Album no. 176/1001
It’s a sneaky Eric Clapton album! Hi Eric! Will he be playing guitar? Spoiler alert: yes.
This was Clapton’s attempt to get away from the egos and hype that surrounded his last two bands, Cream and Blind Faith. He said he was influenced by Music From Big Pink in terms of trying to make it more collaborative, and he chose ‘Derek And The Dominos’ so his fame didn’t overshadow the band.
This is the only studio album the band ever did, and it is widely regarded as Clapton’s creative peak.
Have you listened to this album before?
NK: I haven’t. I know the title track, and I assume ‘Little Wing’ is a Hendrix cover, but that’s it.
CL: No. I know nothing about this band or album.
NK: IT’S NOT ‘LITTLE WING’.
CL: My god. This just sounds like the early beginnings of power-pop rock ballads from the 1980s. I feel sick. The chorus of ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ sounds a bit like ‘To Be With You’ by Mr Big – maybe that’s why I’m having such an adverse reaction to it.
NK: ‘Bell Bottom Blues’ could definitely be found over the credits of an eighties cop movie. Fun fact: Eric Clapton did the music for the four Lethal Weapon movies!
CL: Nothing on this album is any good. Not even ‘Layla’ – even though that also appears in a Girl Talk song. Funnily enough, this is the same Girl Talk song that also featured The Temptations! Great facts.
NK: ‘Layla’ is still my standout. It’s an interesting song, all rocking in the first half and all spaced out relaxing in the second part.
When would be the best time to listen to this?
NK: You need time on your hands, that’s for sure. There’s too much guitaring going on (and on and on and on). If you want to hear Clapton trying something different this is your go, but I don’t really think I’d recommend it.
CL: I honestly can’t think of a good time to listen to this. I hated it. Eric Clapton… just leave it alone.
Why has this album been included on the list?
NK: I find it depressing that this is the direction Clapton went in after hearing Music From Big Pink. I never thought The Band could be a force for evil, but they have definitely pushed him in an unpleasant direction.
CL: I always knew there was something about Eric Clapton that I didn’t like. I mean, aside from his music. I don’t understand why he had to keep wandering from group to group. Did people not like him? Was he annoying? Based on this music, my assessment is yes. I don’t know why this album is included. I wish it hadn’t been.
Will you be listening again?
NK: I will not.
CL: Lord no. It was a struggle to get through it the first time.
Listen to Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs on Spotify or buy it in iTunes.