on 29 January 2005
To put this concert DVD in perspective, Eric Clapton headlined a gig at Hyde Park in which he followed acts such as Jools Holland, Bob Dylan (with Ronnie Wood) and The Who (for whom this was their first gig together since Live Aid, I believe, and to whom the day really belonged). I know this because I was there (and I am fortunate that I can be seen on the cover of this DVD), and remember vividly that I turned to my friend after the Who finished their first ever complete live performance of their Quadrophenia album and said, "Much as I love Eric, he could never top that. The Who should have been the headline act." Eric, if you ever read this I'm sorry I doubted you...
Clapton strode onto the stage as if it was his own living room and blew everything that went before him away with a blistering set containing most of his classics. Opening with the Acoustic version of Layla he then delivered (amonst others) Badge, Wonderful Tonight, White Room, Have you ever loved a woman and Holy Mother. The set highlights were Five Long Years and I Shot the Sheriff, delivered with real passion and dynamics. The latter's solo built and built with fire and intensity.
Put simply, if you are a fan of Clapton this is one concert you must hear! It is well known that Eric has frustrated some of his fans over the years with inconsistent studio outings, but the real essence of the man can always be found live on stage where he thrives, and on this night he really performed! No inconsistencies here - Buy it!
on 27 January 2004
If, like me, your favorite Clapton album is "From The Cradle", than this is most definitely the dvd for you!! In fact, he plays about four songs from that album. Demonstrating his ability to jazz-up a classic number, EC starts the concert wih an acoustic version of "Layla". But wait! Suddenly, there's a horn section that kicks in. (In fact, they're called "The Kick Horns" - Simon C. Clarke, Tim Sanders, Roddy Lorimer, Jim Keltner) They add a real classy element to the concert. I love Roddy's trumpet solo on "Layla". Than there's "Hoochie Coochie Man", a rockin' tune which EC adds his well-seasoned, angst-driven voice to, quite nicely. Later, Clapton switches out "Old Blackie" (his signature, Stratocaster guitar), and really get's into "It Hurts Me Too". Moving on to my favorite performance, "Five Long Years"... Eric and his band go deep into the blues. - "Lord, I finally learned my lesson. Should've a long time ago. Next woman that I marry, she's gonna work and bring me the dough." (What lyrics!!) One thing I have to say about EC, is that he doesn't try to hog the spotlight by completely out-shining his fellow bandmates; even though, he very easily could. No, everyone in the band is given equal opportunity to showcase their talents. It's great to see EC's former keyboard player, Chris Stainton back and playing his heart out. And, Jerry Portnoy's outstanding harmonica playing makes you feel like your sitting at some hole-in-the-wall bar in N'awlins (New Orleans), just taking it all in. Almost a tie for my favorite track is definitely "Everyday I Have The Blues", in which, again, the whole band just blows it wide open - Horns, Harmonica, Drums (Steve Gadd), Backing Guitar (Andy Fairweather Low) and of course the man himself!! Another great performance, is a duet with Katie Kissoon on "Tearing Us Apart". I enjoyed this much more than the original EC recorded with Tina Turner, because Katie's style is much more energetic and her vocal range far exceeds Tina's. I think I've mentioned everyone in the band, except for Tessa Niles, who had obviously lost some weight and was lookin' oh, so great! This is definitely a dvd that won't collect dust in your cabinet. As far as the audio is concerned, I would highly recommend opting for DTS. Simply put, DTS is uncompressed audio, thereby giving the listener a fuller, richer sound that Dolby Digital can't compare to because of the lossy (Yes, that's spelled correctly.), digital compression the latter format employs.
on 4 May 2014
I have no idea what other reviewers are complaining about ? I have some other concert dvds of Eric Clapton and I have to say that this 1996 Hyde Park one is streets ahead of them as regards sound/picture quality and the over all performance of Clapton and his great band line up.Some great blues numbers along with his more well known stuff make up a really good set and I certainly wasn't in the least disappointed in this most enjoyable dvd.5 stars all day long !
on 2 June 2006
I have to say that after 40 years of watching Clapton on stage, this was one of his very best outings. This is more of a blues set than anything else, and his playing on Five Long Years is absolutely stellar. Also very good indeed are Tore Down, It Hurts Me Too and Have You Ever Loved a Woman, which is exceptional. I don't care what anybody says, Clapton comes to life when he is on a blues kick, which is not to say that he doesn't do the rest well. My idea of heaven is to listen to White Room and the Live Crossroads one after another for about two days on the trot.
What is so good about Eric and makes him diffrent from Stevie Ray Vaughan, for example, is his timing - that's what it's all about, folks, not the speed or the style or the tone. And in Five Long Years, at last we have the master of timing on DVD.The trouble with Stevie Ray (RIP, Stevie) and a million others is that good as they are, and as blues-loving as they may be, they're predictable and therefore ultimately unsatisfying and ultimately rather boring sometimes. Very "in", I know, but oh, those longeurs ..... It's the TIMING, I tell you!
I also have a few minor gripes - the ever reliable Dave Bronze is reliable to the point of being pedesrtian, more of Andy F-L's fabulous playing would be good and the sound is a little odd at times.Steve Gadd (especially) and Chris Stainton sound really great here and I think the girls, Tessa and Katie, sound pretty good.
All in all, a very polished performance of Eric at his very best. And he's British,Show those darn upstarts how to do it, 'ric!
on 21 November 2014
Best DVD I've seen of Eric, he seems to be enjoying the occasion more than usual. The backing band are superb & are not overshadowed or in awe they are all fellow band members. For a 1996 concert it is relatively well filmed and the sound is fine, looks like it was I should have been there moment.
As the song selection shows it is predominantly a blues outing and non the worse for it.
I particularly like "I shot the sheriff" but you will have to pick your own favourites.
I marked it down a star as it is only 89 minutes long and I could have listened to more at this standard, Eric take note give value and enjoy the moment.
Special thanks to Zoverstocks on a very prompt quality service.
on 29 January 2007
EC, with an inner calm, delivers sizzling performances of such songs as Tearing Us Apart, Five Long Years, Have You Ever Loved a Woman, Old Love, and a beautiful version of I Shot the Sheriff (each one of which alone is worth the price of this DVD). Lovely guitar solos and powerful vocals on every song. Backed by his fantastic band, which includes Andy Fairweather-Low, Steve Gadd, Dave Bronze and Chris Stainton, Clapton does not need any special effects to make this show memorable. EC always seems to put on a great show, but there is something special about this one. I've watched it several times and each time it seems to get better.
on 22 March 2002
Slow hand is on form in this music DVD. What better way to open the book than the acoustic version of Layla (althought I would have prefered the rock version). The solo on I Shot The Sherrif is just superb (the other solo's aren't bad either). With a surround sound music system you will feel like your in the front row of 50,000 fans in the presence of a true rock legend.
on 28 November 2001
Clapton's live concerts are always worth seeing because musically they are far superior to his studio releases. In front of a live audience he is soften inspired to push himself musically, whereas he seems to be going through the motions in the studio.
He returns to Hyde Park nearly 30 years after the Blind Faith concert, and does not disappoint.
The band gels well together, very tight and polished. Clapton excels on 'Five Long Years' and the moving 'Old Love' and moves into jazz rock territory with 'Every Day I've Got the Blues' which is a little heavier than any of BB King's previous versions.
He should however have left 'Hoochie Coochie Man' well alone. It's Muddy's song, and he gave the definitive version. Clapton has always impressed more when he's creating something of his own, embellishing a Freddie King track such as 'Have you Ever Loved a Woman?' rather than imitating the great blues artists of the past.
This is a recording which you may wish to dip into from time to time, as there are some outstanding tracks and some which don't quite hit the heights. (which may be a reason to wait for the DVD release)
on 6 March 2003
Eric Clapton is easily one of the greatest guitarists ever. This video is proof of this. An amazing version of badge and i shot the sherrif. Acoustic layla white room and some very good blues. Finishing with a great version of holy mother. If you are a Clapton fan then this is deffinate must.
on 27 August 2010
ive been listening to the blues for the last year or so now almost none stop. and for the majority of that time its been clapton!! i simply love his guitar playing!!! theres nobody, nobody out there that comes anywhere near to him in terms of fluency and just pure ability. its unfair really! oh, and he's a good singer as well!!
this performance is simply amazing!! starts off with a nicely paced acoustic layla, which in place of the customary guitar solo, there is a trumpet solo, which is absolutely amazing! i couldnt help but smile when he started playing! but then that ends eric immediately launches into an acoustic solo which is just perfect! i shot the sherriff is unusually raggae, but still good! it doesnt come anywhere near to the way hes been doin it for the past few years which is a bit more bluesy, with a 4-5 minute guitar solo, but its good none the less!
it hurts me too and wonderful tonight are both just perfect! five long years has a long guitar solo, piano solo and harmonica solo! simply amazing!
tearin' us apart... i dont know what to say about that to be perfectly honest... if that was the only song on this dvd for me id buy it at five times the price! its not a song im familiar with, but i cant stop listening to it!! its got a great beat, while the guitaring in it isn't that inventive by erics high standards, its completely irrelevant because it sounds absolutely spot on! one of the backing singers steps up half way through the song to sing some lead vocals, which adds a sort of r&b feel to the song.
old love is just, just perfect! it is absolutely amazing! the feeling he creates is amazing, and the guitar solo is perfect as well.
he then launches into two freddy king songs, im tore down and have you ever loved a woman. ive never seen him do im tore down live before, and i have to say, if theres one dissapointing song on this dvd then thats it! BUT, its only disappointing if you compare it to the album version, or the 'nothing but the blues' scorsese documentary version!! if you judge it on its own merit, then it is another fantastic song! its got a good tempo, the fact that its a freddy king song means that vocals and guitar come in more or less equal measure!
white room is just a version of white room, it will never be as good without bruce and baker! to those that don't know the song, i can imagine its a pretty good performance!
the dvd ends with holy mother as the encore. i assume that was put on the playlist for the princes trust element? it sounds very hymn-like! but clapton carries it well throughout.
sandwhiched between white room and holy mother though... is 'every day i have the blues'.. i fell in love with the 'nothing but the blues' version of this song on youtube!!!!! its very upbeat, put simply: its a foot tapper!!! anyone that likes a good blues shuffle should skip immediatly to this song via the menu, having turned their volumes up very loud and enjoy!!! the singing is perfect, the melody is perfect, the brass sections contribution is absolutely perfect, the rythem section is to absolutely die for!! and the guitar soloing.. well.. its just another 3-4 minute demonstration of why eric clapton is called the greatest guitarist in the world! first time i watched it i sat through it with a huge grin on my face tapping my foot!! and just when you think its ended, they kick off again! absolutely superb!!!
directing, sound quality, video quality are all top notch. one point is that this is 4:3! so if you have a widescreen tv youll get black/grey bars left and right! bit of a pain but as soon as the music starts youll forget about them!
put short, if you like eric clapton, get this dvd!!! in my opinion this performance is second only to the live in japan 2009 dvd! a must for any clapton dvd collection!