Osaka 1979 (ECOT-79-4 A&B)
Furitsu Taiiku-Kan, Osaka, Japan – December 1st, 1979
Disc 1 (62:39): 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 (52:01): 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
Eric Clapton played ten shows in Japan in 1979, his longest tour of the country and one of the longest by any western musical artist in the seventies. Although he was supporting Backless at the time, released a year prior to this visit, only a few songs from the album are in the setlist.
Osaka 1979 is a good to very good audience recording of the entire concert. The taper was distant from the stage resulting in Clapton’s vocals low in the mix and his song introductions being barely audible. However, the music is loud enough and the entire show can be heard and enjoyed.
The entire show has a laid-back, relaxed quality to it before a polite and appreciative audience. The show starts off with “Tulsa Time” segueing into “Early In The Morning.” Clapton gives a virtuoso performance in the traditional blues cover.
“Long Tall Sally” is very spirited and receives a nice ovation from the audience. Clapton plays an expansive, delicate little solo over the country shuffle beat as the song fades out.
Chris Stainton pulls double time in “Worried Life Blues,” playing solos on both electric piano and organ. Afterwards Clapton gives Albert Lee a spirited, vocacious introduction for his first song of the night “Country Boy,” a song I could personally do without.
The audience become excited after the long “Rambling On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman” medley. Some audience members can be heard begging for “Cocaine” before he plays the track. It is the big crowd pleaser in Osaka and it receives a loud ovation.
Osaka 1979 is the fourth and final title in the Eric Clapton On Tour boxset, providing silver titles of previously unreleased concerts. It was offered initially in a limited edition (300 copies) 8-CD set packaged in a CD-sized box and cardboard sleeves for each show along with a foldout page with the show dates and setlists. Each of the four were subsequently released individually in 2CD fatboy jewel cases with very minimal artwork on each.
It is a good, but not great show and is worth having for those with a particular fetish for the Just One Night era.