Eric Clapton – The Lost Stockholm Show (ECSM 003/004)

The Lost Stockholm Show (EC Sound Mate 003/004)

Isstadion, Stockholm, Sweden – March 15, 1985

Disc1. Everybody Oughta Make A Change – Motherless Children – I Shot The Sheriff – Same Old Blues – Blues Power – Tangled In Love – Steppin’ Out – Tulsa Time – Lay Down Sally – Something Is Wrong With My Baby.

Disc2. Badge – Behind The Sun – Wonderful Tonight – Let It Rain – Who’s Lovin’ You Tonight – Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Ramblin on My Mind – Cocaine – Layla – Knock on Wood- Further O Up The Road.

“EC’s Sound Mate” is a new Japanese CD-R label and “The Lost Stockholm Show” is their second release ever. All releases on this label are issued in a thin, tri-fold plastic gatefold with padded sleeves for the discs and all of them share the same front cover, the only difference among them being just different back sleeves.

“The Lost Stockholm Show” covers EC’s last gig of his short UK & Scandinavian Tour in late February / early March 1985 which comprised a total of twelve shows. The back sleeve claims the recording was taken from the master tapes and also treated to a 24-bit mastering process, whatever that means. The result is absolutely excellent anyway and it is a real shame that this is not pressed in silver discs.

This tour remains as one of my all-time favourites, not only because of the band EC toured with (Donald “Duck” Dunn on bass, Chris Stainton on keyboards, Jamie Oldaker on drums…) but also because EC was still playing “Blackie” onstage. The 1985 World Tour would be the last one for “Blackie”, which began to show wear and had to be retired before it completely fell apart.

The first two numbers see EC warm up on slide guitar before he throws in a great solo on “I Shot The Sheriff”. EC’s guitar work is excellent too on “Same Old Blues”, which is introduced as a new song and allows him to squeeze off some powerful solos. Chris Stainton does a great job on the piano on “Blues Power” and EC again shows he is in good form tonight. “Tangled In Love” is a world away from EC’s blues roots but it is a catchy pop song and it is “EC enhanced” with a great guitar outro.

Each one of the backing vocalists have their own solo spot at 7+ minutes: Shaun Murphy is featured on “Steppin’ Out” and Marcy Levy sings “Something Is Wrong With My Baby”, which has got to be a favourite. “Tulsa Time”, which would be the opening song on the US Tour one month later, and “Lay Down Sally” are sandwiched between them.

A nice rendition of “Badge” opens disc2 and gives way to the mellower sounds of the underrated “Behind The Sun” and “Wonderful Tonight”. Stainton shows his abilities on the keyboards on “Let It Rain” before EC shows his on the guitar with a blistering solo. There is a small cut just between “Let It Rain” and the blues medley of “Who’s Loving You Tonight – Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Ramblin on My Mind” that follows, but no music is lost. This blues medley is something to listen to, with lots of key changes and all musicians taking their own solos. “Cocaine” follows and features an intro that has got to be a “grabber”. “Layla” closes the show with EC seeming uninspired to me while playing the solo but things get better when it’s time for the coda. EC farewells the crowd by saying “Thank you Stockholm, you’re a great crowd” but he returns for the encore, which consists of a very appropiate “Knock On Wood” and a 10-minute “Further On Up The Road”, which EC also uses to introduce the band.

“The Lost Stockholm Show” is an excellent release and its only downside is that it is not pressed in silvers discs, as it deserves. Recommended.

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