Crossroads, Vol. 2: Live in the Seventiesby Eric Clapton
Crossroads was a box set that appealed to both beginners and fanatics. Crossroads 2: Live in the Seventies only appeals to fanatics. Spanning four discs and consisting almost entirely of live material (there are a handful of studio outtakes), this is music that will only enthrall completists and archivists. For those listeners, there is a wealth of fascinating, compelling performances here, as well as a fair share of mediocre, uninspired tracks. The key word for the entire album is detail -- it is an album for studying the intricacies of Eric Clapton's playing and how it evolved. For example, it's easy to hear the differences and progressions between the four versions of Robert Johnson's "Rambling on My Mind." And it is Clapton that evolves, not his supporting band -- although they are proficient, they are hardly exciting. However, their static, professional support provides a nice bed to chart Slowhand's growth over the course of the decade, simply because he is always the focal point. Crossroads 2 may only be for a collector, but for those collectors, it is a treasure, even if some of the tracks are fool's gold.
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