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Eric Clapton – Latin Blood (MVR 559-562)

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Rating: 3.8/5 (2 votes cast)

 

Eric Clapton – Latin Blood (Mid Valley MVR 559-562)Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay – Oct 3, 1990Estadio River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina – Oct 5, 1990

Eric Clapton – guitar / vocalsPhil Palmer – guitarGreg Phillinganes – keyboardsNathan East – bass / vocalsSteve Ferrone – drumsRay Cooper – percussionKatie Kissoon – backing vocalsTessa Niles – backing vocals

Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay – Oct 3, 1990

Disc 1. Layla Orchestra Intro – Pretending – No Alibis – Running On Faith – I Shot The Sheriff – White Room -  Can’t Find My Way Home – Bad Love – Before You Accuse Me – Old Love.Disc 2. Badge – Wonderful Tonight – Band Introduction – Cocaine – Layla – Crossroads – Sunshine Of Your Love.

With a capacity of 18,000 in its stands the Estadio Centenario held 20,000 enthusiastic people… and 1,500 more were unable to get tickets which ended up in riots while the show was taking place with over 50 people being arrested and 20 injured…. which makes the title to this set quite accurate…

History repeats himself and MidValley brings down the house once again by finally unearthing the complete soundboard recording of this classic Clapton show.  First released by the short-lived label United Records as “Montevideo Blues Vol. 1&2″, I remember buying that set back in January 1994 for just about 25 EUR. It was a stunning soundboard tape.

I remember going from cloud nine to nine feet under in a matter of just a few seconds…. when I found out that Sheriff was incomplete… I desperately changed discs and started playing Disc2 only to see if the solo was there….. Needless to say it was an absolute tragedy for me: the solo was gone! How could that be possible? It’s true that the encore was not included either but that was a minor problem when compared to the loss of the solo on Sheriff.

A few years ago Paddington released “Complete Montevideo 1990“, which used an alternate source to fill the gaps in “Montevideo Blues Vol. 1&2” but the tape they used was of a much inferior quality than the original one making it a kind of a half success.

Thank Heavens the MidValley gang come to the rescue: no cuts, no gaps that need to be filled using  any alternate sources, no missing encores… For the first time ever you get to listen to the original master recording from beginning to end!! Isn’t life just wonderful?

Besides the pristine recording we are also treated to a terrific performance. The crowd just gets wild while EC builds his solo on Sheriff…. which is worth the 20-year wait, by the way!! Not much more to add to wgpsec’s review of ”Complete Montevideo 1990” but I would still like to give an honorable mention to No Alibis – the solo on the outro is pure Clapton and undoubtedly has to remain as my favourite of all time on this song – and White Room and Old Love, which are absolutely incendiary.  Layla includes A Remark You Made and sees EC flub a line at the end of his solo. You also get every second of the 17-minute Sunshine Of Your Love but I plead guilty of skipping the 8-minute percussion/drum solos. It surely was fun to watch live in the Stadium but definitely not to be played on my stereo: I always found these minutes as a missed chance for EC to play one more song…

 

Estadio River Plate, Buenos Aires, Argentina – Oct 5, 1990

Disc 1. Layla Orchestra Intro – Pretending – No Alibis – Running On Faith – I Shot The Sheriff – White Room -  Can’t Find My Way Home – Bad Love – Before You Accuse Me – Old Love.Disc 2. Badge – Wonderful Tonight – Band Introduction – Cocaine – Layla – Crossroads – Sunshine Of Your Love.

After Eternal’s “Amigos” and Slunky’s “Ole”, MidValley’s “Latin Blood” is the third silver release of this show. “Amigos” was the first one to see the light of day. It was released back in 1997: being a soundboard tape and and featuring  gold discs it was a very limited edition. Needless to say it sold extremely quickly and it is now a very much sought after item. In fact I have to say I have never seen a copy exchange hands amongst collectors. This is what the liner notes on this release say about this show:

Eric’s tour of South America proved to be one of the hottest, and I just don’t mean the temperature, that he and the band undertook. Eric soloed wildly and clearly found himself rejuvinated in front of highly enthusiastic and emotive crowd.

They clung on to every note and responded with total abandonement end Eric and Co. rewarded the fans with some of the best performances ever. The two highlights were the Montevideo and Buenos Aires shows, the latter you are lucky enough to hear in stunning soundboard quality for the first time ever in its complete form.

Kick back end enjoy Eric at his best!!

We are lucky this show was professionally recorded. With such an excited crowd, any audience recording that might have surfaced would have been simply pathetic!

No changes in the setlist which sees all of the material from Journeyman performed in its first half. Pretending opens the show with strength and it’s followed by No Alibis : with a couple of mistakes from our man its intensity will not match Montevideo’s. Sheriff is given the “Slowhand treatment” and is a highlight and so is Old Love. Bad Love is worth mentioning too. It’s the strongest rock song on “Journeyman” and alongside White Room it’s the strongest rock song in this live setting too. How EC attacks the guitar on these four songs is just unbelievable!

EC’s solo on Badge seemed uninspired to me the first time I listened to it… EC goes from short phrase to short phrase making the solo so different from Montevideo’s. But I played it again and it just grew on me… and I now think it is another standout song in the setlist. Cocaine witnesses another great guitar solo making Greg Phillinganes’ subsequent work on the keyboards absolutely dull for me. EC plays his heart out on a blistering rendition of Layla. The encore consists of Crossroads - great two minute intro by EC on his own -  seguing into Sunshine Of Your Love: longer than in Montevideo I keep skipping the percussion/drum solos!!!

I believe “Amigos” and “Latin Blood” are sourced from different tapes or they are remastered differently. Both sound great but maybe “Latin Blood” has a cleaner/thinner sound? Either way, whether you already own “Amigos” or not, you have to score a copy of this MidValley 4CD set. It comes housed in the red slipcase shown above and also includes a mini tour programme replica of the Journeyman Tour.

According to Marc Roberty’s “The Complete Recording Sessions 1963-1992″, the shows from Sep 29th and Oct 7th in Santiago de Chile and Rio de Janeiro were also  officially recorded for potential release so one can only hope that MidValley has access to those tapes and puts those two shows out one of these days…. It would be a dream come true.

“Latin Blood” is an absolutely essential title that any self-respecting collection should include.

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Eric Clapton - Latin Blood (MVR 559-562), 3.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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