Eric Clapton is considered by many people as one of the best guitarists in the world.
I am not one of those people.
Instead I think he is personally responsible for the pretentious habit most other guitarists have for ‘grimacing intently’ when squeezing out a high note, almost as if they are simultaneously squeezing out something particularly spiky from between their arse cheeks.
This album is a hybrid recording of the two “all-star” shows performed at London’s Rainbow Theatre in January 1973. Shows put together by The Who’s Pete Townshend to help out Clapton who was allegedly in the midst of his big heroin addiction.
Townshend persuaded Clapton ex-bandmates (Steve Winwood & Rick Grech from Blind Faith) and other rock luminaries of the time (Ronnie Wood from The Faces, Jimmy Karstein from J.J. Cale’s band plus Jim Capaldi and Rebop from Winwood’s band Traffic) to perform.
They played a set list which included old blues numbers, stuff from Clapton’s work with Cream and Blind Faith, JJ Cale’s “After Midnight” and, of course, the ubiquitous “Layla“.
The pedigree is therefore good.
But, as far as I am concerned, it’s all mutt.
Yet another album which, given hindsight, I have NO idea why I owned. None at all.
Trivia note: These concerts are said to have reignited Clapton’s interest in music, which in turn led to “461 Ocean Boulevard“, “Slowhand“, “August” and a whole slew of other distinctively average recordings. Not to mention “Tears in Heaven” and “Wonderful Tonight“. Pete Townshend’s certainly got a lot to answer for.