Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert

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Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert
Live album by Eric Clapton
Released 10 September 1973
Recorded 13 January 1973, Rainbow Theatre, London
Genre Blues-rock
Length 34:48
73:49 (remastered edition)
Label RSO
Producer Bob Pridden
Eric Clapton chronology
Rainbow Concert
(September 1973)
461 Ocean Boulevard
Alternative cover
1995 remastered edition

Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert is a live album by English musician Eric Clapton, recorded at London's Rainbow Theatre on 13 January 1973 and released in September that year. The concert was organised by Pete Townshend of the Who[1] and marked a comeback by Clapton after two years of inactivity, broken only by his performance at the Concert for Bangladesh in August 1971. Along with Townshend, the musicians supporting Clapton include Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood and Jim Capaldi. In the year following the two shows at the Rainbow, Clapton recovered from his heroin addiction and recorded 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974).

This concert is the first live performance where Clapton used his famous Stratocaster guitar "Blackie".

A remastered expanded edition of the album was released on 13 January 1995, the 22nd anniversary of the original concert.

A bootleg edition, Eric Clapton and the Palpitations – The Rainbow Concert, 25th Anniversary Edition, was released by the underground label Empress Valley, four CDs of both concerts on 13 January 1973 (the official releases are a mix of songs from both concerts).


The concert was held at the Rainbow Theatre in Finsbury Park, north London, on 13 January 1973. The venue was popular during the 1960s and early 1970s; musicians such as the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull and Queen performed there. The concert heralded the return of Eric Clapton out of heroin-induced isolation and inactivity with the help of Pete Townshend and others.

The concert was recorded using Ronnie Lane's Mobile Studio.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[2]

In a retrospective review, Allmusic deemed the album "an adequate live document, though one can find better performances of the songs on other records." The review also noted that the performance was an ensemble effort, and was as much a showcase for Steve Winwood as it was for Clapton.[2]

Track listing[edit]

Original 1973 release[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "Badge" (Eric Clapton, George Harrison) – 3:32
  2. "Roll It Over" (Clapton, Bobby Whitlock) – 6:43
  3. "Presence of the Lord" (Clapton) – 5:37

Side two[edit]

  1. "Pearly Queen" (Jim Capaldi, Steve Winwood) – 7:00
  2. "After Midnight" (J. J. Cale) – 5:12
  3. "Little Wing" (Jimi Hendrix) – 6:32

1995 remastered edition[edit]

  1. "Layla" (Clapton, Jim Gordon) – 6:25
  2. "Badge" (Clapton, Harrison) – 3:18
  3. "Blues Power" (Clapton, Leon Russell) – 6:03
  4. "Roll It Over" (Clapton, Whitlock) – 4:38
  5. "Little Wing" (Hendrix) – 4:36
  6. "Bottle of Red Wine" (Bonnie Bramlett, Clapton) – 3:51
  7. "After Midnight" (Cale) – 4:25
  8. "Bell Bottom Blues" (Clapton) – 6:25
  9. "Presence of the Lord" (Clapton) – 5:18
  10. "Tell the Truth" (Clapton, Whitlock) – 6:04
  11. "Pearly Queen" (Capaldi, Winwood) – 4:55
  12. "Key to the Highway" (Big Bill Broonzy, Charlie Segar) – 5:46
  13. "Let It Rain" (Bramlett, Clapton) – 7:46
  14. "Crossroads" (Robert Johnson) – 4:19

25th Anniversary Edition (Empress Valley bootleg)[edit]

Disc One (early show)

  1. Introduction
  2. "Layla" (Clapton, Gordon)
  3. "Badge" (Clapton, Harrison)
  4. "Blues Power" (Clapton, Russell)
  5. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Myles)
  6. "Roll It Over" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  7. "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  8. "Little Wing" (Hendrix)

Disc Two (early show)

  1. "Bottle of Red Wine" (Bramlett, Clapton)
  2. "After Midnight" (Cale)
  3. "Bell Bottom Blues" (Clapton)
  4. "Presence of the Lord" (Clapton)
  5. "Tell The Truth" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  6. "Pearly Queen" (Capaldi, Winwood)
  7. "Let It Rain" (Bramlett, Clapton)
  8. "Crossroads" (Johnson)

Disc Three (late show)

  1. "Layla" (Clapton, Gordon)
  2. "Badge" (Clapton, Harrison)
  3. "Blues Power" (Clapton, Russell)
  4. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out" (Myles)
  5. "Roll It Over" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  6. "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  7. "Little Wing" (Hendrix)

Disc Four (late show)

  1. "Bottle of Red Wine" (Bramlett, Clapton)
  2. "Presence of the Lord" (Clapton)
  3. "Tell the Truth" (Clapton, Whitlock)
  4. "Pearly Queen" (Capaldi, Winwood)
  5. "Key to the Highway" (Broonzy, Segar)
  6. "Let It Rain" (Bramlett, Clapton)
  7. "Crossroads" (Johnson)
  8. "Layla" (Clapton, Gordon)



  1. ^ (2011). In Dear Mr Fantasy: The Jim Capaldi Story (pp.32–43) [CD booklet]. London: Freedom Songs Ltd.
  2. ^ a b Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert at AllMusic