Editors’ Notes Eric Clapton continued his middle-age renaissance with 1986’s August, which applies the grit of a '60s soul album to the crisp '80s pop-rock sound favored by Phil Collins. Collins not only plays on the album but shares production credit with Tom Dowd, whose presence bridges Clapton’s MTV years with his golden tenure at Atlantic in the '70s. The album spawned three huge and entirely different hits. “Tearing Us Apart” is a crispy slice of blues-funk featuring Tina Turner, who was experiencing a mid-career resurgence parallel to Clapton’s. “Miss You” falls into a long line of impassioned messages to Clapton’s wife and muse Pattie Boyd, from whom he'd soon be divorced. But most surprising is “Behind the Mask,” originally recorded by the Japanese synth-pop outfit Yellow Magic Orchestra (and later adapted by Michael Jackson). The tune helped establish Clapton as one of the decade’s premier soul men, an older voice showing authenticity and integrity even as he partook in glitzy trends. Among the album’s lost gems are “Hung Up on Your Love” and “Holy Mother,” but nothing compares to “It’s in the Way That You Use It,” a song as stunningly catchy as it is gritty.

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