Saturday, December 7, 2019

50 years ago: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends recorded On Tour with Eric Clapton

On Tour with Eric Clapton

Delaney & Bonnie & Friends

Released: March 1970

Recorded: December 7, 1969

Peak: 29 US, 39 UK

Sales (in millions): --

Genre: blues rock


Song Title (Writers) [time] (date of single release, chart peaks) Click for codes to singles charts.

  1. Things Get Better (Cropper/Floyd/Wayne) [4:20]
  2. Poor Elijah – Tribute to Johnson (Bramlett/
  3. Only You Know and I Know (Mason) [4:10] (10/71, 20 UK)
  4. I Don’t Want to Discuss It (Beatty/Cooper/Shelby) [4:55]
  5. That’s What My Man Is For (Griffin) [4:30]
  6. Where There’s a Will There’s a Way (Bramlett/Whitlock) [4:57] (3/72, 99 UK)
  7. Comin’ Home (Bramlett/Clapton) [5:30] (12/20/69, 84 US, 16 UK)
  8. Little Richard Medley: Tutti Frutti/The Girl Can’t Help It/Long Tall Sally/Jenny Jenny (Little Richard/Trout) [5:45]

Total Running Time: 42:35

The Players:

  • Bonnie Bramlett (vocals)
  • Delaney Bramlett (guitar, vocals)
  • Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
  • Dave Mason (guitar)
  • Carl Radle (bass)
  • Bobby Whitlock (keyboards, vocals)
  • Jim Gordon (drums)
  • Bobby Keys (saxophone)
  • Jim Price (trombone, trumpet)
  • Rita Coolidge (backing vocals)
  • Tex Johnson (percussion)


3.920 out of 5.00 (average of 15 ratings)

About the Album:

Delaney and Bonnie were “a hot commodity build around a volatile marriage” JR-47 between Delaney Bramlett and Bonnie Lynn O’Farrell. “George Harrison passed through Hollywood hoping to hear them, and back in England he passed their record [1969’s Accept No Substitute] to Eric Clapton.” JR-47

They toured as the opening act for Blind Faith and ended up “blowing his headliners off the stage.” JR-27 When Blind Faith finished their American tour, Clapton stayed in the U.S. to hang out with Delaney while the rest of the band went back to England. “Despite all the money that had come his way, Clapton felt burned out by his experience with both Cream and Blind Faith, and his disgust with the star charade was deepened by observing and listening to George’s unhappiness with the Beatles.” JR-71 “Clapton preferred the company of the Bramletts and their band to his own group” JR-28 and “was now going to be just a journeyman player in an up-and-coming band.” JR-71

As Clapton said, “I joined Delaney’s band because I was in total awe of him, and I thought everyone else should see this. I knew I had the drawing power, even then. I could make the public aware of them just by putting my name on the bill.” JR-72 In addition to Clapton, Harrison and even Mick Jagger had come to regard Delaney & Bonnie as “being the best band in the world.” JR-73

Leon Russell was instrumental in assembling the lineup which worked with Clapton for the On Tour with Eric Clapton album. He played on the TV show Shindig with Delaney Bramlett and brought his friend Carl Raddle who he’d known since high school, in as a player on Delaney & Bonnie’s second album.

Russell was also part of the famed session players known as the Wrecking Crew who played on Jan & Dean’s “Surf City,” and Bobby “Boris” Pickett’s “Monster Mash” JR-42 and met drummer Jim Gordon. JR-45 Gordon had played with Glen Campbell, Judy Collins, Bobby Darin, the Everly Brothers, Gordon Lightfoot, the Monkees, the Righteous Brothers, and Andy Williams. JR-46

Bobby Whitlock had hung out at Stax Records and was mentored by legendary guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn. When Stax signed Delaney & Bonnie, Cropper ended up playing with them. JR-40 Radle and Gordon came via Leon Russell.

Guitarist Dave Mason was also part of the proceedings. He got his start as a roadie for the Spencer Davis Group when Steve Winwood was the lead singer and then went on to form Traffic with Winwood. As part of Delaney & Bonnie, he and Clapton treated audiences to good-natured shuffles and short riffs of the kind championed by the Band’s Robbie Robertson” JR-74 instead of the “furious solos associated with Cream, Blind Faith, and Traffic.” JR-74

This live album was recorded at Croydon. It “is not only the peak of Delaney & Bonnie's output, but also the nexus in the recording and performing careers of Eric Clapton and George Harrison. On Tour with Eric Clapton features the guitarist performing the same blend of country, blues, and gospel that would characterize his own early solo ventures in 1970. He rises to the occasion with dazzling displays of virtuosity throughout, highlighted by a dizzying solo on I Don't Want to Discuss, a long, languid part on Only You Know and I Know, and searing, soulful lead on the beautifully harmonized Coming Home.” AMG

“Vocally, Delaney & Bonnie were never better than they come off on this live set, and the 11-piece band sounds tighter musically than a lot of quartets that were working at the time, whether they’re playing extended blues or ripping through a medley of Little Richard songs. It's no accident that the band featured here would become Clapton's own studio outfit for his debut solo LP, or that the core of this group — Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, and Jim Gordon — would transform itself into Derek & the Dominoes as well; or that most of the full band here would also comprise the group that played with George Harrison on All Things Must Pass and at the Concert for Bangladesh, except that the playing here (not to mention the recording) is better. Half the musicians on this record achieved near-superstar status less than a year later, and although the reasons behind their fame didn't last, listening to their work decades later, it all seems justified.” AMG

Notes: A four-disc box set was released in 2010.

Resources and Related Links:

  • DMDB encyclopedia entry for This Act
  • AMG All Music Guide review by Bruce Eder
  • JR Jan Reid (2006). Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominos. Rodale Inc.: New York, NY.

Other Related DMDB Pages:

First posted 3/31/2008; last updated 11/9/2021.

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