P2 31820 Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs
Produced & Arranged by The Dominos
Released on November 1970
US CHART POSITION #16 . . . GOLD RECORD (8/26/71) . . . US RE-CHART POSITION #107 (1974), #183 (1977)
Find it at GEMM
P2 31820 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

C lapton wasn’t God (any more than the rest of us), but was he omnipresent? It must have seemed that way in 1970: The Beatles, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek & The Dominos. You couldn’t swing a sleeping cat without clipping a Clapton record in one form or another. Among them, Layla went a long way toward confirming Clapton’s iconic status. Yes he shone with Cream, but he is flippin’ brilliant with Derek and The Dominos. Taking lead vocals and writing most of the material, Clapton becomes the frontman, a role he shied from with Cream and Blind Faith (and even on his own solo album). Similar to George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass, Layla is Clapton’s magnum opus, an effort that overflows with inspiration and creativity. “Layla” and “Bell Bottom Blues” stand head and shoulders above anything on Clapton’s solo debut, while songs like “Anyday” and “I Looked Away” (both cowritten with Bobby Whitlock) hold their own with anything in Clapton’s catalog. So what aroused Clapton’s sleeping muse? Legend holds that Clapton was pining for Patti Boyd, George Harrison’s wife, creating a kind of Lancelot/Arthur/Guinevere triangle betwixt the three. Clapton directly addresses the problem in “Layla,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” though the theme runs through the entire album. In between are the blues workouts you’d expect from a band that included Clapton and Duane Allman: “Key To The Highway,” “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out,” etc. With such instrumental chops to showcase, it’s remarkable that Layla garners more attention for the quality of the songwriting than the playing. Working with Bobby Whitlock, Eric Clapton sheds the one-dimensional tag of “great guitar player” and adds “great singer and songwriter” to his credits. In a sense, Duane Allman plays the role of Clapton this time, adding smart guitar leads to the music but otherwise staying in the background. Many feel Layla is Clapton’s shining moment as a songwriter/bandleader, and it’s hard to argue with them. Twenty years after its initial release, Polydor released a three-CD box set that included two discs’ worth of unreleased material recorded during the original sessions.

P2 31820 gatefold sleeve
P2 31820 gatefold sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. I LOOKED AWAY    (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)    3:03
  2. BELL BOTTOM BLUES    (Eric Clapton)    5:01
  3. KEEP ON GROWING    (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)    6:20
  4. NOBODY KNOWS YOU WHEN YOU'RE DOWN AND OUT    (Jimmie Cox)    4:56
  5. I AM YOURS    (Eric Clapton/Nizami)    3:34
  6. ANYDAY    (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)    6:34
  7. KEY TO THE HIGHWAY    (Charles Segar/Willie Broonzy)    9:37
  8. TELL THE TRUTH    (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)    6:37
  9. WHY DOES LOVE GOT TO BE SO SAD?    (Eric Clapton/Bobby Whitlock)    4:41
  10. HAVE YOU EVER LOVED A WOMAN    (Billy Myles)    6:51
  11. LITTLE WING    (Jimi Hendrix)    5:32
  12. IT'S TOO LATE    (Chuck Willis)    3:48
  13. LAYLA    (Eric Clapton/Jim Gordon)    7:02
  14. THORN TREE IN THE GARDEN    (Bobby Whitlock)    2:49

CREDITS

DUANE ALLMAN -- guitars
ERIC CLAPTON -- guitars & lead vocals
JIM GORDON -- drums, percussion & piano
CARL RADLE -- bass & percussion
BOBBY WHITLOCK -- organ, piano, vocals & acoustic guitar
Albee -- piano & assistance
Ron Albert, Chuck Kirkpatrick, Howie Albert, Karl Richardson & Mac Emmerman -- recording engineers
Tom Dowd -- executive producer
Frandsen-de Schonberg -- cover painting
All got together by Bruce McCaskill

return to DEREK AND THE DOMINOS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK 1970 Polydor 2LP 2625 005 gatefold cover
US November 1970 Atco 2LP SD2704  
US 1972 Polydor 2LP PD2 3501  
GER   Polydor 2LP 2335 009/10 gatefold cover
UK   RSO 2LP 2479 162  
US   RSO 2LP/CS 823 277 gatefold cover
JPN   RSO 2LP MW 9067/8 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US February 1977 RSO 2LP/CS RS-2/CT-2 3801 gatefold cover
JPN 1979 Polydor/RSO 2LP MWX-9956/7 gatefold cover
US   Polydor CD P2 31820  
EUR   Universal CD 531820  
US September 18, 1990 Polydor 3CD 847 083 repackaged as THE LAYLA SESSIONS:
20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION
JPN   Polydor CD POCP-2541 20-bit remaster

 

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