Compensation For Betrayal: Complete Live Materials Known To Exist 1969
(Paddington Records PADD 019/020/021/022/023/024 PADDS-01)
Setlist : Disc 1: Gothenburg, Sweden June 18, 1969: Well All Right, Sleeping In The Ground, Sea Of Joy , Under My Thumb, Can’t Find My Way Home, Do What You Like, Presence Of The Lord, Means To An End, Had To Cry Today
Disc 2: New York City, New York July 12, 1969: Had To Cry Today, Can’t Find My Way Home, Sleeping In The Ground, Well All Right, Presence Of The Lord, Sea Of Joy , Do What You Like, Means To An End
Disc 3: Milwaukee, Wisconsin July 26, 1969: Had To Cry Today, Can’t Find My Way Home, Sleeping In The Ground, Well All Right, Presence Of The Lord, Do What You Like, Sunshine Of Your Love
Disc 4: Oakland, California August 14, 1969: Well All Right, Presence Of The Lord, Sea Of Joy , Means To An End, Do What You Like
Disc 5: Santa Barbara, California August 16, 1969: Well All Right, Can’t Find My Way Home, Had To Cry Today, Sleeping In The Ground, Crossroads, Presence Of The Lord, Means To An End, Do What You Like, Sunshine Of Your Love
Disc 6: San Antonio, Texas August 20, 1969: Well All Right, Can’t Find My Way Home, Had To Cry Today, Sleeping In The Ground, Crossroads, Presence Of The Lord, Means To An End, Do What You Like, Sunshine Of Your Love
CD single: Change Of Address, Can’t Find My Way Home (Electric Version Alternate Mix), Can’t Find My Way Home (Electric version /not listed on jacket)
Paddington claims to have gathered the complete live materials known to exist, but when I first saw this package, I thought “where is the Hyde Park show?” Well, it’s not here. Previously, only four songs from the soundboard had surfaced and there were rumors of an audience recording. About two weeks after Paddington’s release, Mid Valley released Live in Hyde Park 1969, 2CD featuring a more complete soundboard and the audience tape.
I have always considered Clapton’s playing during this and the Dominos period to be some of his best. It was less erratic than the Cream era but not as passive as some of his solo efforts thereafter. Needless to say, this release got my attention. I have read articles that describe their tours as being disastrous. I can’t fully agree with this as these discs show off some great moments. Maybe people expected too much from them. I imagine a lot of pressure comes with being billed as a supergroup.
The Gothenburg show on disc1 is a nice clear audience recording with only the vocals being a bit buried in the mix. This show has Steve Winwood playing only keyboards and “Can’t Find My Way Home” is the electric version. “Under My Thumb” is played as it was at their debut Hyde Park show but apparently gets dropped from the set for the American tour. “Sleeping In The Ground” is a song that didn’t see it’s official release until Clapton’s Crossroads box set in 1988 and the Traffic song “Means To An End”, along with the rest of their debut album, help to round out the live set.
This is the same source that was released as Under My Thumb on Megadisc and Debut In Stockholm (no label). The later attributed to Stockholm . It appears the actual Scandinavian dates are not know. Comparison shows Compensation For Betrayal is an improvement over both of those titles. It is a little wider sounding.
Disc 2 brings us to the second show of the U.S. tour at Madison Square Garden in New York . The recording starts off somewhat distant and gets further away with the tapers trying to settle in to their location. The sound can also be unbalanced at times with the occasional crowd interference. Shouts of “Sit down!” and “Get out of the way!” are clearly heard. This disc also has some static pops that may be a mastering fault.
“Had To Cry Today” has Winwood on guitar as does “Can’t Find My Way Home”. This track is played more like the album version now, but on electric guitars. Ginger Baker captures the best response of the night after his solo in “Do What You Like”. A few small drop outs during this song have the tapers wondering how long the recorder has been off, but not much time is lost. As far as I know, this is the first release on disc of this show.
The Milwaukee performance on disc 3 is listed as being from Milwaukee Community College on July 26, but a concert poster in the insert shows this as being part of the Mid West Rock Festival at the State Fair Park Grand Stand which also included Zeppelin the day before. (Check out that recording)
This tape starts off sounding wishy washy with evident hiss. Guitars and vocals up front, drums fairly clear, with bass getting overshadowed in the mix. “Had To Cry Today” has some great Clapton solos. Ginger introduces “Can’t Find My Way Home” and almost forgets the name of the song. During “Presence Of The Lord” the tape starts to quiver and is cut near the end. It cuts back in at the beginning of another stellar version of “Do What You Like” with all their extended free form solos. A nice surprise at the end of the show is “Sunshine Of Your Love”, sounding more like a laid back jam and sung in harmony. The vocals get lost here so it’s hard to tell who’s singing what. A girl talking, some clapping, and mic positioning noises prove this to be an audience recording and not a soundboard like I have seen it listed on fan sites before. I’d rate it a 6 out of 10 as the instruments can get cluttered at times.
I have also seen the Oakland show listed as a soundboard recording but once again clapping near the recorder after “ Sea Of Joy ” gives it away. It is the best sounding of all the shows here even if the vocals are a bit echoey and at times could be confused with a soundboard. Traffic’s “Means To An End” sounds great tonight with Clapton getting loose in the solo. Pretty much all songs on this disc fade in and fade out and “Do What You Like” is cut. We can only hope more of this great sounding tape surfaces someday. A quick comparison with You Can All Join In on Wild Card shows these discs sound very similar. Wild Card’s level has been boosted slightly more than Paddington.
The Santa Barbara show gives us a very good plus audience recording with vocals up front. “Crossroads” has been added to the set and Clapton and Winwood share the vocals. Only 1:40 of “Sunshine Of Your Love” remains here with what sounds like horns, percussion, and unknown vocalists. I am assuming this may be a jam with Delaney and Bonnie as they were support on the U.S. tour and it is reported that Eric was spending a lot of time with them, even traveling on their bus sometimes. I compared this with Can’t Find My Way Home on Red Light (incorrectly listed as LA on 8/26/69 ). Red Light’s disc is incomplete, missing “Well All Right” and “Sunshine”, and emphasizes more of the lower frequencies.
Disc 6 gives us the listenable but not very clear San Antonio tape. It is muffled and clapping near the microphone distorts the recording but it does become easier to listen to once your ears have adjusted to the sound. “Well All Right” has a very interesting Pink Floydish style intro here and we also get another “Crossroads” and “Sunshine Of Your Love”.
This set also comes with a CD single that’s a mini replica of Island Records promo single that contained “Change Of Address”. The first two tracks, although excellent sounding, are a bit overblown showing hints of distortion.
Paddington have done an excellent job compiling all this material in one set. Their packaging is superb utilizing many photos and historical concert posters on thick high gloss paper. The only improvement to this set would have been to include their debut show in Hyde Park . Sound quality varies from disc to disc but overall I would rate this about a 7 or 8.