Eric Clapton Releases Expanded Edition Of ‘The Definitive 24 Nights’
via Eric Clapton / Youtube
Eric Clapton‘s iconic 24-night concert residency at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991 has been released as a comprehensive box set called The Definitive 24 Nights.
These editions feature nearly 6 hours of live music and 35 unreleased performances from the rock, blues, and orchestral nights. Available as a limited-edition boxed set with 6 CDs or 8 LPs, including 3 Blu-ray discs, as well as standalone versions for each concert.
The release date was June 23, 2023, via Warner Records. Along with the news, Clapton shared an amazing orchestral rendition of “Layla” from 1991 that had never been heard before.
Clapton has performed at the Royal Albert Hall over 200 times since his debut with the Yardbirds in 1964, more than any other artist. In October 1991, he released 24 Nights, a double live album and home video that captured some of his most memorable performances at the venue.
In the original announcement on April 12, it was mentioned that these concerts at the Royal Albert Hall were some of Clapton’s biggest and most ambitious shows ever. Each night, he performed a wide range of songs from his career with one of three groups – a rock band, a blues band, or an orchestra led by Michael Kamen.
For The Definitive 24 Nights, Clapton’s team, including Simon Climie (audio production and mixing), producer Peter Worsley, and director David Barnard, put in a lot of effort to carefully restore and enhance all the audio and video content. Some songs were performed in both the rock and orchestral shows, but the arrangements for each version are noticeably different.
Clapton was joined by a remarkable lineup of musicians for these performances, including Phil Collins, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Johnnie Johnson, Jimmie Vaughan, Chuck Leavell, Nathan East, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Ferrone, Ray Cooper, and Jerry Portnoy.
24 Nights: Rock
During the rock concert, Clapton played his classic songs like “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Layla,” and “Wonderful Tonight,” as well as covers such as “Key To the Highway” and a reggae version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” with Phil Collins on drums.
24 Nights: Blues
The blues concert, featuring special guests Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, and Robert Cray, showcased outstanding performances of songs like “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Black Cat Bone,” and “Reconsider Baby.” A clip of the performance of “Crossroads” was released on June 23 as well.
24 Nights: Orchestral
The orchestral concert is the most unique of the collection, as Clapton’s band was joined by the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen. This collaboration resulted in stunning arrangements for songs like “Layla,” “White Room,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “I Shot The Sheriff,” and “Lay Down Sally.”
The highlight of the orchestral concert, and possibly the entire boxed set, is the previously unreleased 30-minute epic called “Concerto For Guitar,” composed by Michael Kamen specifically for Clapton.
Clapton’s 2023 & 2024 Concerts Announced
To commemorate Clapton’s 60th year as a professional musician, these iconic concerts are being released, offering fans a chance to experience the brilliance of his performances at the Royal Albert Hall. In addition, Clapton has announced a brief tour of the U.K. and Ireland for 2024, following his U.S. and Canada tour in September.