Eric Clapton Releases Expanded Edition of Legendary Royal Albert Hall Residency: ‘The Definitive 24 Nights’

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Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall, 1991 (Photo: Carl Studna; used with permission)

Eric Clapton’s record-setting concerts at London’s Royal Albert Hall in 1990 and 1991 have been released in a variety of expanded editions, The Definitive 24 Nights. A limited-edition boxed set as either 6-CDs or 8-LPs (both with 3 Blu-ray discs) includes nearly six hours of live music, and 35 unreleased performances, using what the producers describe as the best performances from the rock, blues, and orchestral nights to create full concerts for each genre. Standalone versions of the individual concerts – 24 Nights: Rock, 24 Nights: Blues, and 24 Nights: Orchestral – were released the same day in 2-CD/DVD and 3-LP (Rock and Orchestral) and 2-LP (Blues) configurations. All arrived June 23, 2023, via Warner Records. The announcement arrived with Clapton’s outstanding, previously unreleased 1991 orchestral performance of “Layla.” Watch it as well as clips for “Crossroads,” “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” and “Key To the Highway,” and many other audio performances, below. Since his debut at the historic venue with the Yardbirds in 1964, Clapton has performed there over 200 times (and counting), more than any other artist. Clapton originally released 24 Nights as a double live album and home video in October 1991. A short film, with clips from several of the performances, is also below.

Eric Clapton at Royal Albert Hall, 1991 (Photo: Carl Studna)

From the original April 12 announcement: These Royal Albert Hall concerts were some of the most ambitious shows of Clapton’s career. Each night featured him performing a career-spanning set with one of three lineups – a rock band, a blues band, or an orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen.

All the audio and video included in The Definitive 24 Nights was painstakingly restored and upgraded by Clapton’s team of Simon Climie (audio production and mixing), producer Peter Worsley, and director David Barnard. Several songs appear in both the rock and orchestral shows, but the arrangements are strikingly different.

Both versions of the limited edition 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.

Clapton surrounded himself with superlative musicians for the 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.

For the rock concert, Clapton played many of his classic songs including “Sunshine Of Your Love,” “Can’t Find My Way Home,” “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight,” along with such covers as “Key To the Highway” and a reggae version of “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” with Phil Collins on drums. (Watch the latter performance below.)

With Clapton aided by special guests Buddy Guy, Albert Collins and Robert Cray, the blues concert delivered a master class in the genre with ripping versions of standards like the rollicking “Sweet Home Chicago,” “Black Cat Bone” and “Reconsider Baby.” The clip for the performance of “Crossroads” was released on June 23, the day the set was released.

The orchestral concert is the most unique of the collection. For those performances, Clapton’s nine-piece band was joined by the National Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by legendary composer Michael Kamen. The collaboration resulted in stunning arrangements for “Layla,” “White Room,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “I Shot The Sheriff,” “Lay Down Sally,” and more.

The biggest highlight from the orchestral concert – and possibly the entire boxed set – is the previously unreleased 30-minute epic, “Concerto For Guitar.” Kamen composed the piece especially for Clapton, which made its live debut at Albert Hall.

Eric Clapton with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Albert Hall, 1991 (Photo: Carl Studna)

The complete track listing for The Definitive 24 Nights appears below the Amazon links. When you buy something using a link on this page, we receive a commission. Thank you for supporting Best Classic Bands. (And watch the performance of “Knockin’ On Heavens Door” and listen to several others below, as well.)

Eric Clapton The Definitive 24 Nights Track Listing

24 Nights: Rock
“Running On Faith”
“Breaking Point” *
“I Shot The Sheriff” *
“White Room”
“Can’t Find My Way Home” *(Feat. Nathan East on lead vocals)
“Bad Love”
“Before You Accuse Me” *
“Lay Down Sally” *
“Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” *
“Old Love” *
“No Alibis” *

“Tearing Us Apart” *
“Cocaine” *
“Wonderful Tonight”
“Layla” *
“Crossroads” *
“Sunshine Of Your Love” *

24 Nights: Blues
“Key To The Highway” *
“Worried Life Blues”
“Watch Yourself”
“Have You Ever Loved A Woman”
“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” *
“Something On Your Mind” *
“All Your Love (I Miss Loving)” *
“It’s My Life Baby” *
“Johnnie’s Boogie” *
“Black Cat Bone” *
“Reconsider Baby” *
“My Time After A While” *
“Sweet Home Chicago” *
“Watch Yourself” (Reprise) *

24 Nights: Orchestral
“Crossroads” *
“Bell Bottom Blues”
“Lay Down Sally” *
“Holy Mother” *
“I Shot The Sheriff” *
“Hard Times”
“Can’t Find My Way Home” * (Feat. Nathan East on lead vocals)
“Edge Of Darkness”
“Old Love” *
“Wonderful Tonight” *
“White Room” *
“Concerto For Electric Guitar” *(composed by Michael Kamen)
“A Remark You Made” *(A tribute to Jaco Pastorius)
“Layla” *
“Sunshine Of Your Love” *

*Previously Unreleased

Clapton has announced several 2023 and 2024 concerts. Details are here.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Richie
    #1 Richie 24 June, 2023, 00:29

    Eric Clapton is an overrated clown. He is in the Bottom 3 guitarists who have achieved fame.
    God? More like the Buffoon From Hell.

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