Pilgrim is the thirteenth studio album by Eric Clapton, released in 1998. The album was recorded at Olympic Studio in London in late 1997. Neon Genesis Evangelion character designer Yoshiyuki Sadamoto designed the cover of the album.
Pilgrim's release marked Clapton's first album of original material since 1989's Journeyman. Reviews for Pilgrim were mixed upon release. Allmusic described the album as "bland", while Rolling Stone's David Wild gave it four out of five stars, stating, "Pilgrim is the work of someone who has learned in the hardest way imaginable that although he cannot change the world, he might be able to change himself."
Clapton wrote in his autobiography that he wanted to make the "saddest album" to the moment, so he called Simon Climie and started the project. He had already written two songs when his son, Conor, died in March 1991. The songs ended up being "My Father's Eyes" and "Circus", originally named "Circus Left Town". "Circus" was about the last time he saw his son, when he took him to the circus. According to Clapton's autobiography, Conor died the next day.
The album experiments with drum machines and certain sounds like synthesizers, guitars, strings reminiscent of R&B.
The song "Pilgrim" also appears on the Lethal Weapon 4 soundtrack.
Four tracks of this album were included on the One More Car, One More Rider album of 2001.
An acoustic version of "Broken Hearted" was performed at the Royal Albert Hall in 1997. Clapton and John Mayer resurrected the song in 2005.
Eric Clapton – guitar and vocals
Simon Climie – drum programming and keyboards
Steve Gadd – drums
Paul Waller – drum programming
Dave Bronze – bass guitar
Chris Stainton – Hammond organ
Joe Sample – piano
London Session Orchestra – strings
Nathan East – bass guitar
Luís Jardim – bass guitar and percussion
Andy Fairweather-Low – guitar
Paul Carrack – Hammond organ
Greg Phillinganes – keyboards
Paul Brady – tin whistle
Pino Paladino – bass guitar
Chyna Whyne – backing vocals
Kenneth Edmonds – backing vocals