The Musician That Eric Clapton Thinks Would Be Number One If He Were Alive

Although Eric Clapton has faced a severe backlash after his negative stance on COVID regulations and vaccinations nowadays, it is almost impossible to find someone who would deny his enormous influence on music. One of the first things he is given credit for is his reinvention of the concept of guitar playing. He came up with new elements and successfully incorporated them into his playing style.

His solo parts and great technical skills are highly praised by fans, music critics, and fellow musicians. Clapton is also a highly successful songwriter, and the emotional content and intensity he managed to put to his records have deeply influenced many listeners. As one of the most influential musicians, what he says about the other artists is indeed very attention-grabbing.

What Did Eric Clapton Once Say About Bob Marley?

During an interview at Pinewood Studios back in 1987, Eric Clapton was asked by the interviewer about his thoughts on Bob Marley. The interviewer specifically asked how successful Marley would be if he were alive today. Clapton responded that he would probably be ‘number one’ in today’s world. Considering his answer, Eric Clapton apparently has big respect for Marley.

As you know, Bob Marley was one of the pioneers of reggae, and his great influence on music is still apparent. He was the first international superstar of reggae music and has been an inspiration to countless artists. Besides his music, he has been a notable cultural icon with his firm stance on various social and political issues.

Marley’s songs were a true reflection of his social commentaries, mostly about prejudice and discrimination. He was a firm believer in peace and advocated for equal rights. He fought against the oppression of his community but in a peaceful way rather than violent methods. Thus, he managed to give hope to people for a better and more just world throughout his lifetime.

For Eric Clapton, Bob Marley would undoubtedly be at the top if he were alive today because he still had so many things to say. Clapton thinks that Marley would be very relevant as he would keep being a great inspiration to many. Clapton’s admiration for Bob Marley is evident since he also covered Bob Marley and the Wailers’ ‘I Shot The Sheriff.’ 

‘I Shot The Sheriff’ was a part of Clapton’s 1974 album, ‘461 Ocean Boulevard.’ The track was the first single from the album, and it quickly became a hit song. Clapton successfully incorporated a soft rock sound to the original reggae-based sound. His cover certainly helped Bob Marley’s voice reach a wider audience.

Here is how Eric Clapton talked about Bob Marley:

“I think he’d probably be number one. I mean, there was no end to what he had to say.”

Below, you can both watch the full interview and also listen to Clapton’s ‘I Shot The Sheriff’ cover.