I understand The Yardbirds. I understand John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. I understand Cream. I (almost) understand Blind Faith. But I have trouble understanding Derek & The Dominos. It’s not that I think it’s a bad record, it’s just that it doesn’t really appeal to me like those other projects / records.
Layla is a different beast altogether – without a doubt it’s one of the best rock records committed to vinyl. But maybe that’s why I have a problem with the rest of the record. Compared to the frantic bombast of Layla, the rest of the album is bordering on easy-listening. It’s about as far as from Cream as you could get. I read an interview with Clapton the other day, and the interviewer brought up the subject of Layla. Clapton said he always has problems listening to it because it sounds so different to his usual self. He’s right – it’s probably the best thing, and most outlandish thing he’s ever done – but it also sounds like nothing else on this record.
Clapton and the band (Bobby Whitlock on keyboards and vocals, Jim Gordon on drums, Carl Radle on bass, and Duane Allman on lead and slide) even bother to record a turgid cover of Little Wing, one of my favourite Hendrix songs.
Robert Christgau rates this as the third greatest album of the 1970s. I just don’t see it.
Long and boring.
Hidden Gem: Tell The Truth