Derek & the Dominos – Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs 40th Anniversary Edition

January 01, 1970

(Universal Music Enterprises)

 

www.ilovethatsong.com

 

Looking back at Eric Clapton’s career, it’s hard not to be
disappointed. After setting the world on fire on the ‘60s and very early ‘70s,
he has spent the last four decades coasting, seemingly more interested in
getting on to adult contemporary radio than unleashing the great bluesman that
most likely still lurks inside him.

 

At this point, it’s sometimes hard to remember why he’s so famous in
the first place. Let the 40th anniversary of Layla serve as a reminder. The album is not only Clapton’s high
water mark, it’s one of the best rock albums ever made. Hell, even the title
track – which usually makes me want to take a baseball bat to the studio of my
local classic rock station – is powerful and moving within the context of the
album.

 

Does that mean you should run out and buy one of these 40th anniversary packages? Yes and no. The Deluxe reissue is a 2-CD set – a
better-sounding version of the album you probably already own and a disc of
outtakes, most of which were also on the three-disc 20th Anniversary
Layla Sessions box set. The new stuff
includes four great Dominos performances from The Johnny Cash Show, the best of
which is ragged but right version of “Matchbox” featuring Cash and Carl
Perkins. Disappointingly, it doesn’t include two tracks from The Layla Sessions (“Tender Love” and
“It Hurts Me Too”), making it slightly incomplete. It also doesn’t contain the
studio jams from that set, but how often does anyone really play those anyway?

 

If you didn’t buy The Layla
Sessions
, picking this one up is a no-brainer. The improved sound quality
and bonus disc are well worth the price tag of $20-$25.  (Hence the “10” rating, above.)

 

More problematic is the Super Deluxe set, which contains the two CDs
mentioned above, an audiophile DVD of the album, high-fidelity vinyl, a hardcover
book, and a remastered and expanded version of Derek and the Dominos In Concert, an album that was already
remastered, expanded and renamed Live at
the Fillmore
in the ‘90s.

 

If you’re even considering this, you’re most likely a pretty big fan,
meaning you probably have nearly all of this material. It seems hard to fathom
that it’d be worth shelling out nearly $100 to buy it again with slightly
better sound quality and a nice book, especially when it still doesn’t give you
the entire picture. Why not include the jams from the 20th anniversary set in this version? And if you’re going to include a DVD, why not
put video from the Johnny Cash show on there – it’s not like the clips aren’t
available all over YouTube? The two-disc version seems like a proper tribute;
this one seems more like a money grab – if our reviews could display separate
star ratings, it would be in the vicinity of a “5”.

 

DOWNLOAD: The entire
original album, “Mean Old World” “Matchbox” HAL BIENSTOCK

 

 

 

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