Steve Simels
November 08, 1991 AT 05:00 AM EST

Eric Clapton: 24 Nights

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
performer
Eric Clapton, National Philharmonic Orchestra, Robert Cray
genre
Documentary

We gave it a B

The salient feature of Eric Clapton: 24 Nights, a video document of Eric Clapton’s two dozen concerts in London last winter, is a quiet dignity. Working with four different groups of musicians, from an all-star blues lineup featuring Robert Cray to the National Philharmonic Orchestra, the guitar legend remains oblivious to showmanship or stagecraft. Clapton simply sings and plays as impeccably and at times movingly as he possibly can, in his usual array of styles. The result is hit-or-miss. ”Sunshine of Your Love,” for example, is rendered far too clinically, while ”Bell Bottom Blues” (with the orchestra) is heartbreaking in its emotional intensity. Visually, however, there’s little to recommend this video over the current, slightly longer CD release. None of Clapton’s bandmates is particularly interesting here (including Phil Collins banging a tambourine on one song), and the camera work vacillates between the routine and the pedestrian. Still, Clapton’s self-effacing, into-the-music manner is refreshing in the Madonna age. B

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