Eric Clapton – What A Fool Believes (Tarantura TCDEC-61-1, 2)

What A Fool Believes (Tarantura TCDEC-61-1, 2)

Bunka Taiikukan, Yokohama, Japan – December 8, 1981

Disc 1 (45:16):  Opening, Tulsa Time, Lay Down Sally, Wonderful Tonight, After Midnight, I Shot The Sheriff, introduction, A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Country Boy, Another Ticket

Disc 2 (51:07):  Blues Power, Blow Wind Blow, Motherless Children, Ramblin’ On My Mind, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Cocaine, Layla, Band introduction, Further On Up The Road, SE – What A Fool Believes by the Doobie Brothers

Earlier this year Tricone released a very good new tape source for Eric Clapton’s December 8th, 1981 Yokohama show on Let Me In.  Some months later Tarantura release the second new tape source on What A Fool Believes.  Utilizing a previously uncirculated Mr. Peach tape, it is a significant upgrade in sound quality over Tricone.   It is much more up front, clear and detailed.  It is musically as complete as the other tape source but has the extra tape at the beginning and ending of the show which adds a bit more atmosphere to the concert.

It’s important to recall that 1981 was almost a total washout for Clapton.  Initially planned to have a full schedule of touring, his sickness in the US cancelled most of that our and pushed everything back.  The Japan dates seem more like a consolation than the cap on a successful year. 

And even if things had gone as planned, Clapton’s lack of enthusiasm for the new album Another Ticket is obvious.  In Yokohama only two songs from the new album made it into the set list, the first two singles, and one of them is a Muddy Waters cover.  “Rita Mae” and the most successful song on the LP “I Can’t Stand It” are ignored.

His talent is channelled into the strong blues numbers in the set.  “Tulsa Time” and the two songs from Slowhand “Lay Down Sally” and “Wonderful Tonight” sound nice, but the double time “After Midnight” is spectacular.  It’s a pure adrenaline rush and the entire band sounds happy to race through it.

After an epic rendition of “I Shot The Sheriff” Clapton says, “I’d like now to leave you in the capable hands of thre great Harry Hornby, alias Gary Brooker, who will be followed by the wonderful Albert Lee.”  The two non-Clapton solo songs follow, an excellent version of the classic “A White Shade Of Pale” (a feature of all the Booker shows) and Lee’s country picking in “Country Boy.”

“Another Ticket” sounds pretty but really fails to make an impression.  Things heat up a bit with a fiery “Blues Power” and a heavy “Blow Wind Blow.”  But it is “Cocaine” that really gets both artist and performer excited.  Clapton treats the audience with improvisations in the middle of the piece that are quite out of character for him.  The audience shouts the chorus and at the end Clapton tells them “well done!”  There is a short prelude to “Layla,” played as the closing number. 

Two minutes of audience cheering proceeds Clapton’s return to the stage to introduce the band and for the only encore of the night “Further On Up The Road.”  The final sound effects track lasts for only thirty-five seconds, but the Doobie Brothers’ “What A Fool Believes” is clearly audible over the PA system before the fade.  This is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with artwork by “Pignosis.”  Tarantura have released an impressive amount of new, excellent quality Eric Clapton tapes and this is another worth having.

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