I concur. Well recorded. I really like it...it's laid back and very enjoyable.
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Clapton only rocks if he is playing with musicians who challenge him. I know he has "been there, done that," but it does seem his work of the past 20 years has not seen him challenging himself as he could be. Clapton Unplugged was his undoing I believe--he got so much adoration for that album that he keeps going back to that format. Safe. Dylan, love him or hate him, has been continually reinventing himself and writing some of his best songs, particularly in the past 10-15 years. Dylan has failed miserably, much more so, than Clapton ever has. But the brilliance of Modern Times, etc? Sure, Clapton keeps it between the ditches and "ages gracefully", but I'd rather see him go off the rails and show us what he really could do. Guess the island living has a lot to do with it! Don't anyone misread my post. I love and idolize Clapton. I own a Clapton signature Strat (plays wonderfully, by the way), have seen him live a dozen times--solo, with Winwood, with the Derek and Dominoes reunion (absolutely stunning playing by the entire band on that tour--esp Derek Trucks), etc. I just wish his albums had more passion than the satisfaction they show. But who am I to say, a mere mortal, one who could not even contemplate having written all the songs he has written. With some artists, the best work is done by 30. Others like Picasso can go til nearly 100.
McCartney watchers have mostly moved on, but there is a generation of aging fans for whom hope springs eternal that Clapton will return to form. For awhile it was anticipation for a real blues album, but when he finally did it it came out as minstrelsy. Agree with Swanny that that Winwood challenged him on stage, but love is in vain for a serious studio effort. How about a trio of Clapton, Rod Stewart, and Brian Wilson doing Gershwin & Porter?
I hold a soft spot for most of the cuts off 461 Ocean Blvd. Suppose living in Miami at the time of the albums release plays a part, but so does understanding the struggles of kicking skag. You can a hear a calm that permeates 461 even when it rocks. I put 461 and the Blues Breakers LP with Clapton/Mayall in a tie for #1. Always bothered that a couple of the cuts on Layla LP were played way too fast, but to listen to Duane's slide work I put up with it.
"I think they had chemical assistance on Layla. That would explain the faster and sloppier playing on that record."
Forgive me, but that's one of the most ignorant statements I've ever read....EVER! 1st off, maybe Clapton's sober NOW (I have no way of knowing), but he was a raging substance-abuser for decades! My guess is the number of records he's made with "chemical assistance" far outnumber the ones without. Secondly, and more importantly, if we were to stop appreciating artists (ANY type of artist!)that are/were "chemically assisted" we'd lose a major chunk of culture. It's about the art, not about the habits of the artist!
To the poster that mentioned EC lost it after 'Unplugged', I'd argue that his last 'hardcore' electric blues album, 'From the Cradle' was recorded 2 yrs AFTER Unplugged. EC has mellowed with old age no doubt, as a fan over 40 yrs I kinda understand where he's coming from, he's a survivor. Frankly, I thought that Cream reunion from a few yrs back was pathetic. After this whole rant, I'll admit that I've never been a fan of his soft-rock sound, I guess that statement about 'Layla' hit a nerve!;)
Chaz, I posted both comments you refer to. Why is my comment off base? They were all smashed for Layla. Look at the photos inside the album. We are on the same page. Re-read what I wrote originally.
I do hold that Clapton's best work comes before Unplugged. I'll continue to hold to that theory until I see something better. I did like his work with JJ Cale recently ("Road to Escondido"), but the best songs were JJ songs, not EC songs.
All this IMHO as a diehard Clapton fan.
Hey Swan! Sorry about the tone of my response. You said we're on the same page but I disagree. You feel the playing on Layla is 'fast & sloppy', where as I feel it's inspired. Layla is considered one of the greatest Rock records ever, it's arguably Clapton's best record, it certainly is a guitarist dream-come-true session. From what I've read, Clapton had just met Duane Allman and invited him to the Layla sessions. With barely any prep or rehearsal Duane came in and hit it out of the park! I'm curious, you've mentioned how you feel about the playing style but do you like the record?
I don't know if it's an urban legend but I understand that Duane and Eric only played live together once as Derick and the Dominoes.
It sure would be cool if anyone knew how to get a hold of a soundboard copy of this show.
For the record, my favorite Clapton recording is "Derick and the Dominoes Live at the Filmore".
Chaz--yes Layla is my desert island album. I Agree it's completely inspired and passionate and agonizing Amd revelatory and hallucinatory and sad and happy and sloppy and tight and everything Clapton is not as of late. This is the album I listened to before and after my divorce. I listened to it nearly a year ago when my older brother passed. I know ever song intimately ( in my own way at least). Like all great art it endures and speaks to our collective human experience. We are on the same page brother! My post was quickly thrown up, that's all.
Use to live in Georgia and we loved Alex Cooley's Electric Ballroom to see big name bands in those intimate surroundings. A far cry from the mega arena scene. Kudos to the Greek Theater in LA, another area I lived in (Los Feliz) with that wonderful venue by Griffith Park.
I heard a different story about how Eric watched Duane playing as another spectator in the audience. I also heard they riffed together a bunch of times before the Layla recordings. Atlanta rock scene cooked circa late 60's/early seventies. A Chastain Park concert, a couple cold brews and a pie from The Mellow Mushroom after the show. Good times.
Peaches Records Buckhead, The Fox Theater, The Warehouse in Athens, etc. etc. Not the Doors at The Troubadour on Sunset, but just as cool in it's own way.
Betcha Duane liked his bowl of Brunswick stew and his grits.
I like this site:
haven't heard the new album. i like clapton, especially first album, self titled, and think some of his work is good up to and including unplugged.
but i think alot of his work is spotty, not a fan of things like 461 or other of his own projects and not even everything on layla. i think he's best when he collaborates with others, sits in and does covers.