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Practically everything that can be said about this album has been said in other reviews. All I can add is that this is a contender for Clapton's best ever live album. I rank it with Derek and the Dominos 'Live at the Fillmore', 'Just One Night', 'Live in San Diego' and the 'Crossroads 2' box set (if it qualifies as an album, bearing in mind it's a 4 disc set), and maybe tops the lot, it's that good. Of course there are also individual live tracks/performances with Cream, at the Concert for George and at the Crossroads festivals, many of which cannot be bettered, most notably 'Crossroads' from the Wheels of Fire album, but taken as a piece of art in its own right, as a cohesive collection, I do think its unparalleled. This is due to the variety of songs covered; a selection of Traffic, Hendrix, JJ Cale and Blind Faith songs, all played impeccably by two of the greatest musicians to hail from these islands, the chemistry is extraordinary, absolutely fantastic!
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
and a good but less successful album in 2008
I always felt it was a tragedy that
fell 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] [2006
]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!
I was really surprised at how good this concert sounded. Caught the abridged version on the BBC and had to get a copy for the collection. To many people that i've met over the years Clapton's glory days go back to the sixties and early seventies and anything after 1980 is not worth listening to. I know these two guys have had a long admiration toward each other and maybe the timings may not of been right before and things may not have worked out 100% before and maybe that's why they were both keen to give things a go again. Sure glad they did, though. There seems to be an attack of guitar playing from Eric that some people will say has been lacking from his playing over the years. Maybe playing with Steve again has brought that out of him. Maybe he's enjoying strolling back down memory lane, what with the recent Cream refomation as well. He's not getting any younger, you know! Steve Winwwood's guitar playing is not to be doubted either. I always knew him for his keyboard playing and will certainly check out more of his back catalogue after hearing him play now. Stand out tracks for me here surprisingly are Voodoo Chile and Little Wing. There is real sensitivity, passion and feel to these songs. They almost don't want to stop - just keep playing and playing.
Listened to this with a frown, musicianship is still second to none, but the vocals were severely lacking, and just show how elderly these guys are becoming. That they recorded it live is utterly amazing when you hear how their vocal range has diminished.
Somehow although a life long fan missed out on this at the time . But as I am lucky enough to be seeing these guys at Hyde Park this year I bought it . The versions of Little Wing , Double Trouble and Voodoo Chile are highlights to me unfortunately I think Steve Winwood's songs have always been weak as they are on here but that's just my opinion
Eric Clapton, brilliant! Steve Winwood, great! Together, absolutely fantastic! This has got to be one of the best album sets you can purchase. The tracks themselves are fabuluous, Clapton and Winwood are on top form and compliment each other perfectly. The fact that it's a live performance is a bonus. The recordings are gorgeous and capture the atmosphere perfectly. I know I shall get loads of pleasure from listening to them and they will probably take pride of place in my collection. I count myself very lucky to have obtained these.
I had been meaning to buy this for ages and only recently got around to it. Why oh why did I delay. Just superb. guitar playing of the highest standard. Great vocals from Clapton & Winwood. The tracks build and build throughout. Enjoy a beer (whatever ur poison), sound cracked up loud, bass required, headphones if you must, just chill and enjoy the experience. If you like Clapton & Traffic you cannot go wrong. So many good tracks no point in listing them. Backing band top drawer. Don't think about it just do it.