Eric Clapton – Caught In The Act (Tricone 025-030)

Eric Clapton – Caught In The Act (Tricone 025-030)
Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – October 5, 1985
Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – October 6, 1985
Kouseinenkin-Kaikan, Osaka, Japan – October 7, 1985

Discs 1, 3 & 5. Opening – Tulsa Time – Motherless Children – I Shot The Sheriff – Same Old Blues – Tangled In Love – White Room – Hold Me Now – Wonderful Tonight – She’s Waiting – Lay Down Sally
Discs 2, 4 & 6. Badge – Let It Rain – Double Trouble – Cocaine – Layla – Forever Man – Band Intro – Further On Up The Road.

Eric Clapton : Guitar & Vocals
Tim Renwick : Guitar
Donald “Duck” Dunn : Bass
Chris Stainton : Keyboards
Jamie Oldaker : Drums
Shaun Murphy & Laura Creamer : Backing Vocals

1985 was a very busy year for EC. His World Tour started in the UK in early February (well documented on Beano’s “Touch Of Class“) and, after a few Scandinavian dates, a mammoth US Tour followed. It was divided into two legs and very fine examples of them are Mid Valley’s “After Hours” and Beano’s “L.A. Nights“. After a two-month hiatus, EC and his band disembarked in Japan for the sixth time in his career for a six-date tour before heading to Alaska and then Europe. EC Is Here label was a pioneer in issuing a 12CD boxset putting together all six shows performed in Japan that year. It was numbered and limited to 300 copies only and needless to say is long out of print.

If you missed EC Is Here’s boxset, Tricone brings you a new opportunity to put your hands on every show of the Japan Tour of 1985, presenting all six shows on two new 6CD sets namely “Caught In The Act” and “No Turning Back“. Claimed to be taken from the master tapes, the sound is crystal clear and Tricone’s recordings have to be upgrades to EC Is Here’s.

Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – October 5, 1985

EC used to open the 1985 shows with slide numbers Tulsa Time and Motherless Child playing a pearlescent blue Roger Giffin Stratocaster and this Tour of Japan is not any different. EC announces I Shot The Sheriff is the next song. The crowd do celebrate it and I celebrate it too because it is a very fine version!! Same Old Blues is as fiery as the studio version and it can’t be anything but a highlight.  EC sings some different lyrics than on the official album, by the way. Tangled In Love is the second song from the “Behind The Sun” album to be performed. A very pop song, it is a whole world away from its predecessor but still an all-time favourite of mine that proves EC can approach any music style with success.

EC takes the audience back to 1967 for a fabled performance of White Room and after that Laura Creamer & Shaun Murphy are introduced for a rousing version of Hold Me Now, with a very short but effective guitar solo in the middle of the song. Wonderful Tonight is very simple and that makes it beautiful. At this point there’s a cut in the tape but no music is lost and the transition between tracks is done very smoothly. The catchy She’s Waiting features some nice guitar work by EC and gives way to bluegrass number Lay Down Sally, which is very well received by the audience and sees Tim Renwick play the guitar solo.

Badge, which sounds quite uninspired tonight,  segues into a very nice rendition of Let It Rain. Double Trouble has got to get all five stars as it sees a terrific guitar lead work from EC. Cocaine follows but it is not one of the best performances ever. Layla is a whole different story: the guitar solo is a show stealer indeed and the coda too is a magnificent ending to the show.

The encore consists of two songs: the rocking Forever Man and Further On Up The Road. In between, you will hear “Duck” Dunn introduce EC as “Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself!“.

 Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – October 6, 1985

Same venue, same setlist. Sheriff never dissapoints and Same Old Blues (with different lyrics again!) is easily a favourite of mine. Chris Stainton does an outstanding job on the keyboards and I got to love EC’s passionate second guitar solo. A breathtaking one!! Tangled In Love takes me back to the Summer of 1989…..

[ I was 16 and that’s when I bought “Behind The Sun”, my first ever EC album. That happened just two weeks after a friend of mine lent me the “Slowhand” album on cassette. I remember being on holidays sitting in the sunshine reading Stepehen King’s “It” while playing “Behind The Sun” to death!! Me being 16 and it being a pop song it is easy to imagine Tangled In Love was one of the tracks I liked most…. It just took me longer to get used to the blues sounds of Same Old Blues… ]

… and tonight’s solos are spot on!! EC introduces White Room by saying “This is an old one from 1967”.  Fueled on wah wah, we get a nice, solid solo. Now it’s time for the backing vocalists to have their share of the spotlight. EC introduces them and then Shaun Murphy says “We’d like to sing a song out to all the men in the audience, right now….” right before the first chords to Hold Me Now start to sound. You should note there are no cuts of any kind on this first half of the show which makes it a very enjoyable experience to listen to.

Without doubt, Badge is superior to last night’s with a trademark solo from our man. Double Trouble will always be a winner horse and tonight is no exception. EC blesses us with ten minutes of awesome soloing!!! Cocaine was not my cup of tea last night and it won’t get my vote this time either as EC’s solo sounds quite disorderly to me…. Layla‘s coda never sounded so good as it sounded on the 1985 Tour… Maybe it was “Duck” Dunn, or Chris Stainton, or the fact that EC used to play Blackie…. or a combination of the three!! The thing is that EC melts my heart with those last 20 seconds….

EC plays the first solo on Forever Man and leaves the second one for Tim Renwick. “Duck” Dunn introduces EC as Mr. Wonderful Tonight again before the final number of the night. Further On Up The Road features solos from EC, Tim Renwick, Chris Stainton and Shaun and Laura even get to sing the last two verses!

 Kouseinenkin-Kaikan, Osaka, Japan – October 7, 1985

It looks like Tulsa Time and Motherless Children are very good selections for warming up because…. I Shot The Sheriff is yet again outstanding!! So is Same Old Blues, which is full of intensity. In a different way, Tangled In Love is energic too. [By the way, the last few seconds of the last solo remind me a lot of the guitar lead on The Knack’s “My Sharona”. I would like to hear someone else’s opinion on that!]

No mention of 1967 this time… EC only says “This one’s called White Room“. Tonight’s solo is great and slightly more extended than on the previous nights. Nothing else I can ask for!!! EC flubs a note on the intro to Wonderful Tonight but the rest is absolutely immaculate. Lay Down Sally is accompanied by the audience clapping.

Badge is better than the previous nights but EC’s solo still misses that special touch. Thank Heavens we still have another three nights in store. There is a cut right after Let It Rain but the tape is musically complete and the great rendition of Double Trouble is present on the tape in its entirety. Like on Badge,  I miss something special on Cocaine too. EC makes a mistake at the beginning of his solo on Layla but his romantic playing on the coda does make up for that. The trio consisting of Forever Man, “Mr. Wonderful Tonight himself!” and Further On Up The Road close the show.

With no inserts/goodies of any kind, the artwork is quite sober and somewhat below par when compared to EC Is Here’s boxset. But the sound quality of these 25-year-old tapes is better than everything else that was previously available, making “Caught In The Act” and “No Turning Back” a couple of excellent releases to own and are highly recommended.

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  1. Well, disc times are definitely different. Whether Tricone and EC IS Here’s releases are sourced from the same master tapes or not, I of course can’t tell for sure…. but to my ears Tricone’s remastering work sounds clearer. Since the 12CD boxset has been out of print for years, “Caught In The Act” and “No Turning Back” are excellent alternate options these days… even if you have the 12CD boxset…. but of course, this is nothing but just my humble opinion.

  2. These are NOT upgrades – just a direct copy from the EC IS HERE box set, so if you already have that superb 12CD set, you don’t need these.


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