DEREK And The DOMINOS – ” Live At The Fillmore “

Posted: October 23, 2021 in MUSIC
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Derek & The Dominos - Live At The Fillmore

The Derek And the Dominos “In Concert” album and its subsequent incarnations is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. The different versions, culled from different shows, make it extremely complicated. Add to this the fact that no one in the audience had yet heard their debut album “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs“, because it had not been released at the time of the Fillmore shows, and the story becomes even more tangled. This Derek & The Dominos “Live” album was to support the “Layla” album but it was a little surprising that the only songs were from side three of the Layla album. The other songs were from Eric’s solo album and Blind Faith.
Eric Clapton often said that the best rhythm section he ever played with was Jim Gordon on drums and Carl Radle on bass. They were astonishing but the addition of Bobby Whitlock on keyboards was instrumental in adding a new dimension to this amazing trio.
Clapton’s playing at the time was magnificent, Gordon’s drumming was outstanding and his solo, which was the norm in the 1970s, was masterful on the song “Let It Rain.” Radle and Whitlock could do no wrong and both sounded fantastic.

The Derek And The Dominos live recordings are from the Fillmore East in New York City on October 23rd and 24th, 1970, and capture the band in all their, at times, rampant glory and at others that laid back Southern soulfulness that Carl Radle, Bobby Whitlock, and Jim Gordon brought to the band.

Derek And The Dominos “In Concert” was originally released in 1973, nearly two and a half years after the band’s studio album originally had nine songs and running for an hour and a half. The original nine-song double-LP “In Concert” was the first “new” Eric Clapton release in well over a year, It was also, other than Eric Clapton’s “Rainbow Concert” which actually took place in the same month that this set was issued, and was issued eight months later — the only new Clapton material that anyone would see for over a year, as the guitarist struggled through personal turmoil that included heroin addiction. No one who wasn’t personally close to him knew that at the time — this and the “Rainbow Concert “album were issued to keep his name before the public.

At the time, a lot of fans and critics were disappointed by this set.

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Comprised of live performances, “In Concert” never seemed as compelling: for starters, Allman hadn’t been present for either of the shows that was recorded (and, in fact, only appeared at a tiny handful of Dominos performances), which made this a somewhat different band. And what we did get was a much more relaxed and often more soulful, involving body of music, starting with the opening track, “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad” and continuing with “Got to Get Better in a Little While”; there was also some disappointment in the sound quality, however, and with the song selection. Despite the fact that they were touring to support the album that carried its name, the group seldom ever performed their most recognizable song, “Layla”; and their repertory was filled out with material from past Clapton projects rather than more material off the Layla album; in effect, the Dominos had become the first Eric Clapton Band, which made this a little less than a live account of this band’s work. It was the hardcore fans who fully embraced this record, mostly for its transcendent moments and the beautiful interplay of the musicians, especially on their own repertory.

The concert album was reissued as “Live At The Fillmore” released not until February 22nd, 1994 with a significantly different running order, and with the addition of four more tracks. In reality, six of the nine tracks released as “In Concert“, and three of its five previously unreleased performances, are different recordings of songs that featured on “In Concert“.  As a trio backing Eric Claptonthe Dominos leave the guitarist considerable room to solo on extended numbers, five of which run over ten minutes each. Clapton doesn’t show consistent invention, but his playing is always directed, and he plays more blues than you can hear on any other Clapton live recording.

In 2011, on the 40th anniversary super deluxe edition of “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs”, the running order was back to the original “In Concert” edition plus the extra four tracks, while utilizing different versions of “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Let it Rain,” and “Tell The Truth” from “Live At The Fillmore”.

For whatever reason, the running order of these concerts were substantially changed. There were two performances on each date and for the late show on October 23rd the concert ran as follows: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Key to the Highway,” “Tell the Truth,” “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Blues Power,” “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Little Wing,” and “Let It Rain,”’ with “Crossroads” as an encore.

For the following night’s second show the set was: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Tell the Truth,” “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,” “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Blues Power,” “Have You Ever Loved a Woman,” “Key to the Highway,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” “Roll It Over,” and “Let It Rain.” For the encore, there was no “Crossroads” but instead the band played “Little Wing.”

Of the 13 tracks on that 40th-anniversary reissue of “Layla“, there were three tracks recorded on the first night: “Got to Get Better in a Little While,” “Little Wing,” and “Crossroads.” There is no “Layla” on the album because Duane Allman was not there to add his signature slide guitar parts.

The songs not on the band’s studio album but played in concert included “Got To Get Better In A Little While,” from their unreleased second album, which shows perfectly what a tight outfit they were on stage. “Let it Rain,” “Bottle of Red Wine,” and “Blues Power” all come from Eric’s self-titled solo album. Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett wrote the first two songs, while the other is by Clapton and Leon Russell. “Presence of the Lord” was from the Blind Faith album. And then there’s “Crossroads,” a very different, more laid back approach than the more frenetic version by Cream, but one that is full of latent energy. 

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