My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs was recorded in Miami during the Summer and Fall of 1970 and was released in November of the same year. The album consists of a mix of covers and original songs. Duane Allman contributed guitar on eleven of the fourteen tracks.
What I think: This album is split fairly evenly between covers and originals and interestingly enough, my enjoyment of the songs breaks down those lines as well. As I’ve written in many previous posts, I don’t enjoy the English guys harping on the blues songs… it seems inauthentic to me. That is pretty much what you get with the covers. They have the long drawn out solos that Clapton is famous for.
What I really enjoy are the originals. The sound of them is very interesting. They sound very produced and soft in a way no album on this project has yet sounded. In the ’80’s that sound would become stale and overdone, but here it sounds very fresh and refined. My favorites of these are “Bell Bottom Blues” and “Anyday”. You also have the original of “Layla” which is sort of a hybrid of the two sounds on the album. It’s a song I’ve never really sought out, but I’ll listen to it if I hear it on the radio. I do love the juxtaposition of the burning main song on the sad coda at the end.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I am surprising myself here, but I believe it should be here. I think the originals do enough to prop this album into one of the best.
Rating (Out of 5): 3.5
Amazon Review (Out of 5): 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? Yes (143/185)
Percentage of Albums that are new to me: 77%