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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historic live appearance ... courtesy of Pete Townshend!
Imagine you're Pete Townshend, circa 1972, early 1973. You have this friend who's not just a terrific guy but also happens to be one of the greatest guitar players ever (short of yourself and a select list of few others). In fact, the man is so great they started to compare him to God very shortly after he had emerged onto the scene; and he even managed to convince you...
Published on 29 Aug. 2003 by Themis-Athena

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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Show
This was Eric's first concert appearance since The Concert for Bangladesh. Organised by Pete Townshend, it got Eric in front of the `Palpitations', which featured a stellar line-up of talent, including Pete, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi and Rick Grech.

The LP and original CD had six tracks, but this edition is both expanded and improved in sound...
Published on 22 Feb. 2007 by Geoffrey Millar


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87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A historic live appearance ... courtesy of Pete Townshend!, 29 Aug. 2003
By 
Themis-Athena (from somewhere between California and Germany) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
Imagine you're Pete Townshend, circa 1972, early 1973. You have this friend who's not just a terrific guy but also happens to be one of the greatest guitar players ever (short of yourself and a select list of few others). In fact, the man is so great they started to compare him to God very shortly after he had emerged onto the scene; and he even managed to convince you that white boys CAN play the blues ... even if they are from England - something you had't even bought coming from the original Bluesbreaker Peter Mayall. Unfortunately, the man is sinking into the abyss called heroin addiction, and there doesn't seem to be anything anybody can do about it. You wreck your brain what to do about the situation. You know, of course, that only the junkie himself will ultimately be able to pull himself out of the abyss; but encouragement from people close to him is crucial - as crucial as a deeper motivation to make the struggle worthwhile.
In your friend's case, it seems obvious that his love of music has to be the thing that should restore his will to go on living. The problem is, except for an appearance at George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh, ca. 1 1/2 years earlier, the man hasn't appeared on stage, nor has he seen the inside of a recording studio. Before embarking on his slide into addiction, he has been part of a number of true supergroups; but everyone of them has disintegrated over time, many say before they had really had a chance to take off. So what are you going to do? - Eventually you convince a group of top-notch musicians to help you out once you get the guy to agree to appear on stage again, for two shows at London's Rainbow Theatre: Besides Ron Wood of the Jeff Beck Group and J.J. Cale's drummer/buddy Jimmy Karstein, Steve Winwood and Rick Grech agree to lend a hand, forgetting for a moment the short life of their own band with your friend, Blind Faith; and you also get the ok. from two other guys from Winwood's and Grech's more consistent band, Traffic - Jim Capaldi and Rebop Kwaku Baah. Although you guys will be presented as the "Palpitations," nobody is going to make the mistake to bill you as yet another supergroup for more purposes than those two shows. You don't have a lot of time to rehearse, and during the show you will find yourself joking that "none of that seems worth it now" because you "keep forgetting things." But during rehearsal already, it turns out to be your friend who keeps telling people that everything is going to be just fine, and when they are concerned they might not remember the chords to any given song he responds, "Oh don't worry. It's easy, you know. They're simple songs!"
Although absence from the stage and drug abuse had taken their toll, when listening to the recording of what has come to be known as Eric Clapton's "Rainbow Concert" it becomes clear just how much these two live appearances helped to reenergize him. The album, greatly improved in its remastered CD version (both in its sound quality and by its enhancement to more than twice the original number of tracks) opens with the first recorded live version of "Layla" - not quite as painfully torn as the original studio recording, but very powerful and gaining special impact by being played by no less than three outstanding guitarists. From there, it's a tour de force through some of the best song material existing at the time, most of it concert staples of Clapton's to this day. His voice and guitar play are rough, edgy - maybe a tad restrained by his standards, but still on a level other musicians would do anything to achieve it. In addition to songs from Clapton's own albums (with his various bands and from his self-titled and, at the time, only solo release; covers such as J.J. Cale's "After Midnight" and songs written by Clapton himself: "Badge," "Blues Power," "Bell Bottom Blues" and more), the band also gives a very soulful rendition of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing," Steve Winwood steps back as lead vocalist in Eric Clapton's favor for Blind Faith's "Presence of the Lord" and Traffic's "Pearly Queen," and "Key to the Highway" becomes almost the blues jam session it has been during the recording sessions for the "Layla" album (now available on the remastered version of that album and first released as part of the 1988 "Crossroads" box set).
Throughout the recording, the genuine camaraderie of the eight musicians is obvious; evidenced by Townshend's introduction of the band (purposely neglecting to mention Eric Clapton at first and then, having been "reminded" by Clapton's persistent fiddling about on his guitar, adding, "Oh yeah ... and Eric Clapton on third rhythm guitar!") and by a number of other jokes. At the end of the show, Clapton asked the audience in a moved voice to thank Pete Townshend "because I wouldn't have done it if it hadn't been for him." And although his struggle out of addiction had only begun and it would take him over another year to record what would become his breakthrough solo album ("461 Ocean Boulevard"), the two nights at London's Rainbow Theatre stand as the beginning of that process, and Eric Clapton's return to the stage. The rest, as they say, is history ...
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated gem of an album, 24 Dec. 2009
By 
Mr. Philip Baird (Isle of Man) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
When this originally came out on vinyl I remember the critics didn't like it much. It was largely to do with the production which lacked clarity and focus, and it sounded a bit like a bootleg, albeit a superior one. But I loved it. At a time when rock music was becoming a little too polished and there was too much noodling; the rawness, immediacy, and what sounded like genuine emotion of this recording really came through. We also felt that we'd nearly lost Eric, and that Pete had brought him back, and although I'm wary of rock mythology, somehow the concert really captures all this. I must admit to slightly preferring the original vinyl mix as the CD loses some of the feel and colour but the additional tracks compensate for this and there is some nice banter from Pete as well that isn't on the original. Although the sound is a little bit 'soupy' this only adds to its authenticity and there is little of the false separation that we get in the later CD age. There is no virtuoso playing from the ensemble but instead we get a very warm and heart-felt contribution from everybody, and if you listen carefully you can hear some lovely touches and embellishments, particularly from Eric, Steve Winwood and Ronnie Wood. Pete Townshend gives the whole thing a power and a kick too. Some of my favourite versions of familiar material are on here too with Winwood glorious on Pearly Queen and the beautiful rendition of Presence of the Lord. The cover of Little Wing for me even surpasses Jimi's original for its power and emotion but you have to listen to the vinyl mix to know what I mean as something is lost in the CD transfer. This is real music folks and I'd take this over any of Cowell's X-factor karaoke stars. For the real Clapton fan, and genuine lovers of proper rock music it's also one of his best albums, but you'll have to listen to it really carefully and don't say a word to the critics - just keep it to yourself.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Show, 22 Feb. 2007
By 
Geoffrey Millar (Brunswick Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
This was Eric's first concert appearance since The Concert for Bangladesh. Organised by Pete Townshend, it got Eric in front of the `Palpitations', which featured a stellar line-up of talent, including Pete, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood, Jim Capaldi and Rick Grech.

The LP and original CD had six tracks, but this edition is both expanded and improved in sound quality, so it's worth buying even if you have the earlier version. In an unusual situation, the `bonus' tracks are generally superior, too. Layla sounds great and the rarely performed Bell Bottom Blues is as good, if not as impassioned, as the version on the Layla album. Key to the Highway has a nice, loose feel and Crossroads is taken slower than the famous Cream version.

The album's a bit sloppy at times, there are jokes and the odd out of tune/time guitar, but this adds to the feel and the slightly laid-back flavour of the concert. Packaging is excellent and the set is a good buy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert, 7 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
Eric Clapton is lured back to the stage after two years self imposed absence, by the great Pete Townshend of The Who, who joined him on stage. Clapton is also joined by Jim Capaldi and Steve Winwood, of Traffic, Ronnie Wood, Rick Grech, Jimmy Karstein and Rebop, together providing a superb concert. How nice of the record company to bring many further tracks to the original release of the vinyl record, from this wonderful concert - but sadly, still not the full concert. Even so, it is one of the best live albums going. Utterly superb.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THIS-IS-ROCK!, 23 Oct. 2011
By 
Andrea Spadaccino "andrea" (Rome, Italy) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
It was one of my first cassette, then I bought the record, then the CD (actually, I did this just another time, for Traffic's "John Barley Corn must die").
For me, it's Clapton, Townshend, and a lot of people from the Traffic-Blind Faith-Cream area at their best. It's a real "live" shows, with some flaws and an audio quality that could be better, but...the music...the music: every song is G-R-E-A-T, no less than that, a rock and roll classic played by great musicians.
Those guys really know what "rock" is all about, and they carry on the show with an astonishing naturalness. Listen to the guitars: don't expect any virtuosity or endless (and boring) solos, but listen to how two (sometimes three) guitar lines and riffs wrap into each other (if you play guitar and you're providing arrangements for your band, this CD can definitely be an ultimate lesson).
If someone asks you what rock is, hand him this CD...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clapton first performance for 2 years....., 6 Aug. 2012
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
Back in 1973 I was 20 years old and full of great admiration of great musicians who had established reputations based on amazing album / performance's .Clapton was just accepted as one of the best .Changes were taking place all over the world the 70's had arrived with a bang.
Live recordings were by and large crap, new technology was starting to creep in but some bands had suffered prior to this . The original album of the Rainbow concert was at best muffled and quite dead. Master tapes of all albums were always much clearer and transfer to a piece of stamped plastic was never going to give the best results.This was time of a shortage of oil so albums suffered greatly.
Ok what we have is a remastered cd which now has many different tracks which do seem to flow pretty well.The band is on fire and Townsend is driving the whole thing. Dear old Eric does seem a little out of place being the front man.%The concert does get going and a relaxed feel comes through and builds throughout Jim Gordon's drumming is quite exceptional as are the rest of the band...Everyone should own this album because it is a piece of history.Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL Deal!, 13 Sept. 2014
This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
Well! What a fantastic surprise! I had high hopes after reading about this album in Classic Rock magazine and it does not disappoint...It has that 70's sound and feel that bands today just cannot get. It's so full of feel and power and a wonderful clean crisp sound...and the performances by all the players are great, especially considering the short rehearsal time. This album takes me back to a time when music was genuine...no auto tune, Cowell bulls*it! Just TALANT, magic and feel...LOVE it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Good to Hear Again, 21 July 2013
This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
I've had the vinyl of this album for years but haven't played it in a decade. Great to have the CD now with the extra tracks and in superb re-mastered sound. I forgot both what a great live performance it is and what a historical it was event being the comeback gig Eric was persuaded to play by Pete Townshend and others after coming off heroin.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant rainbow, 9 Nov. 2010
By 
Mrs. J. A. Leytham-gain (Lichfield, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
I bought the album just to hear Layla played live. I can even play along now! Great album.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best live albums of all time, 25 Aug. 2014
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Mr. P. Labrow (Stockport, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert (Audio CD)
I've owed the original single album from back in the day and it's always been a favourite. But oh, how much better is it with all of these missing tracks in place? This really is one of the best concerts of all time and it's fantastic to hear so much more of it. Highly recommended.
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