At school I was always a bit of a nerd; the cool kids walked around with copies of Cream, King Crimson or Blodwyn Pig albums under their arm. However, it seems as though I’ve known the track ‘Layla’ almost all my life. I had it as a single back in the 70s, then bought the album much later on CD; now it’s mine on vinyl, a double LP for a bargain £2.50!
I’m constantly amazed at little details that can be heard on vinyl that I had never noticed on CD, such as the bongos in the left hand speaker on ‘I Am Yours’. It is so difficult to say anything meaningful about such a classic album that hasn’t been said many times before. The chemistry between the band and in particular between Eric Clapton and Duane Allman has helped create a wonderful album. What’s more, time hasn’t affected the brilliance of the performances or the recording.
I find with some music, such as early ’60s or the ’80s, that style of the period can later put one off. I think twice before buying an ’80s album as I can’t stand the over-production and overuse of drum machines. Some music of the ’60s seems to have been recorded in a very compressed/crude way – maybe due to the limits of 4-track recording? However, jazz recordings from the early’50s onwards seem to be of much more acceptable quality, at least to my ears.
Eric Clapton’s ‘August’ ,from 1986, is an example of an album that to me sounds stuck in it’s time and hence rarely gets played by me at all.
Layla (and other assorted love songs) thankfully shall receive many future plays and I heartily recommend it to all lovers of blues rock.