Clapton's "steppin' Out" Vs Van Halen's "eruption": Which Is Greater?

Discussion in 'What's left to Talk About?' started by toomanycats, Mar 12, 2018.

?

Which is the greater?

Poll closed Apr 30, 2018.
  1. Steppin Out

    43.2%
  2. Eruption

    56.8%
  1. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    It's common knowledge that Eric was Eddie's hero and main influence. There's a massive amount of Clapton in Ed's playing if you know what to look for. I'd go so far as to say that if you're trying to emulate Ed's style, you'd do well to closely study Clapton.

    Clapton influenced Ed, but Ed didn't influence Clapton. The influence only ran one way. Clapton never shifted his style after the first VH album, as so many other players did. Nobody has ever seen Eric put his right hand on the fretboard.

    But let's get down to brass tacks. Which of the pieces of music above is greater?

    Both must have exploded like an atomic bomb on the guitar world. I say "must have" because I wasn't old enough to be cognizant of the guitar world when they were released; therefore, I cannot speak from personal recollection. However, some of you reading this were actually there. You're like the older brothers I never had and I greatly appreciate your insights.

    So let's settle this: Which of these pieces of music was most impactful to rock music at the time was released, and specifically, to the world of guitar? Which has the more lasting impact and influence? Which is most relevant in the present?
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  2. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

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    Thats' sort of like asking what's better- a million dollars and a blowjob, or a millon blowjobs and a dollar. I'll take either ;-)
     
  3. bc rich

    bc rich Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Voted for EC
    but wot about Peter Green then
     

  4. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    I agree, both are great. But I'm asking everyone to dig deep here and split hairs.

    The thing is, I grew up with Ed, he was my hero. His greatness is beyond question. However, there comes a time when one must re-evaluate the idols of their youth.

    I've been studying so much of the mid/late 60s Clapton lately that I've come to the shocking conclusion that, contrary to my youthful opinion, Eric is perhaps greater. Clapton says more with less notes; there are no "tricks" and "gimmicks" in his playing; he draws upon deeper sources; his solos are more monolithic and powerful; and he improvised more brilliantly in a live setting.

    To me what is greatest in Ed is that part which deeply incorporated Eric. A perfect example of this is the tune "Bluesbreaker" on the Star Fleet Project album.

     
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  5. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

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    I had to go with Eric part of it is the era I grew up in and part is like you I do appreciate someone who can be expressive with a sense of economy. In a similar vein on a different instrument I love charlie Parker and his speed and arpeggio playing is astounding but damn it I think Coltrane is better.
     
  6. wanker

    wanker Well-Known Member

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    Tough call, but I'd go with EVH's Eruption. It was a paradigm shift in rock music -- opening the door for shred metal, etc.

    Conversely, Clapton didn't create a musical genre. Although, enormously talented and influential, he essentially anglicized American blues. He was the Elvis of rock guitar.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  7. bc rich

    bc rich Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    One thing about EVH he really upped the game of stage presence -gymnastics and looking fit.
    The first time i saw EC he would turn his back and play to his Marshall stack .
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  8. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    I haven't been on my "Discovering Clapton" journey yet because, as many point out, he seemed so boring compared to EVH and everything else going on or having gone on since.

    Now, being a guitarist, I'm well aware of the impact of Clapton on nearly everyone that we idolize. But that being said, he's still a nobody to the general public. Whereas Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Eddie Van Halen are NOT nobodies to the public. That's a whole different level of impact.

    So, I acknowledge I would have no Eddie without Clapton, but Clapton made quantifiably far less impact.

    Edit: I just listened to Steppin' Out. It's good, but there was nothing interesting at first past. Again, I acknowledge it's there, but I haven't learned how to to see it yet. It struck me as something Eddie might noodle with in his early years between sets at a rehearsal. It probably was. :)
     
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  9. minpind

    minpind Well-Known Member

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    Good luck getting that to happen on the internet.;)


    Eruption.:)

    When I hear Clapton I think "That's how a guitar should be played"
    With EVH it's "I didn't know a guitar could do that"
     
  10. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Good comparison.

    Ed might be said to be a greater innovator, breaking barriers of speed, introducing two handed tapping, three notes per string legato runs, wide intervals, and crazy tremolo bar yanking. He literally created an entirely new vocabulary for the instrument.

    But to play devils advocate, Eric made the Les Paul relevant for rock. How significant is that? He also paired the Les Paul with the Marshall. Again, that's a huge thing. Musically he fused BB King, Albert King, and Buddy Guy.

    I find it an interesting parallel in how Eric was the preeminent British rock guitar player of his generation until Hendrix arrived and dwarfed everyone, just as how a generation of 70s rock guitar hot shots were eclipsed but the arrival of Van Halen. Ed was like the rebirth of Clapton, but more magnified, faster, crazier.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  11. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    hmm... i voted for evh; i think evh/eruption was more of a system shock (more like hendrix--just totally unexpected). clapton is a god among men and he may have influenced more people overall, but i think evh was more inventive and more of a showman. that said, i'd rather listen to clapton, myself.
     
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  12. Partscaster

    Partscaster Well-Known Member

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    or the pioneering lead guitar guy Clapton was proceeded by

     
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  13. Lamf77

    Lamf77 Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I vote Eddie....

    And always felt Freddie King's "Hideaway" was Clapton's best Bluesbreaker Instrumental. Flat out fierce compare to the original. May have changed my vote.




     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
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  14. SalteeDog

    SalteeDog Well-Known Member

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    Several different questions there. Hard one to call alright.

    I guess without Eric the Les Paul may have died a complete death ...and wouldn't have attained the desirability it currently has with rock guitarists.
    Without Eddie we wouldn't have had super-strats? (Or would we?).
     
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  15. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You need to lay off the crack pipe.

    This poll should have had you put your age next to your vote. Those of us who were around when Kiss and VH both released their first albums know what glam is compared to talent. I saw Richie Blackmore play 2 hands on the fretboard in the late 70's. Rant off.
     
  16. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Speaking of crack pipe, are you okay and should we call an ambulance?

    Somehow you're relating me to the general knowledge of the public about Clapton, which is next to none.

    Sorry, but I don't make reality. You can walk into any office or grocery store and find someone who's at least heard of EVH. Most haven't heard of Clapton, unless they are guitarists.

    I was under the impression we're talking about 2018, though. If we're talking about 1981 then sure, everyone still knows Clapton. Both will be fading from cultural memory even faster soon, though. Well see.
     
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  17. Rollin Hand

    Rollin Hand Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree with you there. Clapyon was HUGE in the 90s -- remember his revamp of "Layla" from "Unplugged"? That was everywhere, all over the radio. The man was an international superstar before that too.
     
  18. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Without Freddie King there would be no Eric Clapton. I see him as being in the unenviable position of a good (but not incredible) player saddled with a reputation nobody could live up to. I think he is the most overrated guitarist of all time, and at the same time a fine player.

    I didn't vote because even though Eddie copied a lot of Eric's licks, it's apples and oranges. The question is nuncupatory. :)
     
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  19. Mikesr1963

    Mikesr1963 Well-Known Member

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    Well, the EC tune is in fact a tune while VH is actually a warm up exercise with drums. VH taught people how to selfishly wank off on the guitar. EC enriched their soul.
     
  20. PsychoCid

    PsychoCid Well-Known Member

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    Oh I'm well aware of both his initial fame and on-going popularity. I'm not discounting either.

    I'm simply saying, 1990 was so incredibly long ago that most of it was not recorded on the web. 1990 was so incredibly long ago that we've had nearly 50% world population growth since then.

    So that means by default the new third of the population doesn't know him OR Eddie. They're both unknowns in the scheme of things.

    However, anyone but anyone who was alive or one generation removed from being alive then knew who Eddie was. Children getting into guitar today know who EVH is because he sells guitars. Whereas Clapton is invisible.
     

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