rock that Clapton does. If you’re in to more of the fast electric guitar work, this is a song for you.