Derek & The Dominos' sole album, the brilliant Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, was initially a bit of a commercial flop when released in 1970. It certainly didn't get any of the attention it deserved, and sales were disappointing. The band then went on a tour of the US which was notable for vast quantities of drugs. Duane Allman had by then left the group to focus on The Allman Brothers Band, leaving them as a quartet. They then broke up in 1971, whilst they were attempting to record a second album in London. They could have been one of the greatest rock groups of the 70s, but sadly it was not to be. Subsequently Eric Clapton went on a career hiatus to nurse his heroin addiction. Bobby Whitlock returned to work with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, who helped him with his first solo album. Jim Gordon joined Traffic, and Carl Radle went back to work as a sideman. Meanwhile Duane Allman was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident.
"Layla" became a belated hit in 1972. In 1973 Clapton's career was resurrected when many of his musician friends helped organise a concert to bring him out of retirement (see Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert). At the same time a live double album by Derek & The Dominos was released, taken from performances at the Fillmore East during the US tour. In Concert was a fine live document, showcasing the band's instrumental talents through lots of drawn out jams. Only three of the songs were actually originally from the Layla album - four were from Clapton's debut solo album (which Whitlock, Radle and Gordon had all played on before they became the Dominos), one was from the Blind Faith album, and one was a new song ("Got To Get Better In A Little While", of which several studio versions can be found here).
In retrospect the album can be seen as a little tedious and over-indulgent, as the jams go on and on without letting up, many over the ten minute mark and serving as little more than vehicles for Clapton's relentless soloing.
Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) <|
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