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Eric Clapton – Seattle 1983 (no label)

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Seattle 1983 (no label)

Paramount Theater, Seattle, WA - February 1st, 1983

Disc 1 (56:18):  Introduction, After Midnight, I Shot The Sheriff, Crazy Country Hop, Pretty Girl, Slow Down Linda, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Sweet Little Lisa, Key To The Highway, Tulsa Time, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out

Disc 2 (48:49):  I’ve Got A Rock N Roll Heart, Crosscut Saw, Cocaine, Blues Power, That’s All Right / Have You Ever Loved A Woman / Ramblin’ On My Mind, Let It Rain, Layla, member introduction, Further On Up The Road

After recovering from ulcers and his alcohol addiction, 1982 was a light year for live performance for Eric Clapton with only a short tour in June.  From September to November Clapton was at Compass Point Studio in the Bahamas recording Money And Cigarettes for its February 1983 release.  The new album would see extensive touring with two US tours and one long one of Europe and with the year ending with the ARMS concerts.

Live performance started with two shows at the Paramount Theater in Seattle starting on February 1st.  The first professional release of the show can be found on CDR on 1983 First Show (Masterport-112).  Seattle 1983 is the first silver pressed edition utilizing the same tape. 

It is a thin and distant but clear and listenable recording.  The first seventeen seconds of “After Midnight” are significantly distorted but the taper adjust the levels so the rest of the recording is stable.  There is a couple of non-destructive cuts between songs and one significant cut five minutes into “That’s Alright / Have You Ever Loved A Woman.”

The virtue of this recording is the inclusion of five songs from the new album including the extremely rare “Pretty Girl.”  The first two songs are full of energy and enthusiasm, obviously showing that Clapton is happy to be back on stage.  So much so in fact that he misses a cue in the middle of “I Shot The Sheriff.”

“We’d like to do a couple of new numbers from the new album” Clapton announces afterwards.  Starting with the Johnny Otis cover “Crazy Country Hop” they proceed to play three songs from Money And Cigarettes.  This would be featured in all the shows on this tour.  The original song “Pretty Girl” follows and would unfortunately be dropped.  It is a sweet ballad which should have been played more in lieu of “Wonderful Tonight.”  The third new song “Slow Down Linda” is another original song and sounds like an homage to Chuck Berry, a rarity in Clapton’s work.

Two songs from Slowhand, “Wonderful Tonight” and “Lay Down Sally” follow before Albert Lee has his spot with “Sweet Little Linda.”  The first disc concludes with “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” which is ”from the days of the Dominoes…and before of course.”  This used to be a song sung by Marcy Levy, but since he ditched the female singers five years prior he handles the vocals himself. 

“I’ve Got A Rock And Roll Heart” was the big hit from the album reaching number six but would drop into obscurity.  It has a similar theme as “Blues Power” but lacks the fire.  ”Blues Power” is played soon after in the set and seems like an answer to his current hit.

A strange cover of “Crosscut Saw” shows the band already well rehearsed with mid-tour alacrity.  A long blues meditation starts with a cover of Jimmy Roger’s “That’s Alright” which segues into “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” and “Rambllin’ On My Mind.”  Throughout the ten minutes piece Clapton shouts out the chords so the and can follow.  

“Let It Rain” features the little raindrop ornamentation on the piano and “Layla” with a two minute long coda ends the show.  ”Further On Up The Road” is the only encore played.  Overall this is a good release to have for those interested in this era and is good especially for the very rare live performance of “Pretty Girl.” 

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Eric Clapton - Seattle 1983 (no label), 2.5 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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