The original nine-song double-LP In Concert was the first "new" Eric Clapton release in well over a year, and the first to show up in the wake of The History of Eric Clapton compilation (which, in turn, had helped transform the earlier Dominos album Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs into a belated hit). It was also, other than Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert -- which actually took place in the same month that this set was issued, and was issued eight months later -- the only new Clapton material that anyone would see for over a year, as the guitarist struggled through personal turmoil that included heroin addiction. No one who wasn't personally close to him knew that at the time -- this and the Rainbow Concert album were issued to keep his name before the public. And at the time, a lot of fans and critics were disappointed by this set -- the Layla album had already started to take on iconic status, with lots of listeners wearing out that album's grooves and reveling in its complexity, intensity, and seeming studio-generated perfection (plus the presence of Duane Allman).
Comprised of live performances, In Concert never seemed as compelling: for starters, Allman hadn't been present for either of the shows that was recorded (and, in fact, only appeared at a tiny handful of Dominos performances), which made this a somewhat different band. And what we did get was a much more relaxed and often more soulful, involving body of music, starting with the opening track, "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad" and continuing with "Got to Get Better in a Little While"; there was also some disappointment in the sound quality, however, and with the song selection. Despite the fact that they were touring to support the album that carried its name, the group seldom ever performed their most recognizable song, "Layla"; and their repertory was filled out with material from past Clapton projects rather than more material off the Layla album; in effect, the Dominos had become the first Eric Clapton Band, which made this a little less than a live account of this band's work. Thus, it was the hardcore fans who fully embraced this record, mostly for its transcendent moments and the beautiful interplay of the musicians, especially on their own repertory.