Former commercial artist Richard Clapton released his first solo album, Prussian Blue, in November 1973, having spent five years in Europe, where he worked in Berlin with a group called Bitch.
The album documented his travels throughout Europe and contained songs about Denmark, France and Germany.
Girls On The Avenue and Main Street Jive followed. The former containing his biggest hit single ever (the title track).
Three hits were lifted from the LP – the title track, Deep Water and Down In The Lucky Country. Clapton has never made a better album – probably never will.
Moving to Los Angeles in June 1978, Clapton recorded the album Hearts On The Nightline, which came across as a lacklustre imitation of the bland west coast Californian style.
Richard’s 1980 album Dark Spaces was dedicated to the memory of Andrew Durant – the guitarist with the Australian band, Stars – who died of cancer in May 1980. The album spawned the single Get Back To The Shelter.
In 1981 Richard produced the second INXS album, Underneath The Colours.
In 1987, INXS drummer Jon Farriss returned the favour by producing Clapton’s first album in three years, Glory Road, which featured a who’s-who of Australian rock ‘n’ roll talent, including Michael Hutchence, Jimmy Barnes and Marc Hunter of Dragon.
In 1983, Clapton temporarily put aside his solo career to work as vocalist for Australian “supergroup” The Party Boys.
Over the years he remained one of the country’s most perceptive, literate and distinctively Australian songwriters.