Eric Clapton – Complete Montevideo 1990 (Paddington PADD – 044/045/046)

Complete Montevideo 1990 (Paddington PADD – 044/045/046)

Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay – October 3rd, 1990
Disc 1: Opening Sound Effect, Pretending, No Alibis, Running On Faith, I Shot The Sheriff, White Room, Can’t Find My Way Home, Bad Love, Before You Accuse Me, Old Love
Disc 2: Badge, Wonderful Tonight, Band Introductions, Cocaine, Layla, Crossroads, Sunshine Of Your Love
Disc 3: Opening Act By Mick Taylor: I Wonder Why, Laundromat Blues, Red House, Goin’ South, You Gotta Move

Paddington offers up a more complete version of Clapton’s performance from Montevideo than previous issues on CD by utilizing what sounds like a video source to supplement this superb sounding broadcast. This show has been previously released as Montevideo Blues Vol. 1 and Montevideo Blues Vol. 2 on United, also containing Mick Taylor’s set, Wonderful Montevideo on Heaven which has the date wrongly attributed to October 2nd, 1990, and Journey Man In Uruguay, from an anonymous CDR label. All of these sets are missing “Crossroads” and “Sunshine Of You Love”. The United titles are reported as being excellent soundboard but with a very loud crowd. Complete Montevideo 1990 from Paddington is superior in sound when compared to Journey Man In Uruguay having a fuller sound with a nice rich low end to it. Both of these titles also have ambient crowd mixed in common to radio broadcasts but does not detract from the listening.

Almost half the set is dedicated to songs from the new Journeyman LP with everything else coming from much earlier in Eric’s career. He seems to have completely abandoned all other 1980’s material at this point which many felt was not up to par with the rest of his catalog and some even seemed out of character for him. Clapton opens with three new tracks before settling into a few classics. The last 2:20 of “I Shot The Sheriff” is missing from Journey Man In Uruguay and this is the first place where Paddington switches to the alternate source. This alternate source, presumably from a video, doesn’t sound as good as the broadcast and runs too fast. The change in tape speed is a little awkward and Paddington chose to switch sources about 14 seconds too soon most likely for a cleaner edit. The original source returns for “White Room” and lasts until just after “Layla” where the alternate source returns for the final two tracks. Ray Cooper mentions Montevideo in his percussion solo during “Sunshine Of Your Love” confirming the location of the alternate source. There is a cut in just before “Layla” where “A Remark You Made” was edited out.  

Clapton supplemented his four piece band from the late eighties with a second guitar, percussion, and backing singers. This backing band was top notch and their performances were very consistent and polished. Eric plays with a certain confidence, no doubt due to the strength of the band and the new Journeyman material. Some new flavors are introduced into some of EC’s classics with a new arrangement for “I Shot The Sheriff” and a mysterious sounding “Can’t Find My Way Home” featuring Nathan East on lead vocal. Phil Palmer adds some very nice guitar work in “Can’t Find My Way Home” and “Before You Accuse Me” to name a few and “Wonderful Tonight” is the slowest and most dramatic version to date featuring scat vocals at the end from the backing singers. The massive crowd shouts their approval during “Cocaine” and can be heard singing along with the main theme.

Disc three contains Mick Taylor’s opening act and is also excellent soundboard. The set list is made up of some great classic blues numbers and Mick’s playing is very enjoyable with a solid performance from his band. Having these bands on the same bill is really a nice pairing.

This set comes in a clear fatboy jewel case with a fold out poster that features photos from the Journeyman tour program. Complete Montevideo 1990 is well worth the purchase and will probably hold definitive status for this show, at least until the complete “I Shot The Sheriff” and encores surface from the better quality source. My only complaint is that the alternate source was not speed corrected but that aside, this is still one of my favorite Clapton titles of 2006. 

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