24 Nights is the fifth live album by Eric Clapton, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, in 1990 and 1991. It was released on 8 October 1991.
The album is a “best of” from the 42 concerts Eric Clapton did at the Royal Albert Hall in those two years. Clapton set a record by playing a run of 24 nights at the London Royal Albert Hall between 5 February and 9 March 1991, following an 18-night run in 1990. Clapton reportedly was not satisfied with the 1990 concert recordings and delayed the release of a CD until after the “24 Nights” of the 1991 dates. These concerts were performed with 4 different instrumental formations, 4-piece, blues, 9-piece and orchestra nights, the last featuring the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. The cover illustration is by Peter Blake.
The 4-piece recordings “Running on Faith”, “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” included on the CD and DVD were recorded on 24 January 1990. The band consisted of Clapton with bassist Nathan East, drummer Steve Ferrone and keyboardist Greg Phillinganes. The Blues Band titles “Worried Life Blues”, “Watch Yourself” and “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” Clapton recorded with Buddy Guy and Robert Cray were shot and recorded on 5 February 1990. The last of the 1990 live recording session took place on 9 February 1990 recording the Orchestra Night. “Bell Bottom Blues”, “Hard Times” and “Edge of Darkness” were used on both the CD and video recording.
On 10 February 1991, Clapton recorded “Badge” for the CD release. Eight days later the concert for “Pretending”, “Bad Love”, “Old Love” and “Wonderful Tonight” featuring the 9-piece band lineup took place. “No Alibis”, “I Shot The Sheriff” and “Cocaine” had been released on various CD singles of “Wonderful Tonight” since. The versions of “Old Love”, “Wonderful Tonight” and “Pretending” (2nd solo only) on the “24 Nights” video are different from their album counterparts, but they were not taken from the previous night’s show. They may even have been taken the year before. The song “Hoodoo Man” featuring Jimmie Vaughan was recorded on 28 February 1991. (by wikipedia)
Eric Clapton, who had not released a live album since 1980, had several good reasons to release one in the early ’90s. For one thing, his spare backup band of keyboardist Greg Phillinganes, bassist Nathan East, and drummer Steve Ferrone was his best live unit ever, and its powerful live versions of Cream classics like “White Room” and “Sunshine of Your Love” deserved to be documented. For another, since 1987 Clapton had been playing an annual series of concerts at the Royal Albert Hall in London, putting together various special shows (blues nights, orchestral nights, etc.). 24 Nights, a double album, was culled from two years of such shows, 1990 and 1991, and it demonstrated the breadth of Clapton’s work, from his hot regular band to assemblages of bluesmen like Buddy Guy and Robert Cray to examples of his soundtrack work with an orchestra led by Michael Kamen.
The result was an album that came across as a lavishly constructed retrospective and a testament to Clapton’s musical stature. But it made little impact upon release (though it quickly went gold), perhaps because events overcame it — three months later, Clapton’s elegy for his baby son, “Tears in Heaven,” was all over the radio, and a few months after that he was redefining himself on MTV Unplugged — a live show as austere as 24 Nights was grand. Still, it would be hard to find a more thorough demonstration of Clapton’s abilities than the one presented here. (by William Ruhlmann)
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Nathan East (bass, vocals)
Steve Ferrone (drums)
Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, background vocals)
Alan Clark (keyboards on 14.)
Ray Cooper (percussion on 09. – 15.)
Richard Cousins (bass on 05. – 07.
Robert Cray (guitar on 05 – 07.
Buddy Guy (guitar, on 05. – 07
Johnnie Johnson (piano on 05. – 08.
Chuck Leavell (keyboards on 08. – 15.)
Jamie Oldaker (drums on 05. – 08.
Phil Palmer (guitar on 09. – 15.)
Jerry Portnoy (harmonica on 08.)
Ed Shearmur (keyboards on 14. + 15.)
Joey Spampinato (bass on 08.)
Jimmie Vaughan (guitar on 08.)
background vocals (on 09. – 15.)
Katie Kissoon – Tessa Niles
The National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Micheal Kamen (on 14. + 15.)
01. Badge (Clapton/Harrison) 6.51
02. Running On Faith (Williams) 6-49
03. White Room (Bruce/Brown) 6.10
04. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brown/Clapton) 9.07
05. Watch Yourself (Guy) 5.39
06. Have You Ever Loved A Woman (Myles) 6.52
07. Worried Life Blues (Merriweather) 5.28
08. Hoodoo Man (Wells) 5.40
09. Pretending (Williams) 7.08
10. Bad Love (Clapton/Jones) 6.25
11. Old Love (Clapton/Dray) 13.01
12. Wonderful Tonight (Clapton) 9.07
13. Bell Bottom Blues (Clapton) 6.38
14. Hard Times (Charles) 3.45
15. Edge Of Darkness (Clapton/Kamen) 6.29