George Harrison with Eric Clapton – Old Friends, Old Love (Tricone 045/046)

Old Friends, Old Love (Tricone 045/046)

Hiroshima Sunplaza, Hiroshima, Japan – December 6th, 1991

Disc 1 (73:07):  I Want To Tell You, Old Brown Shoe, Taxman, Give Me Love, If I Needed Someone, Something, What Is Life, Dark Horse, Piggies, Pretending, Old Love, Badge, Wonderful Tonight

Disc 2 (61:26):  Got My Mind Set On You, Cloud Nine, Here Comes The Sun, My Sweet Lord, All Those Years Ago, Cheer Down, Devil’s Radio, Isn’t It A Pity, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Roll Over Beethoven

Some have argued that George Harrison’s Hiroshima performance is the best concert of the tour.  While that is debatable, there’s no denying that a week into the tour Harrison has become relaxed enough to enjoy himself and the band familiar enough with the material to deliver a truly hot show.  Old Friends, Old Love presents a new tape source for this great show. 

The first tape to surface was pressed on the no label Hiroshima (GH-001/-002).  Another tape surfaced and was pressed on Live In Peace (Front Page FP-0040020/1).  Tricone use the master cassette of this source for their release and is a significant improvement.  It is clearer, more detailed and highly enjoyable.  While it is still a bit distant and is not “perfect” or “amazing,” it lacks the “fuzziness” I complained about in my Live In Peace review. 

The setlist is the same as the Osaka and Tokyo shows, beginning with “I Want To Tell You.”  And like the other shows, Clapton receives a loud ovation for his solo in that song.  “Taxman” is, according to Harrison, a song “written six hundred years ago.”

“What Is Life?” and “Dark Horse” were two songs that were in the 1974 setlist.  But both sound much better with many years of hindsight.  “Dark Horse” in particular suffered from his throat problems in the early seventies.  Even the studio recording sounded poor, but live on this tour one can appreciate the subtle melody and arrangement.

Clapton’s set sounds great with a particularly effective version of “Badge.”  It’s a shame that Harrison, who co-wrote the song with Clapton for Cream, never joined in. 

The second Harrison set is played at almost breakneck speed.  Very little is said by way of introduction outside of the basics.  So he introduces the new material and explains how “All Those Years Ago” is about John Lennon.  “Devil’s Radio,” one of the more obscure songs in the set, is curiously given a prominent position in the show.  Harrison mentions that the song is about “one of the worst things imaginable:  gossip.”

“Isn’t It A Pity” and the first encore “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a very depressing double whammy to come at the end of the show, but the rocking “Roll Over Beethoven” with the loud drum solo in the middle is a lot of fun.  Old Friends, Old Love is packaged in a double slimline jewel case.  The artwork resembles the other 1991 tour release that have been released recently, utilizing the black and white front and color photos in the inside.  Overall Hiroshima is a great show to have and this is a nice sounding document.   

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