Saturday, March 20, 1971

Derek and the Dominos charted with "Layla": March 20, 1971

Updated 1/21/2019.

image from americansongwriter.com

Layla

Derek and the Dominos

Writer(s): Eric Clapton, Jim Gordon (see lyrics here)


Released: 1971


First Charted: 3/20/1971


Peak: 10 US, 14 CB, 12 HR, 8 AC, 9 AR, 4 UK, 9 CN (Click for codes to singles charts.)


Sales *: -- US, 0.2 UK, 0.2 world (includes US + UK)


Radio Airplay *: 6.0


Video Airplay *: 117.57


Streaming *: --


* in millions

Review:

One of the great classic rock songs was inspired by Nizami, a twelfth-century Persian poet, who told the story of a love affair gone wrong in The Story of Layla and Majnun. HL In Eric Clapton’s version of the tale, the source of unrequited love was Patti Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison. Clapton never again sounded as tortured as he does here, even on 1992’s “Tears in Heaven,” which Clapton wrote about the death of his four-year-old son. AMG Oh, and Nizami’s version missed a key ingredient of its musical counterpart — “the most recognizable guitar riff in history.” BBC

Derek and the Dominos was a short-lived ensemble comprised of Clapton, members of Delaney and Bonnie’s band, and guitarist Duane Allman, who adapted the “incendiary, fiery riff that fuels the first section” AMG from Albert King’s “The Years Go Passing By.” CR-484

Also notable was Jim Gordon’s “serene, piano-based coda.” RS500 He was a multi-instrumentalist, but was best known for his drumming. This, however, was a piece he’d been working on for years, finally finding its way into “Layla” two months after the recording was supposedly finished. CR-484

The original U.S. single peaked at #51 in 1971. The next year, a longer version went to #10 in the U.S. and #7 on the UK charts. A decade later, it hit the UK charts again, going to #4. In 1992, the song emerged in a slower, live version from Clapton’s Unplugged album and hit AC and album rock. “It was an admirable reworking, but...[the] original recording remains one of the towering moments in rock & roll history.” AMG


Resources and Related Links:

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