Derek & The Dominos – The Live Collection

Back in March, I posted a what-if about Derek & The Dominos’ Layla album had been a double disc expanded edition with the best of the off cuts from the first and second album sessions, with a couple of bonus’ thrown in for good measure. Derek & The Dominos only released the one album during their short life time, but a second album did come out early 1973. This was not the fabled second studio album though, even though the tapes from the 1971 sessions had  occasionally been dusted down and listened to up until 1974, when Clapton released his sophomore solo album. This was the live album ‘In Concert’. After completing the Layla seasons, the band went on a tour of the USA with support coming from Toe Fat and a relative unknown by the name of Elton John. Bobby Whitlock, the band’s keyboardist, has said that like the album sessions that preceded it, there were a good number of drugs being consumed during the tour. Elton John noted though that this did not affect their performance whilst on stage, where he would watch from the sidelines to see what they were doing, especially Whitlock. 

The band played a number of shows on the 23rd and 24th October at the Fillmore East in New York City. All of these shows were recorded (supposedly without the band’s knowledge) and as it would turn out, these are the only record of the band live that is not an audience recording/bootleg. After playing the Layla album to death, I was surprised to find that there was a live album. In the pre-internet age, it was not easy to find out about artists discographies. You had to hope that your local record shop had it in stock. This album also received heavy rotation on my CD player even though I would eventually replace it, along with the Layla CD with original pressings of the vinyl. These early CDs were notorious for that lack of care and attention that record companies had taken with their back catalogues, and would release a version from whatever master tapes they had lying around. I remember the amount of hiss on some of the Cream CDs from the time had the same problem, especially when it came to Fresh Cream (nice clean sound) and Disraeli Gears (sounded like it had been recorded with Dolby on and then transferred via five tape machines to attain maximum hiss. If you listened carefully, you could hear some music in there somewhere).

What surprised me about ‘In Concert’ was the lack of Layla. Was it down to the fact that Duane Allman, so instrumental in the sessions for the parent album only joined them for a couple of shows on the tour and this was not one of them. Without that second guitar player, would the song have worked in a live setting? What was a surprise was hearing songs that were not on Layla. These included Got To Get Better In A Little While (destined to be recorded during the second album sessions) and Roll It Over (the B-side of the band’s withdrawn first single). Having only released one album, the band were reliant on playing songs from Clapton’s back catalogue including songs that he had played during his days with The Powerhouse, Cream, Blind Faith and his first solo album. 

Due to the constraints of the vinyl LP, there were a number of songs that were recorded but not released. Some of these would appear later on 1988’s Crossroads boxset and 1994’s ‘Live at the Fillmore’. Having liked the ‘In Concert’ album so much, I thought it was time to put together an extended live album for the band using all of these sources. This did leave me a little short on the second CD but with the release of the 40th Anniversary boxset, there was a live bonus in the complete set of songs that the band had played on The Johnny Cash Show; the only television performance the band made. All four songs recorded for the show (even though only two were broadcast) have been included at the end as bonus tracks. 

Disc 1

  • Why Does Love Got To Be So Bad?
  • Got To Get Better In A Little While
  • Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
  • Roll It Over
  • Key To The Highway
  • Tell The Truth
  • Blues Power
  • Have You Ever Loved A Woman

Disc 2

  • Bottle Of Red Wine
  • Little Wing
  • Crossroads
  • Presence Of The Lord
  • Let It Rain

Bonus Tracks

  • It’s Too Late (Johnny Cash Show)
  • Got To Get Better In A Little While (Johnny Cash Show)
  • Matchbox (Johnny Cash Show)
  • Blues Power (Johnny Cash Show)

The front cover is similar in design to the Layla Expanded Edition from March, but instead of a black background, I went for red. The photos are taken from the Live at the Fillmore front cover, with an added picture of Clapton playing to cover over the credits on the original release. 

A Spotify playlist could not be produced due to one or more songs not being availbe on that platform.

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