Cover Wars: Layla (Derek & The Dominos)

The Charlie Daniels Band recorded this cover of Layla on the 1992 release Renegade. Something happens in your brain when you’ve heard a song hundreds of times and a cover changes the timing of the vocal melody. Whatever that process is, it happened to me every single time I listened to the chorus of this rendition thanks to the delay in the singing of the words. No piano coda in this one.

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Eric Gales & Derek Trucks recorded this ripping cover for a tribute LP called Blues Power: Songs of Eric Clapton.

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Derek Trucks has quite the history with this song. You’ve already seen covers that include him playing in both The Allman Brothers Band and with Eric Gales. Now here is something wild, video of a 14-year old Derek ripping it up on July 4th.

Jazz flutist Herbie Mann recorded this cover in 1974 on his release London Underground. Mann’s cover of Layla, which starts with a brief tease of the coda, appears on this LP along with other fusion-style instrumental covers from classic rock artists such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Procol Harum.

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Acoustic guitar virtuoso John Fahey recorded this cover on his 1984 release titled Let Go. The outro piano part arranged for acoustic guitar is pretty great.

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It was the third night of Phish’s Thanksgiving Run at the Worcester Centrum in 1998 when something relatively rare occurred, they welcomed another guitarist to the stage. He was an 18-year-old rising guitar talent from Vermont named Seth Yacovone, and after playing a blues-original of Yacovone’s, Phish launched into their first, and to the this day only, performance of Layla.

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Umphrey’s McGee first played their cover of Layla in March 2005. Being a band that rarely overplays their covers, UM played it a sparse five times in 2005 and while it has stayed in the rotation since, the group has offered just two performances per year in ’08, ’09 and 2010. Audio Source: 11-15-2007

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Video from Red Rocks 2006:


As promised, here are some videos of Clapton with Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra followed by more incredible collaborations:

Video #1 from Lincoln Center:

Video #2 from Lincoln Center:

“See if you can spot this one”

Video from a Clapton performance in 1999 at Madison Square Garden:

On March 20th, 2009 – Clapton joined The Allman Brothers Band for this performance from NYC’s Beacon Theater:

This video from 1983 shows Clapton joined by Jeff Beck & Jimmy Page:

This video from 1988 has Mark Knopfler join Clapton:

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3 Responses

  1. Its nuts how little Trucks has changed. Provided he’s grown up, but he still plucks those strings, hunched over, eyes shut, just the same

  2. That Worcester run was a lot of fun. I thought Page rushed the piano outro a little bit, but who really gives a shit what I think anyway?

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