96KHZ/24-BIT ALAC/FLAC/WAV, Polydor Records 531 825-2 (supplied by www.hdtracks.com)

Slowhand needs no introduction to rockers above a certain age, since it contains three of Clapton’s best-known signature songs: ‘Lay Down Sally’, ‘Wonderful Tonight’ and his perennial cover of JJ Cale’s ‘Cocaine’. Moreover the album’s other songs are far from just fillers. The highlight is his duet with Marcy Levy on ‘The Core’, an almost nine-minute tour de force during which Marcy sings her heart out. Sounding more punchy and vivid than the first Polydor CD release, this download appears to date from the time of the ‘Eric Clapton Remasters Series’ CDs in 1997 – mastered at PolyGram Studios using Apogee Electronics’ AD1000 ADC and UV22 Super CD encoding. Having it in a 96kHz/24-bit container might seem superfluous. Clapton completists will more likely covet the 2012 Super Deluxe box set with the analogue tapes remastered for DVD at 96kHz/24-bit at Sterling Sound. JB

Sound Quality: 60%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

An analogue recording from 1977 and (according to the metadata) digitally remastered in 1997 this 96kHz rendering offers little extra practical bandwidth over the CD. Note the spurious 19kHz peak linked to Clapton’s vocal track. PM