Page & Collins (E.C. Is Here DJ Copy 132/133)
Civic Hall, Guildford, Surrey, England – May 23rd, 1983
Disc 1: Tulsa Time, I Shot The Sheriff, Worried Life Blues, Lay Down Sally, Let It Rain, Double Trouble, Sweet Little Lisa, The Shape You’re In, Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2: Blues Power, Sad Sad Sad, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Ramblin’ On My Mind, Layla, Further On Up The Road (w/Jimmy Page, Phil Collins), Cocaine (w/ Jimmy Page, Phil Collins), Roll Over Beethoven (w/ Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Chas & Dave), You Win Again (w/ Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Chas & Dave, P. Brady), Matchbox (w/ Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Chas & Dave, P. Brady), Goodnight Irene (w/ Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, Chas & Dave, P. Brady)
Page & Collins is a complete audience recording of a very interesting night on the Money & Cigarettes tour. The taper was fairly close to the stage and the music and talking are up front and clear. Unfortunately the tape is also rather dull and compressed with the low end sounding faint and the drums sounding mushy. There are also numerous little cuts in the tape mostly between songs that are not too serious but are annoying after a while and make me wish the label did a better job editing them out. Heartbreakers issued this tape on Guilford 1983 (HB 913 1/2) in 1999. Not having heard that release a comparison can’t be made, but Heartbreakers were a solid label and the sound quality is probably comparable. It is good to see this tape receive another release since it is a particularly historic night that is fascinating to hear.
Money & Cigarettes was a very mellow and laid back album and the same goes for the subsequent tour. It seems like he’s playing in slow motion for half the night with the emphasis upon majestic blues numbers like “Worried Life Blues”, “Double Trouble” and “The Shape You’re In”. “Let It Rain” contains the sweet little raindrops on the piano and picks up tempo by the end with a blistering solo played over the strong hammond organ. “We’d like to feature Albert Lee now” is Clapton’s introduction before the “Sweet Little Lisa”. “Blues Power” is played at almost double time and is an exception from the rest of the set list followed by yet another slow, majestic blues number “Sad Sad Sad” which seques directly into “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” and “Ramblin’ On My Mind”. “Layla” is complete with piano coda, but doesn’t have the fire and passion of earlier versions. It is the perfect way to end the set. One wonders what forces were at work in Guilford that night, but this show is important for the extensive encores featuring Jimmy Page, Phil Collins, and Chas & Dave joining Clapton’s band.
This represented the first time that Eric Clapton publicly played with Jimmy Page and is probably the first time they jammed together since the Immediate sessions in the mid sixties (and whose release would be a touchy issue between them for many years). This show is also a prelude to Page’s further collaboration with Clapton later in the year on the ARMS tour. And Collins was between his solo album Hello, I Must Be Going, Genesis’ fourteenth album, and working with Robert Plant on The Principle Of Moments album and tour and plays on a second drum kit. He would work more extensively with Clapton later his next two album releases, Behind The Sun and August. After the whole band in introduced to much applause the play a seven minute version of “Further On Up The Road” with both Clapton and Page taking turns playing a solo.
Page’s sounds a lot like the one used in “Darlene” from Coda. Chas & Dave are introduced as two reprobates after “Cocaine” and play a long version of “Roll Over Beethoven” and the Hank Williams tune “You Win Again”. “Goodnight Irene” ends the evening as it would for the ARMS concerts too. It is a great end to a great show. The label packages this in a big but thin cardboard gatefold sleeve which they have utilized for several of their releases. It opens up and has a sleeve to store the cds. All in this series feature on of Clapton’s guitars on the front and an action picture on the back of him using it in concert. It is an interesting packaging design but it can get damaged easily. Overall this is a good release with a very good recording of an historic concert that is worth having.