Sunday, November 21, 2010

layla and other assorted love songs

derek and the dominos released their only studio album. this triumphant and tragic blues masterpiece is the stuff of legend; it might just ease your worried mind.

after touring with blind faith, eric clapton gravitated to the laid back acoustic aesthetic of opening act delaney & bonnie. he toured with them and then formed his own band with keyboardist carl whitlock and their rhythm section of jim gordon and carl radle under the pseudonym 'derek and the dominos'.

their first sessions together were playing on george harrison's 'all things must pass' album. after the recording started for their own record in miami, clapton met duane allman and invited him to play on the sessions. the dramatic vocal interplay between clapton and whitlock is mirrored in the dynamic guitar interplay between clapton and allman. although a commercial flop when it first came out, the album became a hit on both sides of the atlantic years later. by that time, the dominos had fallen. clapton never sounded quite this good ever again.

the album drew inspiration from the poetry of nezami ganjavi; this song actually sets his words to music.

getting it's name from nezami's 'layla and the madman' and the piano coda from drummer jim gordon; this classic draws from the intense personal pain of clapton's unrequited love for george harrison's wife pattie boyd. she and clapton were married from 1979 to 1989.

one of five songs that clapton and whitlock wrote together for the album. their creative burst was the impetus for starting a band.

performing chuck willis' 'it's too late' (one of five covers they recorded for the album) and 'matchbox' with carl perkins and johnny cash. this really shows the musical connection between clapton and whitlock.

'keep on growing' is another writing collaboration with whitlock.

the desperate desire of 'bell bottom blues' is the only song on the album that clapton wrote himself.

delaney & bonnie & friends doing 'poor elijah.' this is not on the album; but shows the new aesthetic from which the dominos would come.

'thorn tree in the garden' is the final song on the album. it was written and sung by whitlock. it was recorded live in the studio with the five of them in a circle around one microphone.

full album:

all songs written by Eric Clapton and Bobby Whitlock except where noted.

Side one
1. "I Looked Away"   3:05
2. "Bell Bottom Blues"   5:02
3. "Keep on Growing"   6:21
4. "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out"   Jimmy Cox 4:57
Side two
5. "I Am Yours"   Clapton, Nizami 3:34
6. "Anyday"  6:35
7. "Key to the Highway"   Charles Segar, Willie Broonzy 9:40
Side three
8. "Tell the Truth"   6:39
9. "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?"  4:41
10. "Have You Ever Loved a Woman"   Billy Myles 6:52
Side four
11. "Little Wing"   Jimi Hendrix 5:33
12. "It's Too Late"   Chuck Willis 3:47
13. "Layla"   Clapton, Jim Gordon 7:05

14. "Thorn Tree in the Garden"   Whitlock 2:53

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