Eric Clapton

Sample this concert
  1. 1Hello Old Friend03:57
  2. 2Sign Language03:57
  3. 3Knockin' On Heaven's Door05:51
  4. 4Blues Power12:13
  5. 5Layla12:33
Liner Notes

Eric Clapton - guitar, vocals; Marcy Levy - vocals, harmonica; Yvonne Elliman - guitar, vocals; Dick Sims - keyboards; George Terry - guitar; Carl Radle - bass; Jaime Oldacker - drums; Sergio Pastora Rodriguez - percussion

By 1976, Eric Clapton was a rock 'n' roll sensation, having lent his guitar virtuosity to some of the best bands in the world: from the Yardbirds and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers to Cream and Blind Faith. Although his self-titled debut solo album had been released six years earlier, addiction to heroin rendered him relatively musically incapacitated for several years, so his solo career wasn't really truly explored until 1974, propelled by the number one single "I Shot the Sheriff."

Riding a wave of popularity from his blend of commercial blues and soft rock, Clapton was a qualified arena powerhouse by the time this performance at the Dallas Convention Center occurred. While his quintessential album, Slowhand, wasn't released until the following year, Clapton had a wealth of material by now from which to choose. His backing musicians are tasteful and complimentary, and allow Clapton to bask in the force of his guitar ballads.

Much of this set is taken from Clapton's August release, No Reason to Cry, the album which found him working with Robbie Robertson and Rick Danko of the Band, and even Bob Dylan. Clapton kicks things off with the gentle "Hello Old Friend," his first top 40 single in two years, before going into a gorgeous rendition of Dylan's "Sign Language." Another Dylan cover, "Knockin' On Heaven's Door," follows, with Clapton's twangy personalization of the song. Female harmonies and Clapton's sheer confidence make this tune a highlight of the set.

Clapton then does what he first did best with a 12-minute rendition of "Blues Power," co-composed with Leon Russell and released on his first solo album. Here, Clapton really gets down, using his voice and bluesy guitar playing for an extended electric jam in the middle. The crowd goes nuts. A 12 and a half minute "Layla" ends the set, and a rather weary farewell from Clapton, "Good night Dallas, God Bless You All!" ends the recording.