Touch Of Class (Beano 001)
Birmingham NEC, Birmingham, UK – March 1&2, 1985
Disc 1: Make a Change – Motherless Children – I Shot the Sheriff – Same Old Blues – Blues Power – Tangled in Love – Steppin’ Out – Just Like a Prisoner – Tulsa Time – Something is Wrong – Badge – Behind the Sun – Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2: Let it Rain – Blues Medley – Cocaine – Layla – Knock on Wood – Further On Up the Road
Disc 3: Make a Change – Motherless Children – I Shot the Sheriff – Same Old Blues – Blues Power – Tangled in Love – Steppin’ Out – Tulsa Time – Lay Down Sally – Something is Wrong – Badge – Behind the Sun – Wonderful Tonight
Disc 4: Let it Rain – Blues Medley – Cocaine – Layla – Knock on Wood – Further On Up the Road
Hats off to Beano for rescuing and (probably) remastering the third and fourth gigs of the 1985 “Behind the Sun” tour. Sound is stunningly brilliant for the period and will sound like a soundboard at times. At many times, I would say!!
I was 16 years old when a friend of mine lent me the Slowhand album. It was a love at first listen, and next thing I did was buying an EC album. Which one, I didn’t know. I ended up buying the Behind The Sun album, which now I think was a perfect choice. Being that young I was not interested in the blues but in pop music, you know. I remember playing “She’s Waiting”, “Something’s Happening”, “Tangled In Love” and “Forever Man” to death!! I would listen to “Same Old Blues” as well, but that one would take some time to grow on me, you know. This is how I found out about EC. Needless to say, my favourite track from that album is now “Same Old Blues”.
Reasons to acquire this import for me were:
– this is a fantastic audience recording
– I love the album and I like EC playing whatever it is, even if it is pop music.
– features the rarely played “Just Like A Prisoner” to be dropped from the setlist afterwards
As for the performances themselves is concerned, being some of the first gigs of the Tour, EC & his band may not be completely settled into the material but you will still find stunning renditions of “Sheriff” – always a highlight – “Same Old Blues”, “Just Like A Prisoner” (particularly on the first night) and “Behind The Sun”, along with “Black Summer Rain” one of EC’s most overlooked songs, in my opinion. Shawn Murphy and Marcy Levy lead vocals on “Steppin’ Out” and “Something Is Wrong” and are introduced by a very talkative EC who can also be heard talking to the audience between songs (i.e. “that was the new one” he says right after “Tangled In Love” on the first night).
The “Blues Medley” on discs 2 and 4 consists of “That’s Alright”, “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” and “Ramblin’ On My Mind” and listening to them it’s easy to see which type of music EC enjoys playing most. Great stuff indeed.
The intro to “Cocaine” sounds very different to what it would sound like once the tour rolled by. The way “Layla” is played on this tour is one of my all-time favourites with EC delivering a fantastic guitar work, particularly on the coda. “Knock On Wood” is a great encore and it’s funny to hear Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn introducing EC as “Mr. Wonderful Tonight” right before the last number of the night “Further On Up The Road”.
With just four tracks from the Behind The Sun album and two of them being “Same Old Blues” and “Just Like A Prisoner”, one can’t say EC was promoting his album much and if not for “Tangled In Love” no pop is heard on these shows.
In short, a great 4CD set limited to 300 numbered copies one must be more than happyIf you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)