Light Up Your Face (Tricone 059/060)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – November 2nd, 1974
Disc 1 (68:20): Opening, Smile, Let It Grow, Can’t Find My Way Home, Better Make It Through Today, I Shot The Sheriff, Key To The Highway, Willie And The Hand Jive, Get Ready
Disc 2 (64:08): Badge, Presence Of The Lord, Singing The Blues, Layla, All I Have To Do Is Dream, Blues Power
Eric Clapton played the third and final show in Tokyo on his first visit to Japan on November 2nd. Light Up Your Faceon Tricone presents a good to very good virtually complete audience recording. It’s not the same tape used by Tarantura in the Lovely People (Tarantura TCDEC-23, 24) boxset. It ranks just below Tarantura in sound quality.
Three songs from this tape, “Layla,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream” and “Blues Power” were used on the old 2LP vinyl release Live In Japan. There is a minute long gap between 0:37 to 1:30 in “Willie And The Hand Jive” in which the soundboard tape used on Legend Comes Alive (Keep Out – KO0001/2) is used. There are also cuts at 8:20 in “Singing The Blues” and at 11:52 in “Blues Power” which are not filled since there is no soundboard recording to use.
The editing job is very well done, but the latter two cuts could have been filled by utilizing the Mr. Peach recording. It wasn’t done most likely because of the gentleman’s agreement by the other labels to not copy the Mr. Peach recordings.
Be that as it may, this is one of the best shows from the 1974 world tour to circulate. It is loose without the drunken sloppiness which plagues some shows from the summer, and Clapton plays with unusual intensity. He introduces “Smile” as “a song by Charlie Chaplain” and quips “share the joke with the class.” Two more acoustic songs, “Let It Grow” and “Can’t Find My Way Back Home” follow. And a fourth laid back tune “Better Make It Through The Day,” arguably the best song from the new album There’s One In Every Crowd, follows.
“I Shot The Sheriff” features a fiery solo in the middle and Clapton throwing in ad-libs like, “I shot the sheriff…yes I did!” On the following song “Key To The Highway” someone plays harmonica in the middle. Weaving between Clapton and Terry’s guitar, it asserts itself and lifts a song onto another level. It’s not readily clear who is playing.
The band gets into a nice groove on “Get Ready” but Clapton’s guitar malfunctions halfway through. He disappears for several minutes and the band keep playing. Terry plays the melody for “Pretty Blue Eyes” in the interim, the only live reference to the piece. It takes a long time for Clapton to get ready to play “Get Ready,” stretching the entire piece out to about twenty-five minutes of funk.
The latter half of the show is characterized by very long, drawn out jams. It seems he wants to improvise various guitar melodies in common songs such a “Badge” featuring an expressionistic solo in the middle.
“Singing The Blues,” the other new song from There’s One In Every Crowd introduced to the stage on this tour, is extended ten minutes past its studio counterpart. He encourages them to shout louder before “Layla,” the “rast one.” The song goes from the first, hard rock part and segues into “All I Have To Do Is Dream” with Levy singing and firecrackers exploding in the venue.
When he comes out for the encore, Clapton tells the audience several times to “shut up” and introduces an old friend of his. The final “Blues Power” brings the evening to a close. This ranks among Clapton’s legendary performances. And although this is, technically speaking the worst sounding of the three extant sources, it is still highly enjoyable.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)