Considered by many to be one of the best albums Eric Clapton ever released, one that remains highly celebrated for those who prefer his music before 461 Ocean Boulevard. For those who know it very well, Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert album is being reissued and remastered on vinyl by Audio Fidelity. For those who haven’t heard of it or wanted to pick it up but haven’t been able to find any pressing of it, this will be your chance.
Performed and released in 1973, these performances at the Rainbow Theater in London were done after the huge success Clapton had with the first and only Derek And The Dominoes album. He had taken a two year hiatus from the studio and the stage, partly due to a heroin addiction. Once he was able to move himself out of that phase, he wanted to do a concert and he chose to bring on some of his friends. Those friends included Pete Townshend, Steve Winwood, Ron (“Ronnie”) Wood, Jim Capaldi, Rick Grech and many more. If you know who those guys are, it’s essentially members of Blind Faith, Traffic, The Faces, and of course The Who. The show was meant to be informal, nothing more than a casual jam session to those who wanted to see and hear the music. Fans were praised by greatness, and despite the fact the live album only contained six songs, it received great reviews and sold considerably well. Then again, it was Eric Clapton. The record featured new performance of “Presence Of The Lord”, “After Midnight”, “Little Wing”, “Roll It Over”, “Pearly Queen”, and “Badge”.
The album is significant partly because it was his first show where he introduced his Fender Stratocaster guitar that he simply called “Blackie”, due to the black paint job. It would become one of his trademark guitars for the next 40 years. Also, a year after he released this live album, he came out with 461 Ocean Boulevard, the album that featured his cover of Bob Marley’s “I Shot The Sheriff”. That lead him to having a lot of pop radio hits for the remainder of the 1970’s, carrying him through having more in the 1980’s. While Clapton never once gave up the blues, many felt his hit phase was the end of one era and the start of another, leaving many fans still split to this day, despite the fact they still honor his guitar work.
The new pressing, which will be packaged in a gatefold cover similar to the 1973 original, will be released on November 18th, in time for the holiday season. With the number of Clapton albums Audio Fidelity have been remastering for compact disc, this is the first album that is getting a vinyl edition.