Derek and the Dominos Songs Ranked

Derek and the Dominos were an English–American blues-rock band formed in the spring of 1970 by guitarist and singer Eric Clapton, keyboardist and singer Bobby Whitlock, bassist Carl Radle, and drummer Jim Gordon. All four members had previously played together in Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, during and after Clapton’s brief tenure with Blind Faith. Dave Mason supplied additional lead guitar on early studio sessions and played at their first live gig. Another participant at their first session as a band was George Harrison, the recording for whose album All Things Must Pass marked the formation of Derek and the Dominos. The band released only one studio album, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, produced by Tom Dowd, which also featured extensive contributions on lead and slide guitar from Duane Allman. A double album, Layla did not immediately enjoy strong sales or receive widespread radio airplay, but went on to earn critical acclaim. Although released in 1970 it was not until March 1972 that the album’s single “Layla” (a tale of unrequited love inspired by Clapton’s infatuation with his friend Harrison’s wife, Pattie Boyd) made the top ten in both the United States and the United Kingdom. The album is often considered to be the defining achievement of Clapton’s career. Here are all Derek and the Dominos songs ranked.

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11. Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“Another fine track from the “Layla” double album, “Why Does Love” careers along in fine style with Clapton’s lead vocal exuberantly harmonized by Bobby Whitlock and his electric guitar excitingly contrasted by Duane Allman.”

10. I Am Yours (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“The lyrics are lifted straight from the classic star-crossed love story of Layla and Majnun. The pair were deeply in love, but Layla’s father forbade their union. Majnun went crazy (the name means “madman”) and lived in the wild, composing poems for his love. At one point he comes upon a hunter about to slaughter a stag and buys the stag’s freedom.”

9. Tell the Truth (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“Tell the Truth” was not a particularly great choice for a single because it takes a lot of time to gain momentum and become interesting. Matter of fact, sometimes I skip the first half of the song.”

8. Keep on Growing (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“Keep On Growing” is the other side of the coin altogether, a fluid, optimistic take on love, reflecting the influence I’d say of the Allman Brothers “Jessica” and of course common denominator Duane Allman in particular.”

See more: Derek and the Dominos Albums Ranked

7. Little Wing (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“This is a pretty good blues-rock track from back in the day and age where Clapton used to rock with the best of them, aka 1965-1972. This one has some good vocals, some good lyrics in honor of everyone’s friend Jimi Hendrix. The song also features patented guitar work, which when done right can be a cure for almost anything that the world throw’s or way. This should be listened to be all the cretons’ as well as all the higher beings in the music industry.”

6. Key to the Highway (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“To be honest, I spent the whole album waiting for Layla – and a long wait it was. Along the way you pick up other gems like Key to the Highway or the cover of Little Wing but this is mostly a one-note blues record. Most of it just passes by, with moments of guitar screeching and drum rages, but, more often than not, it’s just a jam.”

5. I Looked Away (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“As soon as I Looked Away starts, I’m in love. Well, I’m in love now. I know the beginning of the song doesn’t seem like too much with the first listen, but now I realize it’s one of the best songs of the album. The chemistry between Clapton and Whitlock on the shared vocals is executed perfectly, perfectly. Clapton has the aching, soft, and bittersweet vocals for most of the song, but then Whitlock comes in and out with his powerful, soul-crushing voice that he is gifted with.”

See more: Eric Clapton Albums Ranked

4. Have You Ever Loved a Woman (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“Have You Ever Loved A Woman? has been covered by many people, and the man who put this song one map would be the late and great Freddie King. Freddie had a way of singing this song, and his long guitar solos to back it up made the song more than what it was ever supposed to be. The Dominoes take on the song, and they do it in a way where now you’re hearing the guitar solos from Clapton and Allman, it is something that even King could be impressed by.”

3. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“To close this side, there’s the Jimmy Cox tune that dates back to the 1920s, Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out. I’ve seen Clapton play this song acoustic live, so I can tell this song has meant something different to Clapton over the years. On here, the band puts down a nice, smooth groove that they have laid down onto the tracks, and it’s a painfully true song that Clapton has given this old classic a new life in the 70s, and it’s a song that still deserves its recognition today since when it was first written.”

2. Bell Bottom Blues (Eric Clapton’s Rainbow Concert 1973)

“Bell Bottom Blues” is a stately, if anguished blues as Clapton plights his troth at Patti Harrison yet one more way. He’s in good voice and gets fine vocal support from Bobby Whitlock, while the song itself judders along inexorably to its “I just wanna fade away” highlight. The melody frequently falls down and crawls back onto its feet again perfectly reflecting the agony of the singer.”

1. Layla (Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, 1970)

“A timeless classic. The jam at the beginning and then the piano for about 4 minutes is so beautiful. I always think of such a bad thing when I hear this (Goodfellas anyone), but it is truly a breathtaking song.”