Eric Clapton’s ‘The Definitive 24 Nights’ Box Set Is Out Now
Eric Clapton’s highly-anticipated The Definitive 24 Nights album is out now. The box set editions – available in a variety of configurations – expand the live collection of Clapton’s record-setting 1990-91 run of 24 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall with nearly six hours of live music and 36 unreleased performances including today’s release of the fan-favorite Crossroads (Live at The Royal Albert Hall 1991).
This timeless Robert Johnson composition has been a staple in most Clapton setlists for decades, but the first section of this almost 9-minute version of the song features Clapton and the band playing an inspired improvised introduction. The 9-piece rock line-up then takes over for an electric performance of this classic, featuring trademark guitar solos from Clapton. Listen to it below.
Painstakingly restored and upgraded by Clapton’s team of Simon Climie (audio production and mixing), producer Peter Worsley (Slowhand at 70 and The Lady In The Balcony), and director David Barnard (The Lady In The Balcony), The Definitive 24 Nights is now available as limited-edition boxed sets of either 6-CDs or 8-LPs. Both versions of the boxed sets come with three Blu-ray discs for the video content, a hardbound book, and an individually numbered lithograph featuring a photograph of Clapton by Carl Studna.
Since Clapton’s debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Yardbirds in 1964, he has performed there over 200 times, more than any other artist as he also holds the record for the longest run of concerts at the venue – he set it in 1990 with 18 shows, then broke it the following year with 24 concerts. Each night of those legendary 24 concerts featured him performing a career-spanning set with one of three lineups – a rock band, a blues band, or an orchestra.
To commemorate that record-setting run, Clapton released 24 Nights in October 1991 which delivered great performances but only covered a fraction of what was filmed and recorded. Today’s release of The Definitive 24 Nights expands that live collection with previously unreleased live music from Clapton’s 1990-91 Albert Hall residencies using the best performances from the rock, blues, and orchestral nights to create full concerts for each genre.
In the album’s liner notes music journalist David Fricke says it best, “The Definitive 24 Nights is – in that sense, more than 30 years down the line – right on time, the first full-scale portrait of the Royal Albert Hall experience in all of its 1990 and 1991 iterations…”
Clapton surrounded himself with superlative musicians for the performances on The Definitive 24 Nights as the roster includes greats like Johnnie Johnson, Jimmie Vaughan, Chuck Leavell, Phil Collins, Robert Cray, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Nathan East, Greg Phillinganes, Steve Ferrone, Ray Cooper, and Jerry Portnoy.