Crossroads 2 is a very beautiful addition to the 1988 box set Crossroads However, the vast majority of tracks on this Crossroads 2 was recorded live on period of 74 - 78, all of which are performed with energy and power by legendary guitarist and this band. Are long and melodic songs with great guitar solos. The highlight of the box for sure is the long running Eyesigt to the blind, with its 24 minutes with large participation of Carlos Santana and his band. For fans of Clapton this box is mandatory, as Crossroads (88), Derek and the Dominos (1970), Derek and the Dominos Live at Fillmore East 70, Rainbow Concerts (73), 461 Ocean Boulevard (74), No Reason to Cry (76) and Slowhand (77).
This might be considered a considerable outlay for this box set and a risky purchase if you're unfamiliar with Clapton other than the usual hits played on radio; but if you're a potential Clapton fan, a guitar-music fan or a blues fan, then this is an essential buy. If you only know his studio work and have never seen him live, then this collection will enlighten you as to why he is considered amongst the very front rank of guitar players and generally considered to be the best British blues player. If you find the cost a bit steep, a less costly alternative is the Just One Night double album, but I would urge you to add this to your collection, it will reward you over and over!
I am and always have been a huge fan of one of the greatest rock and blues guitarists ever Eric Clapton. He's proved again and again over the years just how inventive and wide-ranging his music can be. A blues great for sure,but when he went more into acoustic music again he proved his absolute worth.He still reigns supreme and why he's not rated even above greats such as Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan amazes me.They are both stunningly top guitar legends, but when you look at the volume of work EC has produced as well as the wide range of it he surely must rate as among the best ever.Even in this year 2010 reviews are saying how amazing he is live, still setting the standards and still an inspiration so many who take up the guitar. So to this set,all live,all recorded in the seventies and still as fresh and awesome as when the material was first recorded on several varying tours of that period.There's obviously plenty of blues based songs and in some cases different takes on the same song,but each one offers something completely new.I don't think he's ever played any blues number the same twice over.Add to that songs from the Blind Faith period, the hits like'I Shot The Sheriff','Layla' and 'wonderful Tonight' plus a superb version of the huge Tamla Motown classic 'Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever' and you have here some quite amazing Clapton music with various line up's he had through that decade.Every note of this box set is worthy,and as a whole gives us hours of proof of just how great a guitarist and fine vocalist he really is.This is a man who over many years now from his days in The Yardbirds,John Mayall's Bluesbreakers,Blind Faith,Delaney & Bonnie and Friends to his incredible solo career as a guitar player,the benchmark and still improving and going forward all these years later.This is a set I totally recommend whether your an EC fan or learning guitar, or want to hear one of the greatest proving it throughout this very fine live collection, you won't regret buying this set because of the enjoyment that comes with every playing of these four discs.Five stars plus.
Perhaps the release of the 1983 CD Live In The Seventies had suggested that something much more fitting was needed to reflect Eric Clapton's live work throughout his first decade as a solo artist. Although it would be a long wait for this 4 CD box set, it was well worth it.
Covering tours in support of five studio albums, there was a wealth of live material to draw from which ably demonstrated how Eric frequently reworked songs to keep sets varied - not only between tours but also from night to night. Every show would be different and if this approach had its risks, the results could be spectacular. There is an emphasis here on numbers from Slowhand, Eric's most successful studio release (with very little from other albums) and on the blues.
Oddly for an album titled "Crossroads 2 (live in the seventies)", it opens and closes with studio tracks. In effect, these serve as a prologue and epilogue to the live material - introducing Eric's American band for this period, through to its dissolution and a new beginning. For that reason, although the later all-British band's live album Just One Night was recorded in December 1979, it doesn't feature here. Also (unlike the single album compilation album mentioned) it doesn't include Derek & The Dominos - so this box set actually covers just half of the seventies, from 1974 - 1978.
Almost all the tracks were previously unreleased and although Disc 1 includes five numbers said to be "previously released on EC WAS HERE in different mix", there's much more to two of these than the wording implies. "Presence Of The Lord" is over two minutes longer (8:48 / 6:40) and "Rambling On My Mind/Have You Ever Loved A Woman" is also longer (8:16 / 7:38) than "Rambling On My Mind" is on E.C. Was Here. Whilst the full-length versions are an interesting listen, they show what a skilful job producer Tom Dowd did with the original album release - editing these songs to avoid repetition and strengthen their presentation. A controversial approach, maybe, but it certainly worked.
Disc 2 illustrates very well how Eric would sometimes take the studio version of a 'pop' song (here "Badge" and "I Shot The Sheriff") and use it as a vehicle to to explore new areas with lengthy improvised solos. And Disc 3 illustrates how sometimes he wouldn't ("Lay Down Sally" and "We're All The Way"). At nearly 25mins. "Eyesight To The Blind/Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?", which features Carlos Santana, is something else altogether - a real highlight, of which there are many.
Finally, Disc 4 continues the high standard - and with Eric having decided to tour without the support of a second guitarist, he really had his work cut out. A sign perhaps of a re-found confidence, or maybe an early indication that a bigger change was coming soon? Either way, Clapton certainly delivers and there's no sign of the band sounding jaded.
Arguably, it's the extended work-outs which are the stand-out numbers in this collection. And it would be easy to say that Clapton is clearly at home with the blues and that those tracks are the most satisfying. But he's clearly at home with music; whether blues, or bluesy, rock, reggae, country or pop - all are represented here.
A real labour of love this - presented very nicely in a book format, there is a beautifully produced bound-in colour booklet full of recording details and a background essay. Although it cost £40 when it was released back in 1996, this superb box set was worth every penny - highly recommended for anyone looking to delve deeper into Clapton's live output.
Buy both,if you can afford it. Crossroads 1 is the definitive Clapton collection,including about 6 unreleased songs. Crossroads 2 is an addition that centres on 70's live performances. The track listing and performances are superb with Clapton belting out Cream classics,Derek And The Dominoes classics,early solo classics (especially Slowhand)and..........wait for it.......an amazing 24 minute collaboration of 'Eyesight To The Blind/Why Does Love Got To Be So Bad' with Carlos Santana live in Providence.............24 minutes sounds an awful long time........but not on this! The 4 CD set includes many live renditions of Clapton classics not previously on his albums..............,Have You Ever Loved A Woman','Willie And The Hand Jive','Presence Of The Lord','Lay Down sally','The Core','Wonderful Tonight','Crossroads','Cocaine',....an incredible 'Double Trouble'......plus other unreleased tracks like'Cryin'' and 'Water On The Ground'.To name but a few. This album is simply Clapton performing magically,with great session musicians and great 'name' artists.
This collection is amazing. It represents Clapton at his absolute best, performing most of his great studio tracks and some rare medleys you won't find anywhere else. Although a few tracks on the first disc are also available on 'EC Was Here', most of this stuff is totally unavailable. 'Eyesight To The Blind / Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?' is a standout track, in which Clapton gets to prove once and for all that he is a great vocalist, performing a really raw, growling version of the song. This compilation also features a great version of Little Wing, which is much better than the studio version he recorded with Derek and the Dominos. As a bonus you also get a couple of previously unreleased studio tracks which Clapton recorded during the seventies, at least one of which should certainly have made it on to an album. This is undoubtadley one of the best collections you can get - of any artist, and unlike some other box sets which seemed to be filled with obscure guitar fiddling which isn't really that listenable, this will have a place in your CD player for a long, long time.