Eric Clapton – Principle Of God (Tricone 051/052)

Principle Of God (Tricone 051/052)

Budokan Theatre, Tokyo, Japan – December 5, 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.

“Principle Of God” is Tricone’s second visit to this show after “Just An Illusion”. The fact that I don’t have that first attempt on this show prevents me from comparing both tapes but based on the existing review this seems to have been taped from a certain distance from the stage as well and there is echo too – however, I don’t seem to find any cut during (or volume increase after) Old Love which leads me to think “Principle Of God” might have been sourced from a different tape or remastered more carefully. Anyone shedding light on this matter will be most welcome!

Pretending and No Alibis are both strong openers but I can’t find any emotion on them. Running On Faith gets things a little bit better and by the time the outro to Sheriff starts EC’s concentration is full to its potential. EC plays his solo on wah-wah on White Room but it won’t mean much to me. Can’t Find My Way Home featuring Nathan East on vocals preceeds a rocking version of Bad Love which sees Steve Ferrone make a mistake wanting to get back to the bridge while EC has not finished his solo yet. EC attacks his Stratocaster on an excellent version of Before You Accuse Me which has no room for keyboards other than Phillinganes’ work on the piano filling the air while EC is singing. Old Love is a highlight and it’s worth mentioning that after Nathan East’s solo in the middle of the song EC plays what I think is the intro to Cocaine for a few seconds. 

Badge is executed very correctly with EC delivering a solid lead and Phil Palmer replicating the solo that EC played on the studio for Cream’s Goodbye album! There’s a nice conversation between Katie Kissoon’s voice and Clapton’s licks on the outro to Wonderful Tonight. This is one of those rare nights on which EC won’t acknowledge Katie after the song. On Cocaine EC changes the order of the lyrics in the second verse by singing:

If you got bad news, you wanna kick them blues; Cocaine. 

When your day is done and you wanna run; Cocaine.

Layla is flawless but I won’t find “that Clapton note” before the coda. The encore begins with a two minute intro to Crossroads which is no other than the Boom Boom riff with the audience clapping along!! But it has to be Sunshine the one that steals the encore. EC enters into John Lee Hooker mode again for a brief rendition of Boogie Chillen’ just before the drum/precussion solo which – to my benefit – is shorter than usual.

The 1990 Tour of Japan is very well documented but Tricone’s “Just An Illusion” and “Principle Of God” are the two only silver pressed releases covering this particular gig. Since “Principle Of God” is the latest title to have been released one should assume it is an upgrade. Still you might want to pass on this one since there are better titles available but it has got to be a must have if you’re a completist.

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