In the two years following Eric Clapton's appearance at George Harrison's 1971 Concert For Bangladesh, the former guitar god took a sabbatical from playing, due to a number of personal problems. Alarmed at the state that his friend had fallen into, Pete Townshend arranged an all-star concert at London's Rainbow Theatre, where a band that included Ron Wood, ex-Blind Faith (Steve Winwood, Rick Grech) and current Traffic members (Jim Capaldi, Rebop) helped Slowhand play his first live show in two years.
RAINBOW CONCERT, an album of edited segments from the live show, finds a rejuvenated Clapton revisiting his days with Cream ("Badge"), backing Winwood's soulful vocals with some sanctified playing of his own ("Presence of The Lord"), and paying tribute to a fallen comrade ("Little Wing"). On Traffic's "Pearly Queen," the combination of Clapton's guitar with the swirling keyboards and thundering rhythm of the song make for some mesmerizing listening. A year later, Eric Clapton had a comeback album (461 OCEAN BOULEVARD) and a number one song ("I Shot The Sheriff").