Eric Clapton - Three Smiles Box Set
461 Ocean Boulevard
USA Tour, 1st Leg
EC Is Here/DJ Copy/155/156/157
Chicago, IL July 02, 1974
2) Let It Grow
3) Can't Find My Way Home
4) Blues Power
5) Have You Ever Loved A Woman
6) Tell the Truth
7) Willie And The Hand Jive
8) Get Ready
9) Let It Rain
10) Key To The Highway
11) Presence Of The Lord
Memphis, TN July 28, 1974
2) Easy Now
3) Let It Rain
4) Willie And The Hand Jive
5) Get Ready
6) Tell The Truth
7) I Can't Hold Out
9) I Shot The Sheriff
Birmingham, AL July 29, 1974
2) Let It Grow
4) Willie And The Hand Jive
5) Get Ready
6) Key To The Highway
7) I Shot The Sheriff
9) Tell The Truth
10) Let It Rain
Eric Clapton guitar, vocals
Jamie Oldaker drums
Dick Sims keyboards
Carl Radle bass
George Terry guitar
Yvonne Elliman backing vocals
Soundboard recordings>cdr trade>EAC wav>Flacfrontend level 6
PLEASE NOTE:The following review comes from HotWacks.com
Three Smiles is a three disc set featuring three soundboards from
Eric Clapton's first tour as a solo artist of North America. It began
on June 28th in New Haven and ended six weeks later on August 4th
in Palm Beach, Florida. A second leg, lasting two weeks was also
done in late September and late October. The performances were
erratic and had some high points like the July 20th show in Long Beach
and lows like Buffalo on July 6th. The three soundboards in this collection
come from the first week in Chicago and the final week in Memphis and
Alabama. These three tapes are very similar in soundquality. They are
very good but high generation soundboards that are clear and enjoyable
but somewhat dull, flat and hissy. They aren't the best documents but are
appealing to collectors since they contain some very interesting performances.
The first disc is the soundboard from the first of two concerts at the International
Amphitheater in Chicago. This tape was previously released on commercial boot
on God Was Here (FAP-012/013) on the old Clapton label Further Along. That
label wanted to cut down on the hiss but left the metallic crunch and distortion all
over tape that was unfortunately very common several years ago. EC Is Here left
the tape pretty much alone so the hiss is present and so are the upper frequencies.
This version is also a minute longer with more of the introduction, beginning with
Legs Smith saying "Clapton!!!!" and Clapton saying "how about it? Can you dig it?...
It's nice to be back again". There are some changes in sound quality during
"Let It Grow" that sound less jarring on this release than God Was Here. Overall
this sounds much better than the older release and is a definite improvement.
The set list for this tour is notable for beginning with several mellow acoustic numbers
that gradually build in intensity to the electric jaming jamborees. "Smile" opened
every show and was followed by either "Let It Grow", "Easy Now" or "Can't Find My
Way Home" or any combination of the three. This show has all but "Easy Now" with
Clapton introducing the band early including his "out of tune" guitar Blackie right before
"Blues Power". George Terry plays a nice guitar solo in "Let It Grow".
"Willie And The Hand Jive", "Get Ready" and "Let It Rain" are all segued together.
The tape ends with "Presence Of The Lord" with the encores, if any were played,
missing like on all three of the tapes in this collection. The Memphis show had Clapton
headlining a bill that included a band called Ross followed by Foghat and Lynyrd
Skynrd. This soundboard tape was released previously on Fire Power as I Can't Hold
Out (FP-08). Three Smiles is more than four minutes longer than the older version.
Fire Power also enhanced the tape to make it more rich sounding wheras this sounds
much more dull and flat. Except for the length this isn't an improvement at all.
There are two massive cuts on the tape where "I Shot The Sheriff" cuts out after
five minutes and most of "Layla" is cut, fading in for the final two minutes of the song.
But the show is noted for the great arrangement of "Easy Now", which starts off very
quiet on acoustic with the band joining in later. "Crossroads" is also played in a new
arrangement that is more blues oriented rather than the Cream version,
which is more rock.
The third disc is a soundboard that claims to be from the evening following the
Memphis gig at Legion Field in Birmingham, Alabama on July 29th. This is a
previously undocumented and unreleased tape. There is no mention of the state,
city, venue or date but it seems to be genuine. It has a beginning very similar to the
July 20th Long Beach soundboard with the introduction and Clapton saying
"Legs Al!...If we're all sitting comfortably we'll begin" before "Smile". Long Beach
was used for a bogus July 30th New Orleans release on cdr, but the difference is
that Clapton says "Legs Al" once instead of twice and doesn't say "oops a daisy"
as he does in Long Beach. After doing a comparison with all of the known set lists
from 1974 this is doesn't match any. WGPSEC (who this is I do not know) also can
confirm this is, as far as he can tell, an unique tape so we can take this as face value.
The Alabama tape is very similar in tone to the other two in this collection, probably
why they are all grouped together. It sounds like a high generation tape with some
hiss present and overall sounding a bit dull. There is a cut before "I Shot The Sheriff"
and a small one in "Tell The Truth". And also like the other two there are no encores
present. The acoustic beginning is very short with fast versions of "Smile" and
"Let It Grow". It sounds like Clapton is impatient and wants to go electric early.
"This one's for Donner and Galadriel" he says before "Layla". "Willie And The Hand
Jive" is paired with "Get Ready" as usual on this tour but the definite highlight of the
set is "Tell The Truth". Clapton's jams are very inventive and he ends the song by
playing The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood". "Let It Rain" is the set closer for only the
second known time on this tour. It is a tape that will interest Clapton collectors
because it is new and authentic and for that reason Three Smiles is worth having.