Eric Clapton - vocals, guitars; Donald "Duck" Dunn - bass; Chris Stainton - keyboards, vocals; Tim Renwick - guitar; Marcy Levy - background vocals; Shaun Murphy - background vocals; Jaime Oldacker - drums, background vocals
This Clapton show was recorded in the spring of 1985, one month after the release of Behind the Sun, the Phil Collins-produced studio album that would place him back atop FM radio playlists with singles "She's Waiting" and "Forever Man." Clapton had assembled a crackerjack band comprised of most the musicians who appeared on the album - a crew including former Joe Cocker keyboardist Chris Stainton, ex-Fairport Convention guitarist Tim Renwick, future Little Feat vocalist Shaun Murphy and Donald "Duck" Dunn, bassist from the legendary Booker T. & the MG's.
The British blues rocker plays it safe with a hit-filled set of radio classics for this concert, originally recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour. Opening with a lengthy piano intro, he breaks into a jumpin' version of "Tulsa Time," which is followed by a very soulful rendition of Bob Marley's "I Shot The Sheriff." Clocking in at over seven minutes, it features one of the best solos of the entire show. The always beautiful "Wonderful Tonight" provides the show's anchor ballad, and sounds as touching here as it did when Clapton originally recorded it for his then-wife, Patti Boyd, in the late '70s.
The medley of Cream classic "Badge" segued into Clapton's first solo hit, 1970's "Let It Rain," rocks hard and offers the most nostalgia of the night. Chris Stainton's Hammond B3 solo is exceptional and offers a nice counter-balance to Clapton's frequent guitar solos. The iconoclastic "Layla," closes the show, played at a slightly faster pace than the studio version; keyboardist Stainton shines on this one as well. Clapton isn't playing any slow blues here, but it doesn't seem to bother him, since his guitar work is crisp and passionate throughout the nearly one hour gig.
After fighting countless personal battles during the '70s, Clapton, it seems, was well revived and more than on top of his game; and he's remained there ever since.
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