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Eric Clapton – They Ain’t The Only Ones (Beano-013)

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They Ain’t The Only Ones (Beano-013)

Rhein-Nekar-Halle, Eppelheim, Germany – June 17th, 1977
Disc 1:  Hello Old Friend, Sign Language, Alberta, I Shot The Sheriff, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Tell The Truth, Can’t Find My Way Home, Key To The Highway, Badge.
Disc 2:  Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Steady Rollin’ Man, Layla, Further On Up The Road.

They Ain’t The Only Ones captures Eric Clapton during the Slowhand tour at a time when it was common knowledge that, after defeating his addiction to heroin, was now sinking into alcohol dependency.  His artistic reputation has always been one of absolute control over the music and strict adherence to traditional blues structures.  (Didn’t he leave The Yardbirds because of their experimentation into pop and psychedelia?)  Despite how strict he is with his art he always stuck me as a very sensitive and emotional person and his best music come when he is able to let loose and pour his anger into his music and these little outbursts during the show are what make listening to these documents from the late seventies worth seeking and and listening to.  This show in Eppelheim on June 17th has two tape sources.  The first to surface is the well known “they ain’t the only ones” source taped by a recently discharged US serviceman named “The Hawk”.  Last year a second source surfaced and Beano utilizes this source. 

The concert took place in a small high school gymnasium and has a small venue feel.  It is clear but a bit distant and sounds somewhat thin with the emphasis upon the higher frequencies.  It is much better than the older source with no audience interference whatsoever.  When the tape first surfaced last year there were cuts in the middle of “Keys To The Highway” and at the end of “Layla” eliminating the latter half of that song plus the encore “Further On Up The Road”.  Beano uses the master tape with no cuts, the complete encore plus the audience reaction at the end.  This is the best sounding and most complete document of this well-known show.

Clapton is very restrained in the opening three numbers.   “Alberta” is a nice duet with Yvonne Elliman but things begin to pick up with a fantastic solo at the end of “I Shot The Sheriff”.  Elliman dedicates “I Can’t Find My Way Home” to the band “as they haven’t seen their homes in a long time…”  “Keys To The Highway” contains a long and interesting jam leading to “Badge” which closes the first set before the intermission.  Marcy Levy sings the laid back “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out”.  The end with a seven-minute version of “Layla” which omits the piano coda.  Beano follows suit with Sirene and Wardour by using thick glossy paper for their inserts now giving this a real classy look.  It is peculiar they title this after an audience comment that isn’t present on the tape.  It seems the label wanted to use the famous identification for this concert for their release.  Whatever the case They Ain’t The Only Ones is worth having. 

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If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)

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