Stormy Monday (Paddington PADD 040/041/042)
Paddington has established themselves as one of the premier Eric Clapton related labels. They have released very comprehensive and definitive sets covering the Layla sessions and their stint at the Fillmore East. Stormy Monday, released in February, is their documentation of the famous tapes covering Derek And The Dominoes two shows in Santa Monica on November 20th, 1970.
The sources covering the two shows have the same sound quality being very good and clear mono audience tapes with no crowd noise. The guitars are loudest in the mix with the drums and vocals pushed lower. Four songs (“Derek’s Boogie”, “Blues Power”, “Stormy Monday”,”Tell The Truth”) first surfaced on vinyl in 1974 by TMOQ as Stormy Monday (TMOQ 71082) .
The first compact disc releases simply copied this material from vinyl and they include Cash Perkins (World Production of Compact Music – WPOCM CD 1190D061-2 and also Black Panther – BP083). Live At Santa Monica (Original TMOQ Tape Volume 1) (WT 2004117) on Watch Tower contains the afternoon show in its entirely along with the acetate of “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?”
The first release of the afternoon and evening shows together was done by the Empress Valley people over two releases and two different labels in August 2000. The Majestic Stand (EVSD13/14/15/16) is a four disc set with the addition of the October 16th, 1970 Electric Factory show in Philadelphia and this comes in a limited edition and non-limited edition.
Mid Valley released the same title at the same time, with the same shows in the same quality as The Majestic Stand (MVR 068/069/070/071). Everything is equal between these two except for the cover art. The afternoon show is much louder and more clear on Paddington, and the evening show, which sounds distorted on Mid Valley, is much sharper on the new release.
The most likely reason is that Paddington used very clean second generation tapes which were not available five years ago. There doesn’t seem to be much evidence of excessive mastering of the tapes except perhaps to increase the volume. Regardless of the reasons this new release by Paddington is an improvement over the Mid Valley release.
Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA – November 20th, 1970 (afternoon)
Disc 1 (72:33): Got To Get Better In A Little While, Key To The Highway, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad, Blues Power, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Tell The Truth, All Night Long/Derek’s Boogie, Let It Rain
The afternoon show is much more compact (time restraints) but very intense with “Tell The Truth” a highlight with Barlett’s slithering slide guitar dueling with Clapton’s wah-wah over the chunky rhythm. The evening show is a bit more laid back with the band really taking their time to get into the show. “Eric Clapton, Derek & The Dominoes, Delaney Bramlett” the mc says while the band begin “Got To Get Better In A Little While” (so much for Clapton’s anonymity!)
The set list is the same for the first four songs until they launch into “Blues Power” which in turn segues into “Stormy Monday”. “Let It Rain” contains a lengthy drum solo and “Everyday I Have The Blues” is the final encore.
Paddington use high quality thick glossy inserts on the artwork. It also contains many inserts including commentary, instructions to construct an LP style sleeve with the William Stout cover, and a poster of the cover art. This is one of the more elaborate productions I’ve seen in a while. The vinyl boot and some websites today claim these are soundboard recordings.
Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA – November 20th, 1970 (evening)
Disc 2 (35:16): Tuning, Got To Get Better In A Little While, Key To The Highway, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
Disc 3 (50:58): Tuning, Blues Power, Stormy Monday, Tell The Truth, Let It Rain, Everyday I Have The Blues
The concerts themselves are excellent documents of a very happy and enthusiastic Eric Clapton and his band. Delaney Bramlett joins the band onstage for both shows except for the encore of the evening show “Everyday I Have The Blues”. He adds his slide guitar to the fun and is a great counterpoint throughout the evening. He even adds vocals, singing “All Night Long” in the afternoon.
It could be because they are very clear and don’t have any audience noise. But these are very clean audience tapes taken from second generation copies with the cuts and edits smoothed out. Regardless, with all of the Derek And The Dominoes product hitting the market recently this one really stands out for sound quality, the enjoyment of the show and presentation.