A four-disc box set spanning Eric Clapton's entire career -- running from the Yardbirds
to his '80s solo recordings -- Crossroads
not only revitalized Clapton's commercial standing, but it established the rock & roll multi-disc box set retrospective as a commercially viable proposition. Bob Dylan
was successful two years before the release of Crossroads
, but Clapton's set was a bona fide blockbuster. And it's easy to see why. Crossroads
manages to sum up Clapton's career succinctly and thoroughly, touching upon all of his hits and adding a bevy of first-rate unreleased material (most notably selections from the scrapped second Derek and the Dominos
album). Although not all of his greatest performances are included on the set -- none of his work as a session musician or guest artist is included, for instance -- every truly essential item he recorded is present on these four discs. No other Clapton album accurately explains why the guitarist was so influential, or demonstrates exactly what he accomplished.