Touch My Heart (Tricone 061/062)
Budokan, Tokyo, Japan – October 7th, 1977
Disc 1 (62:00): Opening, The Core, I Shot The Sheriff, Double Trouble, Badge, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out, Mama Told Me, We’re All The Way, Sign Language, Alberta
Disc 2 (50:41): Cocaine, Bottle Of Red Wine, Stormy Monday, Layla, announcements, Tell The Truth
The nine date tour of Japan in late 1977 is Eric Clapton’s third in four years. The show at Budokan on October 7th is the final date and has been released previously on a very good soundboard recording that can be found on the erroneously titled Budokan First Appearance (Scorpio 430-1/2) and its copy Budokan First Appearance (VS – 430-1/2). That tape is incomplete with a cut in the middle of “Nobody Knows You,” and missing completely both “We’re All The Way” and the encore “Tell The Truth.”
Several years ago Tarantura came out with Prismatic Blues (Tarantura TCDEC-38-1,2), and excellent stereo audience recording. The tape used by Tricone for Touch My Heart makes is debut. It is a good recording. It’s not clear as the soundboard or the Tarantura, but still very enjoyable. There are cuts in “Mama Told Me” from 2:54 to 3:26, in “Stormy Monday” from 15:23 to 15:34, and in “Layla” at 0:19 which have been filled with the soundboard tape.
Ostensibly this tour was in support of No Reason To Cry, but falls between the recording of Slowhand in May and its release in November just a month after this particular show. Two songs from the 76 album are played and three new as-yet-unreleased songs, “Cocaine,” “The Core” and “We’re All The Way” “Cocaine” from Slowhand are also performed. When he visited Japan the setlist changed slightly. Whereas earlier in the year they would start with “Sign Language” and “Alberta” these shows start with the newly written nine minute groove “The Core.”
Although in the final two shows of the year in Hawaii right after Japan he would revert back to the old setlist suggesting that Japan was a test run for the new material. It is a shame this song wouldn’t survive the seventies because the grinding rhythm is one of the most effective of Clapton’s show openers. Both he and Levy share vocals throughout the song. “I Shot The Sheriff” moved to the second slot early in the tour and features the first blistering, heavy riffage of the evening. Both Clapton and Terry take turns, stretching the song out to ten minutes.
The story is the same for “Badge” and Levy has great fun belting out the chorus by the song’s end. She is given a two song mini set singing “Nobody Knows You” (which she dedicates to all the people from Nashville, Tennessee) and “Mama Told Me.”
She shares vocals on the new, mellow ballad “We’re All The Way.” The two No Reason To Cry tracks, “Sign Language” and “Alberta” follow in quick succession followed by the last new song of the set, a cover of JJ Cale’s “Cocaine.” There is a rare harmonica included in the instrumentation, probably played by the percussion player Sergio Rodriguez.
The final forty minutes of the show is occupied with material from Eric Clapton and Derek & The Dominoes Layla LP. “Stormy Monday,” which was a staple for the Dominoes live set, is a slow, massive fifteen minute dirge encompassing many blues styles and textures. “Layla,” even lacking the second section, is almost ten minutes long of urgent passion. There is a two minute interval before the encore, a nine minute Derek standard “Tell The Truth.”
Touched My Heart is packaged in a double slimline jewel case with really nicely decorated inserts. Overall, this is the worst sounding of the three tapes in circulation, but it is still very enjoyable and is readily available to collectors (both the soundboard recording and the Tarantura are hard to find).If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)