Eric Clapton – Perpetual Black (Tricone 017/018)

Perpetual Black (Tricone 017/018)

Niigata Kenmin-Kaikan, Niigata, Japan – November 27th, 1981

Disc 1 (45:50):  Tulsa Time, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, I Shot The Sheriff, After Midnight, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Setting Me Up, Another Ticket

Disc 2 (56:20):  Badge, Motherless Children, Ramblin ‘On My Mind / Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Blues Power, Cocaine, Layla, Member Introduction, Further On Up The Road

Eric Clapton visited  Japan, where he recorded the live album Just One Night, for the first time in two years at the end of 1981.  Eight shows were scheduled beginning in Niigata on November 27th, and the opening night has never circulated until now.  Perpetual Black contains a very good audience recording of the night.  The tape deteriorate a bit beginning with “Blues Power” producing a bit of distortion, but is not too distracting.

The setlist is the same as the Nagoya show on November 30th which differs from the later shows on the tour by having “Badge” instead of “Blow Wind Blow.”  Thus the concert begins with more familiar numbers starting with “Tulsa Time.”  The following songs “Lay Down Sally” and “Wonderful Tonight” sound rather stiff in performance.  

Playing “I Shot The Sheriff” at a quick pace, the show begins to liven up.  A hopping “After Midnight” is further testament of the increase in confidence in the musicians.  

The next three songs form somewhat of a diversion from the norm.  Gary Booker leads them in an excellent rendition of “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” and Albert Lee sings on the Dire Straits cover “Setting Me Up.”  The title track from the new album Another Ticket is the only new song played.

“Badge” is played at a very slow tempo and has a strange solo in the middle.  The two song blues medley has “Rambling On My Mind” and “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” an arrangement that would last for several more tours with some additions.  It is Clapton’s showcase for long slow blues improvisations.  On this night it goes on for ten minutes. 

A hot version of “Cocaine” and “Layla,” the first part only, close the show.  The only encore, after the band introduction, in the expected “Further On Up The Road.”  Tricone has produced another good title.  With all of the new Clapton tapes surfacing the past couple of years this is another important release worth having.   

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