Born in Time

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"Born in Time"
Song by Bob Dylan
from the album Under the Red Sky
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan

"Born in Time" is a rock song written by the American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who released the track on September 10, 1990 on his twenty-seventh studio album Under the Red Sky. It is a reworking of the original material recorded at the previous year's Oh Mercy sessions.[1] The British recording artist Eric Clapton covered the song for his 1998 studio effort Pilgrim and released his take on the tune as a single.[2]

Eric Clapton's version[edit]

"Born in Time"
Eric Clapton Born in Time.jpg
Single by Eric Clapton
from the album Pilgrim
Released10 July 1998 (1998-07-10)
GenreSoft rock
Songwriter(s)Bob Dylan
  • Eric Clapton
  • Simon Climie
Eric Clapton singles chronology
"Born in Time"
Audio sample

The British rock musician Eric Clapton covered Dylan's original release, adding his Pilgrim-style arrangements to the track. Clapton plays the song in the key of E major.[3] The British recording artists adds a Distortion effect while playing the rhythm guitar pattern with his signature Fender Stratocaster. In between some lyrical lines and for his guitar solo, Clapton uses a Dobro, playing with the slide guitar technique. The background vocals and synthesizers on the recording create a string orchestra sound and feel.[4] The recording was produced by Clapton himself along with his long-time collaborator record producer Simon Climie.[5]

Track listing[edit]

Compact disc single[6]
1."Born in Time" (Album Version)Bob DylanEric Clapton · Simon Climie4:42
2."Born in Time" (Remix Edit)Bob DylanEric Clapton · Simon Climie3:59
3."Wonderful Tonight" (Live)Eric ClaptonRuss Titelman5:25
4."Tears in Heaven"Eric Clapton · Will JenningsRuss Titelman4:32
Total length:18:38


Entertainment Weekly critic David Browne notes pop record producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds humming the backing vocals to the tune on the Pilgrim studio album, giving it a R&B feel.[7] Journalist David Wild from Rolling Stone likes Clapton's interpretation of this "overlooked Dylan tune".[8] The compact disc single was not that successful in the charts, reaching only number 88 in Germany, where the single release stayed for eight weeks on the official German single charts.[9] In Poland, the song peaked at position 12, staying also on the single charts for eight weeks.[10] In the Czech Republic, the CD single was purchased more than one thousand times in the first week, making it Clapton's only single in the Republic, gaining a silver disc for outstanding sales figures.[11]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
Germany (Official German Charts)[12] 88
Poland (LP3)[10] 12


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Czech Republic (ČNS IFPI)[11] Silver 1,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone


  1. ^ "Born In Time | The Official Bob Dylan Site". Sony Music Entertainment. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Born in Time – Eric Clapton | Song Info | AllMusic". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  3. ^ "Born In Time Tab by Eric Clapton @ Ultimate-Guitar.Com". Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  4. ^ Clapton, Eric (1998). "Pilgrim". Spotify. Spotify AB. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  5. ^ "Eric Clapton – Born In Time –". Ö3 Austria Top 40 (in German). Steffen Hung Hung Medien. Archived from the original on October 1, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  6. ^ "Eric Clapton – Born In Time (CD) at Discogs". Discogs. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  7. ^ Brownie, David (March 13, 1998). "Pilgrim |". Entertainment Weekly. Entertainment Weekly, Inc. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  8. ^ Wild, David (February 25, 1998). "Eric Clapton Pilgrim Album Review | Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  9. ^ "Eric Clapton – Born in Time". Media Control (in German). Offizielle Deutsche Charts. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  10. ^ a b "Eric Clapton – Born in Time". Lista przebojów Trójki (in Polish). Polskie Radio SA. Retrieved October 14, 2015.
  11. ^ a b Králová, Alena (July 20, 1998). "Pokračování prodeje a hudební seznamy země" [Continued charts and sales in the country]. Právo (in Czech). Borgis, a.s.
  12. ^ " – Eric Clapton – {{{song}}}". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved October 14, 2015.

External links[edit]