Hiroshima 1979 (ETOC-79-2 A&B)
Yubin Chokin Hall, Hiroshima, Japan – November 28th, 1979
Disc 1 (59:51): Tulsa Time, Early In The Morning, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, If I Don’t Be There By Morning, Worried Life Blues, Country Boy, All Our Past Times, Blues Power, Double Trouble
Disc 2 (48:42): Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Setting Me Up, Rambling On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved a Woman, Cocaine, Layla, Further On Up the Road
Hiroshima was the fifth stop on Eric Clapton’s 1979 tour of Japan and his first visit to the city. Hiroshima 1979 documents the event utilizing a good but slightly muddy and distorted audience recording taped very close to the stage. If the taper adjusted the levels, this would have been THE best document from the tour.
There is a cut after “Country Boy” and after “Setting Me Up.” But the only destructive cut is after “Rambling On My Mind” which eliminates the opening notes of “Cocaine.”
The set is the same as others on this tour. Clapton’s new “English” band have settled upon a good groove with these numbers and add to them each night. Clapton himself is in a lively mood, bordering upon the bizarre. He don’t speak much, but he affects unique singing styles and intonations throughout the evening.
“Tulsa Time” is a good shuffle to start the show and during “Early In The Morning” Clapton sings with a sleazy, honky-tonk twang in his voice. He continues the inflection during “Long Tall Sally,” really emphasizing the country style of the song.
Albert Lee’s best contribution to the show comes early. His solo in “If I Don’t Be There By Morning” is really effective, one of the best of the evening. He also sings “Country Boy,” the first of his two solo numbers, with a lot of gusto.
But things take a strange turn in the middle of the show. “Blues Power” contains several long improvisation passages in the middle, but Clapton’s fingers get stuck in the strings at certain points, especially by the song’s end. And during “Double Trouble” Chris Stainton plays a slow moving, church organ sounding solo.
During an enthusiastic “Ramblin’ On My Mind” Clapton throws in a bit of “Five Long Years,” the Eddie Boyd blues which he would later record in 1994 on From The Cradle, before the segue into “Have You Ever Loved A Woman.” The big crowd pleaser is “Cocaine” which has a very unusual psychedelic guitar solo in the middle.
“Layla” closes the show and, after a brief band introduction, they play “Further On Up The Road” for the encore. This would be the final time he plays in Hiroshima until 1991 when he came with George Harrison.
Like the other three titles, Hiroshima 1979 is part of the Eric Clapton On Tour boxset and comes in a cardboard sleeve. It is also available individually, packaged in a fatboy jewel case with very pain graphics. Despite the distortion, it is one of the better sounding recordings from the tour and is worth having.