The Layla Sessions: 20th Anniversary Edition

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
This three-CD box did a lot of good for rock reissues, though not necessarily for the Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs album. It was the first high-profile reissue to treat rock with the same respect that scholars had long accorded jazz, going beyond the finished tracks to the outtakes and anything else usable that turned up in the vaults. Getting to that point, however, involved a mistake that compromised the most attractive element of the box, the remastering of the original album. Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs had been a vexation since the dawn of the CD era, its first issue marred by harsh textures and lots of noise, a result of the multiple overdubs on the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
This three-CD box did a lot of good for rock reissues, though not necessarily for the Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs album. It was the first high-profile reissue to treat rock with the same respect that scholars had long accorded jazz, going beyond the finished tracks to the outtakes and anything else usable that turned up in the vaults. Getting to that point, however, involved a mistake that compromised the most attractive element of the box, the remastering of the original album. Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs had been a vexation since the dawn of the CD era, its first issue marred by harsh textures and lots of noise, a result of the multiple overdubs on the original album. Then Polygram issued the Eric Clapton box Crossroads in 1988, which included a new remastering of "Layla" and the handful of other songs from the album; in the course of preparing that set, the producers stumbled upon the long-missing multi-tracks from the Layla album sessions. Thus, they had access to all of the outtakes, as well as the raw material needed to remix the whole album. That was what they did on this box, rebuilding each song from its original multi-track session recordings on disc one, assembling various unused alternate masters of six of the songs on disc two, and filling up disc three with 76 minutes of studio jamming by the band, divided into four extended tracks. And the result of all of that work was more harsh criticism from the public and reviewers, who felt that the remixed album lacked the Phil Spector-ish Wall of Sound element that had made the original LP a larger-than-life experience. Still, the concept behind the box was sound, and it is possible for the real fan to appreciate the nuances of the playing on the original tracks as never before, and fascinating to hear, say, the newly exposed solo guitar part on "Anyday" or the layers of instruments throughout. The annotation -- featuring detailed recollections by the late Tom Dowd, who engineered the album -- told of precisely how intense, creative, and quick those recordings were. The producers even included copies of the tracking sheets for the individual songs, the notes by the engineer detailing which recorded tracks to use, and how and where solos, vocals, guitar harmony, fades, and other elements of the song related to each other when assembling the finished songs. The jams are primarily for the hardcore fan, though they're not bad -- they're of a piece with but much more interesting than the "Apple Jam" tracks off of George Harrison's All Things Must Pass which, coincidentally, comprised the sessions whence the Dominos were spawned. Clapton and Duane Allman take their playing in consistently interesting directions, with Bobby Whitlock's keyboards not far behind and Carl Radle and Jim Gordon providing a rocksteady rhythm section, even if little of the material is as attractive as the songs off of the finished album; besides, it's difficult to complain of being given the opportunity to hear two of the greatest guitarists in the world stretching out for over an hour of spontaneous playing. Each of the jams has a different beat and character, the first being rather blues-soaked, the second rocking harder, the third more laid-back, and the fourth delving into Booker T. & the M.G.'s territory. This set isn't the ultimate, enveloping experience of the Layla album that it could have been -- a couple of years later, Mobile Fidelity released a CD that captured the majesty of the original album much better, and at the end of the '90s, Polygram followed suit as part of the "Clapton Remasters" series -- but it is still a choice listening experience for any hardcore fan of Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, or the Allman Brothers, or the Dominos.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/31/1990
  • Label: Polydor / Umgd
  • UPC: 042284708326
  • Catalog Number: 847083

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 I Looked Away (3:03)
  2. 2 Bell Bottom Blues (5:00)
  3. 3 Keep on Growing (6:20)
  4. 4 Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out (5:00)
  5. 5 I Am Yours (3:34)
  6. 6 Anyday (6:33)
  7. 7 Key to the Highway (9:41)
  8. 8 Tell the Truth (6:37)
  9. 9 Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? (4:43)
  10. 10 Have You Ever Loved a Woman (6:54)
  11. 11 Little Wing (5:34)
  12. 12 It's Too Late (3:48)
  13. 13 Layla (7:05)
  14. 14 Thorn Tree in the Garden (2:52)
Disc 2
  1. 1 Jam I (19:59)
  2. 2 Jam II (12:24)
  3. 3 Jam III (13:22)
  4. 4 Jam IV (12:21)
  5. 5 Jam V (18:24)
Disc 3
  1. 1 Have You Ever Loved a Woman (5:54)
  2. 2 Have You Ever Loved a Woman (4:59)
  3. 3 Tell the Truth (9:38)
  4. 4 Tell the Truth (13:47)
  5. 5 Mean Old World (14:55)
  6. 6 Mean Old World (3:36)
  7. 7 Mean Old World (3:50)
  8. 8 (When Things Go Wrong) It Hurts Me Too (1:56)
  9. 9 Tender Love (2:42)
  10. 10 It's Too Late (4:05)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Derek & the Dominos Primary Artist
Dickey Betts Guitar
Jim Gordon Percussion, Drums
Albhy Galuten Piano
Duane Allman Guitar
Eric Clapton Guitar, Vocals
Berry Oakley Bass
Carl Radle Bass, Percussion
Butch Trucks Drums
Bobby Whitlock Organ, Piano, Vocals
Technical Credits
Sam Hopkins Composer
Howard Albert Engineer
Ron Albert Engineer
Derek & the Dominos Producer
Tom Dowd Executive Producer
Mac Emmerman Engineer
Chuck Kirkpatrick Engineer
B.B. King Composer
Bill Levenson Reissue Producer
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Muddy Waters Composer
Karl Richardson Engineer
Gene Santoro Liner Notes
Mitchell Kanner Art Direction
Scott Hull Digital Editing
Frandsen-De Schonberg Paintings
Walter Jacobs Composer
Jimmie Cox Composer
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A true classic album as it ought to be heard

    First, in my opinion, this remixed version of Layla is the very best version of the original album. Those involved in making this box set did the album (and we listeners) a great favor in using the original tapes and making each artist clear and crisp in their performances. Considering that this has some of Duane Allman's last work, it is a treasure to hear. As to the album itself, 'Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs' is perhaps the greatest album ever made about romantic longing. It is one that ought to be owned, played, and treasured as the beautiful audio artwork it is. As to the other two CD's in this special box set, the "Jams" are exactly that, five jams with Eric Clapton and the band, the last two with Clapton and Allman which make these cuts priceless for both Clapton and Allman Brothers fans. The last CD has outtakes and variant version of a few of the album songs which probably wont be played as often as the other two, but there are some truly tasty cuts here and a treat to anyone who is a great fan of the original album. My heartfelt gratitude to those who created this box gem.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews