Q - 11/96, p.1472 Stars (out of 5)
- ".... A huddle of superstar chums (including Bob Dylan, whose 'Sign Language' is the outstanding new song) play some 'tasty licks,'..."
Personnel includes: Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ron Wood, Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko, Georgie Fame, Richard Manuel, Marcy Levy, Jesse Ed Davis, Yvonne Elliman, Carl Radle, Wah Wah Watson.
Engineers: Ralph Moss, Ed Anderson, Nat Jeffrey.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Eric Clapton (vocals, guitar); Chris Jagger, Sandy Castle, Marcy Levy, Yvonne Elliman, Bob Dylan (vocals); Robbie Robertson (guitar, keyboards); George Terry, Jesse Ed Davis , Ron Wood, Wah-Wah Watson (guitar); Garth Hudson (saxophone, keyboards); Bobby Ellis (trumpet); Albhy Galuten (piano); Dick Sims, Georgie Fame, Billy Preston (keyboards); Jamie Oldaker, Levon Helm, Richard Manuel (drums); Terry Danko, Sergio Rodriguez, Ralph Moss (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Tom Nikosey.
Recording information: Shangri-la Studios; Village Recorder.
Photographer: Ed Caraeff.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Roger Forrester; Wilton Spears; Dominic Lumetta; Mickey Turner; Geoff Harrison; Dick Lapalm; Larry Samuels; Dread Lever; Brains Bradley; Konrad Kramer; Joseph M. Palmaccio.
Arranger: Eric Clapton.
In the spirit of all-star get-togethers endemic to that part of the '70s, 1976's NO REASON TO CRY became Eric Clapton's recorded version of the Rolling Thunder Tour. Joining Clapton in the studio were Bob Dylan, Ron Wood, Georgie Fame and Band-mates Robbie Robertson, Rick Danko & Richard Manuel (Clapton returned the favor later in the year by appearing in The Last Waltz, the Band's last live show). Clapton's buddies also contributed material, including Dylan's "Sign Language," the Danko/Manuel composition "Beautiful Thing" and Danko's country-flavored "All Our Past Times."
At this point in his solo career, Clapton was taking a more languid and low-key approach towards playing, with more emphasis on presenting songs and less on soloing. Songs such as the wistful "Hello Old Friend" and the aching "Innocent Times," featuring Marcy Levy's gospel-flavored vocals, reflect Slowhand's countryish leanings of the time. Clapton's love of the blues, however, was undiminished, and when he tackles both Otis Rush's "Double Trouble" and Little Walter's "Last Night," he shines despite any stylistic changes.