Veteran producer Tom Dowd was working on the Allman Brothers second album, Idlewild South, when the studio received a phone call that Clapton was bringing the Dominos to Miami to record. Upon hearing this, guitarist Duane Allman indicated that he would love to drop by and watch, if Clapton approved.
Clapton continued to play the song "Layla" live, as at Live Aid (in Philadelphia) in 1985. In 2006, Clapton and J.J. Cale recorded The Road to Escondido, on which Allman Brothers guitarist Derek Trucks played guitar. Following this, Clapton went on tour with Trucks as part of his band. Clapton explained later that playing with Trucks made him feel like he was in Derek and the Dominos again. As the tour progressed the set changed, with the first half of the show consisting entirely of songs from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and culminating in "Layla".
To mark the album's twentieth anniversary in 1990, an extended version of the album was released as a deluxe three-CD set, with extensive liner notes titled The Layla Sessions: 20th Anniversary Edition. The first disc has the same tracks as the original LP, remixed in stereo from the 16-track analog source tapes and digitally remastered. This 1990 remix, issued by Polydor, has also been released as a single CD apart from the box set. The remix has some significant changes including center placement of the bass, which in the original mix was often mixed into either the left or right channel. The other two discs of The Layla Sessions include a number of jam sessions, including the historic jam from the night that Clapton and Allman met. Also included were out-takes of some of the songs, and the previously unreleased tracks "Mean Old World," "It Hurts Me Too," and "Tender Love."
Wishing to escape the superstar expectations that sank Blind Faith before it was launched, Eric Clapton retreated with several sidemen from Delaney & Bonnie to record the material that would form Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. From these meager beginnings grew his greatest album. Duane Allman joined the band shortly after recording began, and his spectacular slide guitar pushed Clapton to new heights. Then again, Clapton may have gotten there without him, considering the emotional turmoil he was in during the recording. He was in hopeless, unrequited love with Pattie Boyd, the wife of his best friend, George Harrison, and that pain surges throughout Layla, especially on its epic title track. But what really makes Layla such a powerful record is that Clapton, ignoring the traditions that occasionally painted him into a corner, simply tears through these songs with burning, intense emotion. He makes standards like "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" and "Nobody Knows You (When You're Down and Out)" into his own, while his collaborations with Bobby Whitlock -- including "Any Day" and "Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?" -- teem with passion. And, considering what a personal album Layla is, it's somewhat ironic that the lovely coda "Thorn Tree in the Garden" is a solo performance by Whitlock, and that the song sums up the entire album as well as "Layla" itself.
DOWD: By then, the Dominos had recorded several songs and had arrangements set for others, but right away Duane started fitting in parts and the more he did that, the more songs started to radically change. Duane had unleashed this dynamic entity that was just ridiculous. They were feeding off each other like crazy and running on pure emotion.
Roland Bearne: I discovered Clapton via Behind The Sun in the mid 80s and loved it, so delved into the back catalogue with my Mum actually emerging as a huge fan! Layla always seemed the most daunting to those teenage ears. Big, free flowing and just too darn complicated (when the new Y& T was begging for a spin). Listening now, wow, what a treat. There's so much music here! Chemically induced or not, the songs flow deliciously. I love when you can hear the solos almost running out of steam, then he digs deep and teases out a new theme, and you can hear the musician's brains changing gear. Wondrous. I love the bum notes, the half formed ideas and the absolute revelry in playing. A true gem, and will remain in rotation forever.
Sometime in 1969, he had fallen deeply in love with Pattie Boyd, who happened to be married to one of his closest friends, George Harrison. And he fought his feelings in two ways: with heroin and by writing songs about his infatuation. The best of them, "Layla," would become the sprawling centerpiece of Derek and the Dominos' only studio album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.
Still, the project's ace in the hole wasn't even there at the start. Guitarist Duane Allman, who was recording the Allman Brothers Band's second album at the same studio (Miami's Criteria) and with the same producer (Tom Dowd) that Derek and the Dominos were using. One thing led to another, and soon the young guitarist was invited by Clapton to jump on board, and Allman ended up playing on 11 of Layla's 14 songs, including the title track's celebrated weeping slide solo.
The sessions ran from late August through early October 1970. Clapton and Whitlock wrote nine of the songs, either separately, together or with other songwriters. The remaining tracks included covers of cuts as vintage as Chuck Willis' '50s R&B lament "It's Too Late" and as recent as Jimi Hendrix's "Little Wing." 2b1af7f3a8