33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clapton/ winwood - a marriage made in heaven
Quite simply, this is as good as it gets. A truly magnificent live album, equal, if not surpassing all other classic rock/blues live albums that i've heard over the last 40 odd years..I thought the Cream reunion cd was pretty good - but this is in a different class altogether... which shows that the Clapton/Winwood collaboration shouldn't have ended after the blind faith...
Published on 12 Jun 2009 by yerblues
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The years just slipped away.....
Live from Madison Square Garden
I often went to Cream & Traffic gigs in the sixties, and managed to catch Blind Faith in Hyde Park, so I just had to buy this. This must have been a great concert to attend - if I'd been there I'd have clapped until my hands bled. However, listening to it in the less euphoric atmosphere of my front room I was not quite as...
Published on 25 Jun 2009 by Dun Ravin'
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars clapton/ winwood - a marriage made in heaven,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)Quite simply, this is as good as it gets. A truly magnificent live album, equal, if not surpassing all other classic rock/blues live albums that i've heard over the last 40 odd years..I thought the Cream reunion cd was pretty good - but this is in a different class altogether... which shows that the Clapton/Winwood collaboration shouldn't have ended after the blind faith album in 1969.....(in fairness that departure did produce my other favourite clapton live album Delaney and Bonnie on Tour)....but even so........
Although both men are in their 60's, Clapton's playing has never been so potent and Winwood's voice has actually improved and matured with time. Each known track, be it 'tell the truth' 'little wing' 'pearly queen' 'ramblin on my mind' 'presence of the lord' 'had to cry today' 'split decision', betters the original studio version. Winwood's rendition of his Traffic classic 'no face, no name, no number' is perfect and extremely moving. Originally recorded in 1967 when Winwood was 19 years old, it sounds more convincing, now that age and experience are behind him. The same can be said for 'georgia' , which Winwood recorded on the Spencer Davis Group 2nd album in 1966.
The musicianship throughout is sublime and Clapton's guitarwork is the best I've heard from him. The Winwood and Clapton voices compliment each other really well (i.e. presence of the lord). There are a couple of unexpected highlights: they bravely tackle Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (the slow blues version) and against the odds, pull it off. As everyone knows, Winwood played the keyboards on the original Electric Ladyland album version. If anyone is worthy of doing hendrix, there's no one more qualified than Clapton. Also present is a great version of Buddy Miles's 'them changes', originally recorded on Hendrix's Band of Gypsys.. Little Wing stays faithful to the Derek and the Dominoes version on 'Layla'. But as Little Wing and all the other tracks on this great double cd show, to hear the now definitive versions, just go out and purchase 'Live from Madison Square Garden'...
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The years just slipped away.....,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)Live from Madison Square Garden
I often went to Cream & Traffic gigs in the sixties, and managed to catch Blind Faith in Hyde Park, so I just had to buy this. This must have been a great concert to attend - if I'd been there I'd have clapped until my hands bled. However, listening to it in the less euphoric atmosphere of my front room I was not quite as enthusiastic. There are some excellent tracks - a good version of Double Trouble, knockout Voodoo Chile, and it was good to hear Glad having an airing again after all these years. However, there are a few too many old chestnuts. Just how many versions of Cocaine and After Midnight do you want in your collection?
Traffic used several lead instuments, and so their numbers are less satisfactory in this smaller line up, irrespective of any debate about whether Clapton is/was the better musician. The numbers featuring Clapton work better, but are often a little predictable. Blind Faith was the only time Clapton worked in a band where there was at least one other lead instrument, rather than other instruments filling in & taking the odd solo (someone will correct me if that's wrong) and that's one of the sad things about its short life. He does seem to perform better when stretched by other musicians, and his subsequent career as sole star of the band has made him a less interesting musician than he might have been.
But that's just hypothesis. This is an enjoyable album, and captures the atmosphere of an overdue reunion very well. Lovers of nostalgia will enjoy it (I do), but those who weren't around 40 years ago may be less impressed.
30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Voodoo Chile - a joy to behold!,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)If you are familiar with Blind Faith and Traffic then no doubt you will buy this on the spot and you will not be disappointed, I promise.
However it is Voodoo Chile which is well worth the price of admission alone! Not to be confused with it's sibling Voodoo Chile (slight return) which was released as a single, this is the extended bluesy jam version and it weighs in at just over 16 minutes! The original version was recorded 'live' in the studio and can of course be found on Electric Ladyland. An alternate version which was recorded as a warm up can be found on Jimi Hendrix: Blues. Both are simply wonderful.
To hear Messrs Clapton and Winwood playing this song together is a joy to behold. Of course Winwood played with Hendrix on the original in 1968. Quite likely he has not played it in 40 years, but then one is hard pressed to think of anyone besides Clapton who has the pedigree with whom he could play. Rarely does Clapton have the opportunity to extend himself in a song of this length and it is an absolute treat to hear these two masters paying homage to an old friend.
What are you waiting for?
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed ...,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (MP3 Download)I came across the BBC4 concert almost by mistake whilst searching through BBC i-player for something else so as a lifelong Clapton fan I just had to download it. God, (pardon the pun) I was not disappointed. I know the BBC version was only an hour but when Steve and Eric played Voodoo Chile - I nearly fell off my seat. It was the best thing I've heard EC do in years! Throughout the whole of the concert these guys looked so incredibly relaxed and Eric's smokey vocals were awesome. However, I was astounded when Steve sang Voodoo Chile - to me one of the best live tracks I think I've ever heard. It made the hairs on my neck stand on end. I played and played it over and over until it expired on i-player .. I shall certainly be downloading the whole album from Amazon in the next few days and then I can play this track in my car til my heart's content - it'll certainly put me in the best of moods on my way to work in the morning and has knocked Eric's live 'Double Trouble' off the top spot for me. An outstanding performance by a couple of world class musicians (not to forget the rest of the band). Superb stuff!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great performance, but the sound is heavily compressed!,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)I really like this performance and was hoping for a great CD/DVD/Blu-ray release. It could be incredible, but unfortunately somebody decided that this concert needs to be very loud, so the soundtrack is heavily compressed/limited without much dynamics left. That is a shame, because otherwise this would be a 5 star release.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MORE PLEASE !,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)A totally fabulous release.First the Cream reunion saw Eric play like we've not heard him in years,now this with Steve Winwood he hits the heights again.Steve surely along with Messrs. Plant and Paul Rodgers is the finest vocalist to come out of Britain in the history of rock.Here he is in full flight,he had an album last year 'Nine Lives' that largely went unnoticed yet was one of the best sets of the whole year,get it now you'll love it.Winwood and Clapton compliment each other so well,and they chose each others songs for this tour and boy did they choose well.I was never a big fan of 'Forever Man',that's all changed this version is quite brilliant and really more than ever before shows this song to be a classic rock number.Steve varies between keyboard and guitar
and he's equally brilliant on either,just listen to the opening track.The cover of J J Cale's 'Low Down' is absolutely inspired.Disc two see's a couple of Hendrix covers,I don't recall EC doing JH stuff before though I could be wrong.Little Wing is well played but 'Voodoo Chile' is in another league altogether,EC's playing absolutely soars,he's on fire full of ideas developing as he solos,this is what still makes him the best around,hear this track if you need any proof at all.Steve's cover of 'Georgia On My Mind' is worth the cost of the 2 CD set alone.I could go on and on about this release,but you must hear it for yourself,because albums this good,this alive don't come around that often.They may have been around a good few years now but they are still the best there is.They are currently touring the USA again ,so please guys do come and do a few here because this is truly what genius is all about.These are reunions of another league these are masters of their craft bringing us music and quality of the very highest and inspired level,not holding onto the past but full of fresh and innovative ideas that will inspire yet another generation.More please.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eric and Steve Triumph,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)I too watched the hi-lights of this concert on BBC 4 and was glued to the screen the whole way through!
Of course Eric does play better guitar than Steve Winwood but that's rather missing the point because Eric has the more complex guitar parts to play anyway. The point about this concert is the interaction between these two great musicians and indeed all the musicians on stage.
The track Vodoo Child is a stand out and Steve's contribution is every bit as important as Eric's sublime guitar playing.
Also, at last - a live performance film where the camera and editing focuses on the players (in particular Eric's guitar playing - you could almost learn the solos from this) and not silly 1 sec picture edits that is the norm for most concert videos these days!!!!!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)Absolutely stunning. Both stars on top of their game. One of the best live albums of all time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Old Codgers Strike Back... Again!,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (Audio CD)There has long been a myth that rock (or indeed pop) is exclusively a youth man's game. I say man because although women do hold their own in pop, rock is largely seen as male dominated.
I will not get into the gender bias in rock here but this is further proof that rock stars can go on into their 60s and beyond. As other reviewers have noted here, Clapton was brilliant on the Cream Reunion album and Steve Winwood's voice has become even richer with age. In terms of live work neither of these guys needed the other, they could both fill venues and rake in the cash with their individual bands, with Clapton perhaps having the edge. In terms of recent credible albums Clapton has required star collaborators to bounce his creative energy off. The Cream Reunion album is the best thing he had done for many years. Even his rather good Robert Johnson tribute albums Me and Mr. Johnson, Sessions for Robert J [CD + DVD] [Digipak] did not quite measure up to Peter Green's sublime interpretation of the same songs Robert Johnson Songbook/Hot Foot Powder.
Winwood on the other hand has produced one cracking album as recently as 2003 About Timeand a good but less successful album in 2008 Nine Lives
I always felt it was a tragedy that Blind Faithfell apart after such a short time. Here we have two of the prime movers in that band reunited covering all the key numbers from that bands only album and drawing from their respective musical histories. Both men clearly enjoying the musical setting and comfortable with revisiting their musical part. This is not just a nostalgia cash in however; this is a pair of musical giants who emerged from the 60s Blues Boom, through R&B (when I still recognised the music as representing that label when it was applied)and the emergence decline and rebirth of Rock.
This album is a challenge to the ageist idiots who still worship at the feet of the goddess of youth. Clearly there is a lot of great new ideas and music coming from new young bands but that can co-exist with an appreciation of what the old codgers have to offer. If you have not yet seen Shine A Light [DVD] then you should check it out. Mick is amazingly fit and in good voice, Keith is dancing on stage without falling over (and his greeting of Hillary Clinton's mother on stage at a protracted meet and greet session is beyond parody)
You might also wish to check out the accompanying DVD of this concert Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood: Live from Madison Square Garden [DVD]  [US Import]where I was left a bit confuded as to who was playing the organ part whilst Steve was playing guitar up front with Eric; the camera zoomed in on more than one occasion to an empty seat at Winwood's Hammond whist the rest of the band were is the shadows at the back of the stage.
I endorse the supportive comments made by other here; this is a genuine musical event that is well worth repeated listening. Go on buy it!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Brilliant,
This review is from: Live From Madison Square Garden (MP3 Download)I knew Eric Clapton was good with a guitar but did'nt know what he'd done, that would show off his greatness. I'd never heard of Stevie Winwood. I saw this concert on the tv one night and it rocked. This was just what I wanted to hear. After finding out an album had been made of this concert, I just had to have it. These two were made to play together. If you want to hear something speacial, buy this album. It's one of the greats. You wo'nt regret it.
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