The 1990s act Eric Clapton thought was “tremendous”

Eric Clapton could have easily stopped exploring new music after 1971, given his immense success in the blues scene. However, he remained curious, and one of his last major musical revelations came from listening to The La’s.

Clapton’s love for the blues was evident, as he often turned to his old Robert Johnson records and practiced BB King and Muddy Waters licks. Yet, The La’s brought something entirely different to the table. Hailing from the same shores as The Beatles, The La’s, led by Lee Mavers, had a unique songwriting style that defied easy categorization. Their music blended elements of 1960s singer-songwriters with the indie vibes of the late 1980s.

Despite Mavers’s perfectionism in recording, The La’s’ debut album was not up to his standards. The label decided to release it as is, featuring raw classics like ‘Way Out’ and ‘There She Goes.’ Clapton, known for his appreciation of musicians like Stevie Ray Vaughan, was impressed by Mavers’s style. He praised Mavers’s stance and musicality, especially after seeing their acoustic performance of ‘There She Goes’ on TV.

Mavers’s melodies and Liverpool accent added a nostalgic touch reminiscent of the British invasion bands of the 1960s. Little did they know, The La’s’ debut was laying the groundwork for a new wave of music. As the grunge era passed, Britpop emerged in the mid-1990s, heavily influenced by Mavers’s style. Noel Gallagher of Oasis cited Mavers as a core inspiration for his songwriting.

Despite The La’s’ short-lived career and internal conflicts, their debut album solidified their place as one of the most influential bands of all time.

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