Eric Clapton, 'Slowhand' (1977)
For an album that produced some of Eric Clapton's biggest hits – "Cocaine," "Wonderful Tonight," and "Cocaine" constitute the opening trio – Slowhand seemingly owns a reputation as understated as its sound. Featuring neither the instrumental fire of his earlier bands or even the guest stars (Bob Dylan, Ron Wood, much of the Band) from his '76 LP, No Reason to Cry, Clapton's fifth solo release benefits from the easy familiarity of his live band and the soft production touch of Glyn Johns. The focus is on songwriting as opposed to virtuosity. It's as if Clapton just had to quit worry about making a hit to succeed in doing so, but given that his immortality is largely based on his guitar exploits, it's understandable that his more song-oriented efforts, like Slowhand, will fly under the radar.