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Eric Clapton – No Turning Back (Tricone 031-036)

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Eric Clapton – No Turning Back (Tricone 031-036)
Nagoya Civic Hall, Aichi, Japan – October 9, 1985
Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – October 10, 1985
Sun Palace Hall, Fukuoka, Japan – October 11, 1985

Discs 1, 3 & 5. Opening – Tulsa Time – Motherless Children – I Shot The Sheriff – Same Old Blues – Tangled In Love – White Room – Hold Me Now – Wonderful Tonight – She’s Waiting – Lay Down Sally.
Discs 2, 4 & 6. Badge – Let It Rain – Double Trouble – Cocaine – Layla – Forever Man – Band Intro – Further On Up The Road.

Eric Clapton : Guitar & Vocals
Tim Renwick : Guitar
Donald “Duck” Dunn : Bass
Chris Stainton : Keyboards
Jamie Oldaker : Drums
Shaun Murphy & Laura Creamer : Backing Vocals

“No Turning Back” is the sequel toCaught In The Act”. Again, all these three recordings are claimed to be taken from the master tapes. No matter which the venue or the date is, the sound quality is identical all through the six recordings which leads me to think it was the same person who taped every gig and from similar locations too!! If the taper would have only continued the Tour up to Alaska…. The show that EC put out in Anchorage on October 14th just seems to have been lost forever….

Nagoya Civic Hall, Aichi, Japan – October 9, 1985

Static setlists have their pros and cons. I like the 70s because EC used to change setlists and running orders on a nightly basis. Anyway, I will look at the bright side of this fixed setlist. 

We are lucky to get terrific versions of Sheriff and Same Old Blues night after night. We just might lose one of them (or both!!) with dynamic setlists!! Like he usually does on this tour, EC changes the lyrics to Same Old Blues a bit at the beginning as he sings “I’m sorry, baby / You know I just can’t stay“. Tangled In Love is again fun and White Room is introduced by EC this way: “Here’s an old one – Hope you like it!”. EC seems to be having a good time and his solo is longer than on the three previous nights. The crowd just gets wild after that! Shaun and Laura get their three-minute share of the spotlight with Hold Me Now. The sound seems to get slightly muffled after EC’s solo but the quality is still excellent. The tape is cut at the end of the song but it’s back in time for the first chords to Wonderful Tonight where EC flubs the same line he flubbed in Osaka, by the way. The song is still performed very nicely anyway.

The drums in She’s Waiting have always resonated like a warlike beat to me. Tonight’s performance features a very good guitar work from EC. No matter what a good time the audience are having, Lay Down Sally is not essential for me.

For the fourth time in the tour, Badge keeps on missing that EC touch that I am looking for. The solo is okay, but EC can do a better job. We’ll see – we have two more shows left… EC makes “Blackie” weep during Let It Rain before treating us to the longest version of Double Trouble in the tour. 

The intro to Cocaine is the only passage of the song that calls my attention. Layla sees EC playing the same notes repeatedly for nearly 20 seconds!!! As usual, the same old “Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself!” introduction is sandwiched between the encore songs.

 Festival Hall, Osaka, Japan – October 10, 1985

Second show of the Tour in Osaka albeit in a different venue. The sound may be a little bit more distant than on other recordings and there may be more interferences but the tape still is highly listenable.

The first highlight is again I Shot The Sheriff. I can’t think of any other song EC has embellished so much, with long beautiful guitar outros! And Same Old Blues is excellent once again too. By the way, EC sticks to the original lyrics this time!! I don’t get tired of listening to Tangled In Love, which features a couple of quite tasty solos. White Room runs on wah-wah fuel and it’s dynamite!

There’s a cut between Hold Me Now and Wonderful Tonight but once again no music is lost! I just have to love these two  Tricone sets!!! EC won’t flub a line this time at the beginning of Wonderful Tonight…..  The audience forgets about She’s Waiting in the very same moment that the first notes to Lay Down Sally start to sound. Tim Renwick sounds like Mark Knopfler at times during his solo but still not my cup of tea.

Definitely EC soloed better on Badge on the US Tour than he did in Japan. Tonight’s solo is extended and it seems to take off at times but once again I end up not being 100% satisfied with it. As always, Double Trouble is glorious and EC seems to be more inspired on Cocaine than he has been on previous nights. The clapping from audience during the Layla coda is more noticeable than on any other tape.

Forever Man sees some excellent guitar pyrotechnics and Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself treat us to a very good performance of Further On Up The Road for a fantastic final fling!

Sun Palace Hall, Fukuoka, Japan – October 11, 1985

The final night of the Tour takes place in Fukuoka. No surprises here: I Shot The Sheriff and Same Old Blues are again very fine examples of EC’s mastery of the Stratocaster. Tangled In Love does have quality guitar licks too. It’s a shame it didn’t survive like Forever Man did.

This time is “Duck” Dunn who introduces White Room to the audience by saying “Back to ’67!”. After this comes the dull Hold Me Now which falls far short when compared to any of its predecessors. Wonderful Tonight, She’s Waiting and Lay Down Sally close Disc1.

Badge fails to meet all its potentialbut this may be my favourite rendition of the Tour.  Words fail me to describe Double Trouble which is again impressive! There is a cut right between Double Trouble and Cocaine but not a single second of music is lost! Cocaine is nice but it lacks the power and hard guitar that the first part of Layla has! The coda is beautiful with Blackie sounding while Chris Stainton hits the keys in a way that suggest tearful raindrops.

The rocking sounds of Forever Man give way to the band introduction, including “Duck” Dunn’s “Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself!” announcement. A vibrating Further On Up The Road closes the show.  EC wraps up the Japan Tour of 1985 by saying “Sayonara!” to the audience.

 

These recordings benefit from having been taped in Japan. Had they been recorded somewhere else, with more noisy crowds, the results would have been much worse. It is a joy to listen to Same Old Blues and Double Trouble with no interferences at all from the audiences, which are always so polite and respectful in Japan. Both ““Caught In The Act” and “No Turning Back” are two titles that you should rush out and get. Recommended!!

 

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Eric Clapton - No Turning Back (Tricone 031-036), 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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