Dan here again. I was looking back in the archives of Layla's blog and found that she really has never written about the album that her namesake or her blog badge comes from. I will now try to enlighten you with my knowledge and research. The album cover really is a beautiful piece of art.
The album "Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs" by Derek and the Dominos (1970) has arguably been considered Eric Claptons greatest musical achievement. A return to the Crossroads blues roots Eric so longed for. The bands name was chosen specifically because he wanted to hide from his celebrity status. He just wanted to create music without all the hype that constantly surrounded him. Remember he was considered God by some at the time. What a tough name to live up to.
This endeavor came shortly after his stint with Delaney and Bonnie and Friends. Former bandmates Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon joined him in the band. Eric was the main song writer, but it really was a group effort with Bobby Whitlock providing help on many of the songs and arrangements. Most of the material on this album was written for Pattie Boyd, George Harrison's wife, who Eric desperately wanted to make his own. The relationship was not officially to be for another 4 years though. A few cover songs were also included. Incidently, a cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing" was also included in memoriam of Jimi who had died a week after its recording.
Another contributor to the band was none other than Duane Allman who was scouted by Eric after hearing The Allman Brothers were playing nearby. It is said that Duane froze when Eric showed up at the concert. After the show they hung out all night long trading licks and swapping guitars. Eric would later say that Duane "was the musical brother he never had, but wished he did."
Derek and the Dominos only produced this one, four sided, studio recording and then also a live recording "In Concert" (1973). Later in the 90's they remastered the Layla studio recordings for its 20th anniversary and also produced a live concert album from their concerts at The Fillmore East in the 70's.
The most famous song, of course, is Layla, with Duane stepping up big time with his slide guitar. Drummer Jim Gordon's piano solo (Jim was working on a solo album when Eric heard him playing the now famous piano interlude and insisted they include it) rounded out the package and the rest as they say is history. When you really listen to the intensity of those Eric lyrics and the beautiful instruments, you can almost feel the desire he must have had for Pattie. What a love story they had!
The album was originally a flop out of the gate, but when the song Layla was released as a single in 1972, it took off and became a smash hit. Clapton acoustically reworked the song in 1992, which became another smash hit for him. I personally enjoy the acoustic version better than the original, but of course we do miss Duane's slide. I am including that version now. I hope you enjoy!
eric clapton - layla - live
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