Gold Flavor (Tricone 057/058)
Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – December 9, 1990
Disc1. Opening – 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.
Disc2. Badge – Wonderful Tonight – Member Introduction – Cocaine – A Remark You Made – Layla – Crossroads – Sunshine Of Your Love.
Eric Clapton: Guitar, Vocals
Phil Palmer: Guitar
Steve Ferrone: Drums
Nathan East: Bass, Vocals
Greg Phillrnganes: Keyboards
Roy Cooper: Percussion
Tessa Niles: Backing Vocals
Katie Kissn: Backing Vocals
It was always hard for me to believe there were not good audience recordings from Clapton’s 1990 Tour Of Japan in existence…. A couple of years ago MidValley released “Seven Nights Of Pleasure” but they just did not do the awesome job we collectors expected from them. The best tape in that boxset was the excellent December 6th show….. The December 9th gig was also featured but “Gold Flavour” is without doubt a much better tape than MVR’s.
The show kicks off with three songs from the “Journeyman” album. Pretending is great, with Eric aggresively attacking his guitar on the first of solo. The band (or is it Eric himself?) seems to get a little bit lost for a couple of seconds right after Eric’s intro on No Alibis… Running On Faith is the third song from the Journeyman album. It is a mellow tune until Eric tears it down with his guitar solo on the outro. Sheriff segues into White Room. Clocking at 9 and 6 minutes both of them feature extended, brilliant outros.
EC introduces the next song by saying “This is a song from 1968 or ’69….. recorded by Blind Faith, featuring Natahan East… and it’s called Can’t Find My Way Home“. Featuring a Nathan East solo on bass, this song gives a breather to EC’s Stratocaster which is powered up again for the remainder of the “Journeyman” material, which ranges from the rocking chords of Bad Love to the blues sounds of a heart-felt Before You Accuse Me and Old Love.
EC’s playing is flawless and this indeed is an inspired night for him. The Bo Diddley cover is quite extended and particularly good: with no keyboard solos, the spotlights are reserved for EC then Phil Palmer and then EC again – what a wonderful three-minute outro, btw!!
Once the stuff from the Journeyman album has been left behind, the second half of the set is full of Clapton classics: Badge is a favourite, with EC delivering a solid solo and Phil Palmer closing the song replicating the solo that Clapton recorded with Cream in the studio in late 1968. After that, the venue is flooded with 10 minutes full of fineness and softness from both EC and Katie Kissoon on Wonderful Tonight.
EC introduces the band before launching into Cocaine. Definitely a crowd pleaser, the Japanese audience gets wild as Clapton and Phillinganes produce some greats riffs on this one. Jaco Pastorius’ emotional A Remark You Made preceeds a very fine rendition of Layla. After four minutes of clapping and cheering from the audience the band returns for a 20-minute encore which consists of Crossroads seguing into Sunshine Of Your Love. The former features a long guitar intro which is much more welcome than the percussion outro that is present on the latter. The tape ends with some announcements made over the PA.
“Gold Flavour” is an excellent tape unearthed by Tricone that rivals with Tarantura’s “Blues Reversion” and “Boogie Chillen’“. Until a soundboard shows up, it definitely is the best recording of this particular show and is a recommended title to own.