By the mid-1970s, Eric Clapton had firmly established himself as a solo artist, thanks in no small part to his acclaimed 1974 album “461 Ocean Boulevard,” the follow-up, “There’s One in Every Crowd” and the accompanying tours that yielded the live album “E.C. Was Here.” Now the guitarist is revisiting all three as part of “Give Me Strength: The 1974/1975 Recordings,” a collection featuring remixed, live and previously unreleased songs from the albums and tour, including this version of “Layla,” which premieres today on Speakeasy.
Clapton originally recorded the song on his 1970 collaboration with Duane Allman, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.” Allman doesn’t appear on this version, captured on July 20, 1974, at Long Beach Arena in California, but Clapton burns through the track with devastating urgency as the song builds toward a crashing conclusion that leaves off the elegiac coda that brought the tune to a close on the album.
“Give Me Strength” will be released Nov. 26 on Universal in several configurations: as a two-CD collection of studio outtakes available here for pre-order, as a five-CD and Blu-ray collection of studio outtakes, live recordings and more available here for pre-order and as a 3-LP set available here for pre-order. “Give Me Strength” will also be available on iTunes.
What do you think of this version of “Layla?” Leave your thoughts in the comments.
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