Delaney & Bonnie & Friends - On Tour With Eric Clapton (Mono)
Delaney Bramlett - guitar, vocal
Bonnie Bramlett - vocal
Eric Clapton - guitar [click here to see more vinyl featuring Eric Clapton]
Rita Coolidge - vocal
Dave Mason (g); Bobby Keys (sax); Jim Price (tb); B. Whitlock (org, voc); Carl Radle (b); Tex Johnson (bgo, cga); Jim Gordon (dr)
Written by Steve Cropper (A1), Eddie Floyd (A1), Delaney Bramlett (A2), Jim Ford (A2), Leon Russell (A2), Dave Mason (A3), Beth Beatty (A4), Dick Cooper (A4), Ernie Shelby (A4), Bessie Griffin (B1), Bonnie Bramlett (B2, B3), Bobby Whitlock (B2), Eric Clapton (B3), Richard Penniman (B4a, B4c, B4d), Bobby Trout (B4b), Robert Blackwell (B4c)
1 LP, standard sleeve
Original analog Master tape : YES
Heavy Press : 180g
Record color : black
Speed : 33 RPM
Size : 12'’
Record Press : Pallas
Label : Speakers Corner
Original Label : Atco
Recorded in December 1969 at Fairfield Halls, Croydon (UK), by Andy Johns and Glyn Johns
Production: Delaney Bramlett and Jimmy Miller
Originally released in 1970
1. Things Get Better
2. Poor Elijah - Tribute To Johnson (Medley)
3. Only You Know And I Know
4. I Don't Want To Discuss It
- That's What My Man Is For
- Where There's A Will, There's A Way
- Coming Home
- Little Richard Medley : 4a Tutti-fruti, 4b The Girl can't Help It, 4c Long Tall Sally, 4d Jenny Jenny
« This 42-minute, eight-song live album, cut at Croydon late in 1969, is not only the peak of Delaney & Bonnie's output, but also the nexus in the recording and performing careers of Eric Clapton and George Harrison. On Tour features Clapton performing the same blend of country, blues, and gospel that would characterize his own early solo ventures in 1970. He rises to the occasion with dazzling displays of virtuosity throughout, highlighted by a dizzying solo on "I Don't Want to Discuss It," a long, languid part on "Only You Know and I Know," and searing, soulful lead on the beautifully harmonized "Coming Home." Vocally, Delaney & Bonnie were never better than they come off on this live set, and the 11-piece band sounds tighter musically than a lot of quartets that were working at the time, whether they're playing extended blues or ripping through a medley of Little Richard songs. It's no accident that the band featured here would become Clapton's own studio outfit for his debut solo LP, or that the core of this group -- Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon -- would transform itself into Derek & the Dominoes as well; or that most of the full band here would also serve as the group that played with George Harrison on All Things Must Pass and at The Concert for Bangladesh, except that the playing here (not to mention the recording) is better. Half the musicians on this record achieved near-superstar status less than a year later, and although the reasons behind their fame didn't last, listening to their work decades later, it all seems justified. » AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder
« Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett made a huge contribution to the rock movement. During their relatively brief career as a duo, their influence and respect from their peers was immense. They were originally signed to Stax Records, releasing a somewhat underwhelming studio album debut, Home in 1969. However, when they opened for British supergroup Blind Faith in 1969, their incendiary roots-bases Southern rock established a significant legacy. The fluid band lineup (which at times featured George Harrison, Eric Clapton and Dave Mason) distilled the essence of blues rock, especially in the soulful, vocals of the Bramletts. Clapton helped the duo procure a recording contract with Atco (Atlantic) Records. In late 1969, a live album, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton captured the magic of the group. Featuring a veritable “Who’s Who” of players, the genre of Southern Rock was ushered into the mainstream along with The Allman Brothers. This represented a commercial apex for Delaney & Bonnie, with chart success. After their inevitable breakup, these session musicians would comprise highly regarded ensembles like Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs And Englishmen and Clapton’s Derek And The Dominos. Delaney was instrumental in popularizing slide guitar and Bonnie’s soulful vocal style (she was a backup singer for the Ike And Tina Turner Revue) influenced a generation of singers.
Speakers Corner Records has released a re-mastered 180-gram vinyl of Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton. Fifty years later, it is a testament to the power of rock and roll. The powerhouse band includes Clapton (lead guitar), Dave Mason (guitar), Carl Radle (bass), Jim Gordon (drums), Bobby Whitlock (organ, piano), Jim Price (trumpet, trombone), Bobby Keys (saxophone), Tex Johnson (conga) and Rita Coolidge (backup vocals). Side 1 opens with hard charging ‘rock ’n’ soul” on Eddie Floyd’s “Things Get Better”. Behind the layered horn/sax/organ, Delaney delivers a Memphis-inspired vocal. Bonnie joins in harmony before taking over lead vocals in commanding fashion. The duo’s vocal chemistry is magnetic as Clapton’s guitar licks ring with clarity. Bonnie’s spine-tingling yells close out the song. Clapton is featured on the “Poor Elijah/Tribute To Robert Johnson Medley” (co-written by another Bramlett collaborator, Leon Russell). The band simply cooks like a vintage soul revue as Delaney offers falsetto and Bonnie is relentless. The crowd gets an early introduction to Dave Mason’s “Only You Know And I Know”. His version would be on the seminal 1970 “solo” album, Alone Together. This version revels in the raw aesthetics of live rock and roll. There is a barrage of guitar riffs. Delaney takes the first verse, and Bonnie, the second. Each delivers in their inimitable style. Bobby Whitlock’s organ is compelling and the dual third verse explodes with unabated energy. Delaney & Bonnie & Friends never let up. “I Don’t Want To Discuss It” is a festive romp that showcases Delaney’s vocal largesse. Another incendiary Clapton solo propels a gospel-driven chant as the band sustains its fury.
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends On Tour With Eric Clapton - Atco Records, Album CoverSide 2 is a mixed bag. Bonnie Bramlett is electrifying as she belts out ‘down ’n’ dirty” blues on “That’s What My Man Is For”. In a tour-de-force performance, she brings an earthy urgency and emotional depth. The band lays back, letting the singer do her thing. Her gut-wrenching wailing is transcendental. On a Bonnie Bramlett/Bobby Whitlock rocker, “Where There’s A Will, There’s A Way”, the vocals are ferocious. Jim Gordon executes a gritty drum-fill solo and the horn/saxophone arrangement is testament to the cohesive band dynamics. With a definitive rock groove fest (“Coming Home”), multiple guitars demonstrate the visceral appeal of the era. Delaney is at his best. In the tradition of rock and roll, a suitable finale of vintage 50’s music is executed to perfection. The subject of this medley (”Long Tall Sally/Jenny Jenny/The Girl Can’t Help It/Tutti Frutti”) is Little Richard. If there is a Mt. Rushmore of rock and roll, Richard Penniman would be up there. The band channels the freneticism of this charismatic performer as Clapton and Bobby Keys let it rip.
Speakers Corner has done an excellent job in this 180-gram vinyl upgrade. The mix is robust and the vocals are centered. This vinyl pressing is flawless with minimal surface noise and no hisses or pops. This live recording established a high standard for future rock and roll albums. This is a great record and should be part of any vinyl collection. » Robbie Gerson, Audiophile Audition, Mar 22, 2021
This 42-minute-long live album, which was recorded in December 1969 in Croydon, England and was awarded 5 stars by the magazine Rolling Stone, is not only the culmination of Delaney & Bonnie’s creative output, but also marks their connection to the further careers of Eric Clapton and George Harrison. On this particular tour Clapton plays the same mixture of country music, blues and gospel that were to hallmark his own early solo appearances from 1970. He rose to the occasion with consistently brilliant virtuosity; the highlights are a dizzying solo in "I Don’t Want To Discuss It", a lengthy 'Slowhand' passage in "Only You Know And I Know", and a dry fervent introduction to the wonderfully balanced "Coming Home".
Vocally Delaney & Bonnie were never better than on this live set, and the 11-piece band sounds musically more close-knit than many a quartet of the times, regardless of whether they are playing a lengthy blues number or a medley of Little Richard songs. It is certainly no coincidence that the band featured here would become Clapton’s own choice for his first solo LP, or that the kernel of this group – Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon – would metamorphose into Derek and the Dominos, or that the bulk of the band would constitute the group that would perform with George Harrison in "All Things Must Pass" and The Concert For Bangladesh, except that their playing (not to mention the recording) is better here.
Half the musicians on this record attained near-superstar status less than one year later, and although their fame was fairly short-lived, this is certainly justified, as you will ascertain when you listen to this live performance.
AllMusic : 4.5 / 5 ; Discogs : Audiophile Audition : 5 / 5