Springfield 1975 (no label)
Civic Center, Springfield, MA – June 24th, 1975
Disc 1 (55:02): Opening, Layla, Bell Bottom Blues, Key To The Highway, instrumental jam, Can’t Find My Way Home, Better Make It Through Today, Keep On Growing
Disc 2 (67:27): Teach Me To Be Your Woman, Mainline Florida, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Tell The Truth, Crossroads, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad
Eric Clapton’s 1975 There’s One In Every Crowd tour was the second of the US after his triumphant return as a solo artist. As a whole, the concerts are much more polished than they were the previous summer with less drunken performances and more polish. Although he relied as much as ever upon George Terry on a nightly basis and a host of guest appearances by Carlos Santana, there is still Clapton’s genius holding everything together. The June 24th show in Springfield Massachusetts is in the second week of the tour and exists in a phenomenal audience recording. Made by the same taper who recorded the Pink Floyd show in Boston that summer, it has been pressed before on Jesus Coming(Slunky 19A/B) and on Joker/Summer Of 1975 (Mid Valley 034/035/036/037) where it is paired with the August 14th Los Angeles show.
Springfield 1975 sounds crisper than the others and comes directly from the master cassette and remastered by Steve Hopkins. According to the label, “the depth to the sound quality comparable to more contemporary digital recordings.”
The tape begins with the mc’s introduction and two full minutes of tuning follows before they rip into “Layla” which segues directly into the slower and more stately “Bell Bottom Blues.” An eight minute version of “Key To The Highway” follows with very delicate guitar riffing by Clapton and Terry throughout the improvisation in the middle. There is a a short delay and Clapton says, “if you just hold on a second as we repair our drum kit.” Resuming after a while, Clapton begins playing a Carl Perkins style guitar riff and the band join in and follow with a nine minute long instrumental improvisation. Somewhere in the middle they switch from the Perkins to a heavier, Black Sabbath style riff and although it isn’t a brilliant piece it is fun hearing such extensive open ended jamming.
“Now you’re gonna be cool now because we’re gonna change the thrill a bit” Clapton says before introducing Yvonne Elliman. “Boy the man is hot tonight!” She shouts before mentioning Blind Faith and singing “Can’t Find My Way Home.” Clapton introduces the other female singer, Marcy Levy, before her solo spot “Teach Me To Be Your Woman.” “Thank you Eric Crapton” she jokes. “That was some Japanese” she says before singing.
The show has been at a high level up to this point but really takes off with “Mainline Florida.” Terry handles the vocals and in the long improvisation in the middle he and Clapton play a perfect game of echo with riffs from “Layla” and “Motherless Children” as well as the song they’re playing. It is slick and rehearsed and very effective. Before “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” he thanks Bob Dylan by saying, “We’d like to pay our respects to a great poet. One of the great poets of our time.” The set closes with a strange version of “Crossroads.” The melody is much more mellow than the well known Cream cover. When he comes back for the encores Clapton says, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming…it means a lot,” sounding genuinely touched by the response. “I hope you enjoy what comes next” as Carlos Santana comes on stage and they play a twenty minute Latin flavored version of “Why Does Love Go To Be So Sad” with a drum solo in the middle. Overall this is one of the best audience recordings of a superior show which is an essential document to own.
Thanks for the review . I knew of the Steve Hopkins remaster and was hoping / figuring this release would be sourced from it. This title sounds wonderful especially when you consider it is almost 34 yrs old. Throw in the performance and this is a title to pick-up.
I have always liked Mainline Florida done live and this is a jumpin version. I would have preferred Eric on lead vocals though. Crossroads is very different , but I enjoy the performance of it here.
The atmosphere on this recording is very nice and also adds to the enjoyment of the show – thanks.