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DEREK AND THE DOMINOS
Released - November, 1970 on Polydor Records. Produced by The Dominos
- Lead & Rhythm Guitars; Lead
Vocals (except on track 14)
What a wonderful album! Eric Clapton formed Derek and the Dominos with members of the backing band for Delaney & Bonnie, and after the breakup of the short lived supergroup that he was in, Blind Faith. Unfortunately this new band would only last a bit longer than Blind Faith did, but damn, Layla, being their only studio album, sure was a home run and made you wish they had recorded a few more.
There are several great numbers found on here, with some of the songs written by Clapton about his love for Patti Boyd, the wife of his friend, George Harrison. One of those being the album's title cut, "Layla", a song that some say is Clapton's greatest ever. For sure his vocals and guitar are tops on here, as is the piano, played by drummer Jim Gordon, who had recorded it for a solo album he was working on. But after Clapton heard the piano solo, he wanted it for this song. Gordon at first didn't want to give it up, but after some arm jerking and being given co-writing credit for "Layla", he gave in. Thing is, Duane Allman's slide guitar is so fantastic on this tune that many feel he should had also been granted a co-writing credit, too.
The next best song on here some believed was also about Boyd, that being "Bell Bottom Blues", but Clapton has stated it is about another lady friend. It's Clapton's painful vocals on this one that take it to the top, thanks in part to some excellently written lyrics.
Bobby Whitlock was a very big part of this album, writing or co-writing six of the songs with Clapton. Besides being the lone backing vocalist in the group, he also sang occasional lead on several of the songs and his deep soulful vocals are just classic! In part his trade off powerful vocals (with Clapton) on "It's Too Late" is what makes the song shine. Pretty much the same could be said for "Tell the Truth", that along with the wailing guitars heard on the song.
Clapton could not have picked a better cover song to sing than "Have You Ever Loved a Woman", considering the mood he was in because of Boyd, the lyrics to this cover covered the predicament he was in to a tee. Then another cover, "Key to the Highway", is yet another winner, too.
"Keep on Growing" and "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?" are two very similar sounding songs, with once again some great guitar playing. The weakest number on Layla, "I Am Yours", is the one song that sounds totally different from the rest of the tunes on the album. In fact, it plain out sounds like a Crosby, Stills and Nash song vocal wise, but still it isn't all that bad.
- Keno, 2006
To listen to some soundclips from LAYLA or to purchase, it click on: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs
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