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One More Car, One More Rider (Live)

Eric Clapton

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Album Review

As a DVD, this release seems to work a lot better than it does as a CD, principally because Eric Clapton has developed a thoroughly convincing stage presence as a bluesman, and the skilled editing keeps the image in motion constantly without it ever being a distraction. Clapton may sometimes sound like he's playing with a cold mechanical perfection, but he doesn't look it, and when you see him playing and interacting with his band, it adds a level of warmth and involvement that is missing from parts of the accompanying live album. Not that there's anything earth-shattering here — it's Eric Clapton doing what we know he's always done well, though some fans may be surprised by how well such Derek & the Dominos repertory as "Key to the Highway" and "Bell Bottom Blues" work as acoustic band numbers. Clapton does a mix of old and new material (weighted a bit toward the Reptile album around which this tour was hooked), in a variety of idioms, sometimes transforming the piece in question, such as "Goin' Down Slow" — written by St. Louis Jimmy Oden but most familiar in the rendition by Howlin' Wolf — the song in Clapton's hands is much looser, barely recognizable as a showcase for his electric guitar and Billy Preston's organ. One appreciates watching as well as hearing the flow from, say, "Badge" (which is nicely stretched out) to "Hoochie Coochie Man"; or seeing Clapton range freely across his whole history, from a John Mayall-era number to a song from his days with Derek & the Dominos and then to a number from the Cream songbook, and then his solo era. He deconstructs and reconfigures them along the way so that, say, "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" becomes as much a showcase for David Sancious' electric piano and Preston's electric organ as it is for Clapton's voice and guitar. The image is framed in the non-anamorphic 1.85-to-1 aspect ratio that goes along with high-definition shooting, and the music is recorded in Dolby 5.1 Surround Sound. It's also mastered at a very high volume level, matching that of a modern CD circa 2003, so when a crescendo is reached it's probably not going to be a secret to your neighbors, either. The disc opens on an easy-to-use menu that offers the "play" option in the default position, and is available two different ways, as a separate, free-standing DVD release, or in a triple-disc CD-size package, with the double-CD set — although the CDs are supposed to be the main focus of the triple-disc set, the concert DVD is what one is really paying for, with the CD set as a $15 "bonus" (and worth that price).

Biography

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....
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