DEREK and the DOMINOES – ” Layla and other Assorted Love Songs “

Posted: January 31, 2016 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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The story of Derek and the Dominos, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs “ is not all it seems. Neither the album, whose title is taken from the track ‘Layla’, nor the outstanding single, that is now considered one of rock’s greatest love songs, do nearly as well when they were originally released as many of us imagine.

The album came out in November 1970, and in America made the charts later that month entering at 195, going on to peak at No.16, probably not as high a chart placing as many would guess, if asked. In the UK Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs failed to chart at all, no that’s not quite true. It finally made No.68 on the album charts in 2011 when it was reissued.

Despite Layla and other Assorted Love Songs being recognised as a blues rock classic, Eric Clapton’s debut release while in a band was initially a massive flop. The album’s failure, coupled with the various personal and band tragedies caused Derek and the Dominos to disband after only a year. We’re forever grateful for timeless classic ‘Layla’ and also this forgotten beauty…

The review in Britain’s Melody Maker was somewhat reserved in its praise for the album, stating that “If you do judge Derek and the Dominos by Cream standards you’ll be disappointed.” It has as the years have rolled by become increasingly popular and many now regard this as Eric Clapton’s masterpiece. Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and Rolling Stone Magazine its list of “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”.

But what about Layla as a single? In the US it was released as an edited 45rpm in March 1971 and made No.51 in the charts: ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ was the lead single from the album. A year later a longer version was issued in the US and it fared a lot better, reaching No.10 on the Billboard charts. In the UK it was not released at all until 1st August 1972, and only then in the shortened version (barely 2 and three quarter minutes long). It made No.7 on the charts in 1972 and a decade later it charted again, making No.4 in 1982.

The Melody Maker’s July 1972 review of Layla



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