The year 1970 was the beginning of a golden era of great music from many genres. Records hit the airwaves that still resonate today, from “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” by Simon & Garfunkel to “American Woman” by The Guess Who, “War” by Edwin Starr, “I’ll Be There” by The Jackson 5, “Let It Be” by The Beatles, and so many more.
This was also an era when complete albums were enjoyed as a unified artistic statement. There are stacks of classics from that time, but for this Throw Back Thursday, let’s look at Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Derek and the Dominoes, and add a toss back to 2019, when The Tedeschi Trucks Band (with guest Trey Anastasio) released Layla Revisited (Live at LOCKN’), two classic albums worth revisiting for very different reasons.
The original Derek and the Dominoes album featured Eric Clapton and Duane Allman trading guitar magic while both were at the absolute top of their game. This homage to heartbreak and romantic want became one of the must-have albums of that era and was put to work after every relationship crash by rock and blues fans everywhere. Sorrowful lyrics sung in a clearly aching voice over dueting guitar legends made it legendary as much as the love triangle that inspired it did.
And the album still stands up, whether going back to the original pressing or various anniversary remasterings. The pure emotional ache rings through in each guitar lick and vocal. Definitely worth a revisit.
Now in 2019, with Layla Revisited, The Tedeschi Trucks Band offered the same material from a different emotional space. Susan Tedeschi and Derek Taylor have been in love, married, and performing together for a long time, and their bond tempers these love songs, making them more about renewed vows, proclamations of staying with that love, and weathering life’s challenges together.
That timbre and the exceptional musical talents of the band and Trucks and Anastio’s twin guitars provide a fresh interpretation that is a respectful, inspiring alternative to the original, creating a second classic that can stand alongside the first. If you haven’t heard it, why are you punishing yourself? Dive in.
Both are highly recommended, the original for when you are blue, and the newer version for when you are chilling with your loved one,
Rock on, brothers and sisters.