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Eric Clapton – God’s Straits (Tarantura TDVDEC-4 & TCDEC-71-1, 2)

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God’s Straits (Tarantura TDVDEC-4 & TCDEC-71-1, 2)

Shorline Amphitheater, Mountain View, CA – September 21st, 1988 

DVD (approx. 2hrs):  Introduction, Crossroads, White Room, I Shot the Sheriff, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Tearing Us Apart, After Midnight, Can’t Find My Way Home, Badge, Same Old Blues, Cocaine, A Remark You Made, Layla, Money For Nothing, Sunshine of Your Love

Disc 1 (56:32):  Crossroads, White Room, I Shot The Sheriff, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, Tearing Us Apart, After Midnight, Can’t Find My Way Home

Disc 2 (59:04):  Badge, Same Old Blues, Cocaine, A Remark You Made, Layla, Money For Nothing, Sunshine Of Your Love, SE

God’s Straits is a compilation of the video and soundtrack recording for Eric Clapton’s September 21st, 1988 show in Mountain View, California.  It comes from an in-house pro-shot tape, dubbed from a VHS copy several generations from the master.  The audio was released before on Slowhand Masterfile Part 18 (Antrobus SHORELINE1/2), a product of the British label Antrabata in the mid-nineties. 

Also in circulation are two prior releases of the video, found on Mountainview 1988(WoW 031) and a great version on Plays Shoreline 1988 (Beano DVD 001).  Another version came out called After Midnight Live on the Immortal label.  Issued on both DVD and a 2CD set, this appears to have semi-legal status since it is being sold on both Amazon and cdUniverse.  Judging from the complaints on the Amazon page, Immortal use a high generation copy of the VHS and isn’t very good.

Tarantura compares favorably with Beano for visuals.   Both betray its originas from a VHS and both are very clear and enjoyable. 

God’s Straits is on the left, Beano on the right.  Both are very clear and enjoyable.  Tarantura is significantly brighter than Beano without any bleeding effect.   

Tarantura menu and Beano menu.

Mark Knopfler singing “Money For Nothing” on Tarantura and Beano.

Eric Clapton in Tarantura and Beano.

Watching Eric Clapton, or any rock star, is always interesting in understanding the music.  The artists are the embodiment of sound, and their body language coveys another layer of meaning besides rhythm, melody and lyrics.  Clapton has a certain “coolness” which other rock stars lack.  Instead of making typical rock star poses with the guitar and microphone, he has a detachment bordering on the effortless.

The soundtrack has always been subject to praise.  Tarantura include this on two discs which is in sterling sound quality.

Along with the sound, the performance is very tight.  Clapton’s band had been touring for some time up to this point and are very well rehearsed and pull of an excellent show.  The basic pattern is the same as the previous year with “Crossroads,” “White Room” and “I Shot The Sheriff” starting oft the show and ending with “Cocaine” and “Layla” and with the two song encore set of “Money For Nothing” and “Sunshine Of Your Love.”

Perhaps because 1988 was considered to be his twenty-fifth anniversary in the music business, many of the songs from Behind The Sun and August were dropped and replaced by older songs.  “Wanna Make Love To You,” “Hung Up On Your Love,” “Miss You” and “Holy Mother” are gone, replaced by “Lay Down Sally,” “Wonderful Tonight” and “After Midnight” (in a very slow arrangement).

There are some interesting variations in the arrangements.  “Tearing Us Apart” gets into a strange Four-Square gospel rhythm under Clapton’s heavy metal guitar solo and “After Midnight” slower than its studio counterpart.  And since Greg Phillinganes left the band to tour be musical director for Michael Jackson’s Bad tour, there is no keyboard solo in “Same Old Blues.”  But it is still very long with Clapton and Nathan East taking several solos.

God’s Straitsis packaged in a tri-fold gatefold sleeve printed on very thick, glossy paper.  Tarantura utilize excellent screenshots from the video to advertise its improved, excellent quality.  This is one of the best documents from Clapton’s Crossroads tour and is worth having. 

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Eric Clapton - God's Straits (Tarantura TDVDEC-4 & TCDEC-71-1, 2), 3.1 out of 5 based on 5 ratings

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