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Live from Madison Square Garden

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Album Review

Eric Clapton's new millennium has largely been defined by collaborations with friends, beginning with a duet album with B.B. King following through with a Cream reunion and closing with tours with his former Blind Faith running mate, Steve Winwood. Clapton and Winwood did three concerts together at Madison Square Garden in February 2008 and the results were fruitful enough to spawn this double-disc album — along with its accompanying DVD set — and a moderately scaled 2009 tour. Live from Madison Square Garden culls 21 highlights from those three nights and spreads them over two discs, sequencing the songs so Traffic numbers alternate with selections from Blind Faith, Derek & the Dominos, blues standards, a handful of Clapton's hits, and a heavy dose of Hendrix, who has no less than three songs here. That extended salute to Jimi is a good indication of the vibe here — this is a genuine shared co-billing with Clapton and Winwood trading vocals and solos almost equally. There's not much ego here and not much hunger, either, with the two stars sliding into a relaxed groove that yields plenty of rewards. There's a comfortable touch to their playing that's greatly appealing, and the straightforward setting places the spotlight directly on their interplay. Clapton and Winwood might roll easy but they can still create some sparks, sometimes in unexpected places, such as the somewhat forgotten '80s hits "Forever Man" and "Split Decision," both which are highlights here. Ultimately, this isn't an album of moments, but rather a sustained whole that finds Clapton and Winwood egging each other on to produce a wholly satisfying, if not quite surprising, reunion.

Customer Reviews

Clapton is still God.

Anyonw who has not seen Eric Clapton live is missing out. The man is a god on guitar. If you can't see him live, download this album. Clapton reunites with Steve Winwood and perform some classic Blind Faith songs. Also included are some classic blues and rock covers. Hendrix's Little Wing and Voodoo Chille are good examples. And lets not forget JJ Cale's classic Cocaine, another famous Clapton cover from the 1970s.

Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood

This is such a great album. Even the obscure Steve Winwood tracks shine. Although I bought a physical copy of this album I can still recomend it as one of the greatest live albums I've ever heard. However, the absolute highlight for me is Voodoo Chile; its sixteen minutes of awe! But you'll notice that it is not availiable on iTunes (buy the actual album from a shop or online). Double Trouble is another highlight, as are Forever Man and Dear Mr Fantasy. S'all good!

Back to his godly best

Clapton back to his best, raw and inspired guitar playing, back to his roots and the stuff he did best, albeit 40 years ago. Been a long time coming. Last time I heard him play as good as this was at the Cream reunion concert. Maybe that's it, maybe he has to get a feed off others he admires like Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, and this time it's Steve Winwood. A superb album and those who think nobody could do a take of Voodoo Chile as good as Hendrix should listen to this. No it's not Hendrix but Clapton makes it his own and it's bursting with passionate playing. The Blind Faith classics are great too. Couldn't recommend this album highly enough. What's next Eric, a reunion with John Mayall? Maybe a Derek and The Dominos reunion?


Born: 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

By the time Eric Clapton launched his solo career with the release of his self-titled debut album in mid-1970, he was long established as one of the world's major rock stars due to his group affiliations -- the Yardbirds, John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Cream, and Blind Faith -- which had demonstrated his claim to being the best rock guitarist of his generation. That it took Clapton so long to go out on his own, however, was evidence of a degree of reticence unusual for one of his stature. And his debut...
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