Watch ‘Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs’ Live Videos
Nov 9, 2020
11:42 am PST
Eric Clapton’s acclaimed Derek & The Dominos album, Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs was released on this date 50 years ago. The double LP was the only album released by Derek & The Dominos, which consisted of Clapton on guitar, Bobby Whitlock on keyboards, Carl Radle on bass and Jim Gordon on drums.
The 14-song album also featured contributions from The Allman Brothers Band guitarist Duane Allman on all but three of the tracks. Renowned producer Tom Dowd worked on the sessions held in Miami at Criteria Studios. The tracklist mixed originals written by Clapton, often with Whitlock, as well as covers of songs by Jimi Hendrix, Chuck Willis, Jimmie Cox and others.
“Layla,” the album’s centerpiece and penultimate track, remains one of Clapton’s best-known and well-regarded compositions, in particular the piano-driven, melodically soaring coda. The song was written for Pattie Boyd, who at the time was married to The Beatles guitarist George Harrison but later divorced and married Clapton.
Derek & The Dominos, without Allman, toured for a few months in late-1970 in support of Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs. The songs on the record have continued to be performed live by Clapton and others influenced by the landmark album. Below are live videos of all 14 Layla tracks being performed live over the past 50 years that are available in the JamBase Live Video Archive (JBLVA).
I Looked Away
Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs opens with “I Looked Away.” Allman had yet to arrive in Miami when Derek & The Dominos recorded the Clapton/Whitlock co-write. Here’s the opening track performed live by Moonalice, featuring guitarist Roger McNamee, guitarist Barry Sless, drummer John Molo and bassist Pete Sears, who switches to keyboard to tack on the “Layla” coda at the end of the song.
“Bell Bottom Blues” is another of the songs on Layla tracked without Duane Allman. Written by Clapton, the song has been performed live by many other musicians. This video features the Tedeschi Trucks Band making their first of several appearances on this list. Recorded in October 2019 at The Beacon Theatre in New York City, TTB was joined by Wilco guitarist Nels Cline on “Bell Bottom Blues” in the footage above.
“Keep On Growing” was the other Clapton/Whitlock co-write recorded for Layla without Allman. The song had a short-lived run with the Grateful Dead, who covered it three times in 1985 and once more in 1986. The Dead let Phil Lesh sing “Keep On Growing” with assistance from keyboardist Brent Mydland. The video above captures the band’s final attempt at “Keep On Growing” from their concert in Oakland on Valentine’s Day 1986, when it opened the second set after the Dead original “Let It Grow” closed the first set.
The first cover in the Layla tracklist is “Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out.” Written in the early-1920s by Jimmy Cox, it became a blues standard and was the first song recorded by Derek & The Dominos when Allman arrived at the sessions. Hot Tuna, the duo of Jefferson Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady, can be seen playing their arrangement of the blues classic backstage at The Capitol Theatre in the video above.
“I Am Yours” was written by Clapton, who used the work of 12th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet Nezāmi for the song’s lyrics. Performed by Clapton himself, this video of “I Am Yours” comes from a concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 2006 and features TTB guitarist Derek Trucks as well as guitarist Doyle Bramhall II.
“Anyday” was performed by Clapton during one of two lengthy sit-ins with The Allman Brothers Band during their 40th anniversary March Madness residency at The Beacon Theatre in 2009. Clapton joined Duane’s brother Gregg Allman, fellow Allman Brothers Band co-founders Butch Trucks and Jaimoe, as well as guitarists Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes, bassist Oteil Burbridge and percussionist Marc Quiñones on March 19 and again on March 20. This video is from the first sit-in on March 19 and features “Anyday” with Susan Tedeschi also sitting-in, as well as other Layla tracks “Key To The Highway,” “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad,” “Little Wing” and the encore “Layla.”
Previewing another set at the LOCKN’ festival five years in advance (see “Little Wing” below), Tedeschi Trucks Band was joined by Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir at the 2015 edition of the event held in Arrington, Virginia. That collaboration resulted in a performance of “Key To The Highway” — a 1940s blues standard first recorded by pianist Charlie Segar, which can be viewed above.
“Tell The Truth,” helps tell the genesis of Derek & The Dominos, as it dates back to recording sessions for George Harrison’s 1970 triple LP, All Things Must Pass that included Clapton, Whitlock, Radle and Gordon. That version, with Harrison on guitar, was issued as a single a few months before Layla was released. “Tell The Truth” was then re-recorded with Dowd and Allman during the sessions in Miami. This video of Tedeschi Trucks Band comes from their residency at The Beacon Theatre in October 2019.
The Grateful Dead let Phil Lesh sing “Keep On Growing,” but the bassist let guitarist Warren Haynes handle vocals on “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” during the Phil & Friends show at Terrapin Crossroads captured above. Lesh and Haynes were backed that night in December 2012 by drummer Joe Russo, guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist John Medeski. “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” came in the midst of a sequence lacing together “Help On The Way” into “Eyesight For The Blind” (a blues standard Clapton performed on in the 1975 film version of The Who’s rock opera Tommy) into “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad?” into “Slipknot!” into “Franklin’s Tower.
Blues guitarist Freddie King popularized “Have You Ever Loved A Woman,” which was written by Billy Myles. Clapton recorded a version of the song with John Mayall during a concert in London on March 17, 1966 at the Flamingo Club that was later released on the 1977 Primal Solos album. The Layla version of “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” was just shy of seven minutes long. The video above, from Clapton’s 2004 Crossroads Guitar Festival in Dallas, features a +13-minute version with Clapton squaring off with Bramhall at the Cotton Bowl.
As mentioned before, Tedeschi Trucks Band’s appearance at the 2019 LOCKN’ festival featured a complete performance of Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs with the assistance of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio. The collaborative set was filled with highlights as the three guitarists — Anastasio, Tedeschi and Trucks — traded searing licks throughout the evening. A standout moment, among many, was the cover of “Little Wing” by Jimi Hendrix. Clapton recorded Hendrix’s “Little Wing” with Allman in Miami, bringing together the three guitar gods with no knowledge that Hendrix would be dead within months and Allman in a little over a year. Watch TTB with Trey take flight with “Little Wing” at LOCKN’ 2019 above.
The only known live footage of Derek & The Dominos performing live comes from their appearance on The Johnny Cash Show in January 1971. Recorded in Nashville in 1970, the band taped a rendition of “It’s Too Late” and also joined Johnny Cash Cash and Carl Perkins on the latter’s “Matchbox.” Written by blues singer Chuck Willis, “It’s Too Late” has been covered by many other musicians, including Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia with his solo projects. Watch Derek & The Dominos performing live on The Johnny Cash Show above.
The album’s signature title track, “Layla,” was written by Clapton with Jim Gordon credited with the coda section. Not only the album’s signature song, “Layla” is certainly one of Clapton’s most significant pieces. Among the many successful covers of “Layla” are those done by Umphrey’s McGee, whose guitarists Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss do an admirable job of playing the parts of Allman and Clapton, with keyboardist Joel Cummins leading the band through the coda. The video feature UM performing “Layla” with ESPN host Tony Reali joining Andy Farag on percussion to close out the first set of their show on February 16, 2014 at The Fillmore Silver Spring in Maryland.
Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs ends with the tender “Thorn Tree In The Garden,” which is the only song on the LP solely credited to Whitlock. Fittingly, the video above features Whitlock (on acoustic guitar) alongside his wife and musical partner CoCo Carmel performing the Layla closing track at concert in 2014.