Eric Clapton's latest album, "Eric Clapton," is the 19th solo album of the guitarist's career...it's a fine recording: mature, tasty, and very comfortable sounding. A consummate album from Rock's consummate guitarist. Things weren't so rosy for Eric back in 1970, during the recording of what many would agree to be the greatest rock & roll guitar album of all time. The back story of the "LAYLA" album is well known and has been well-documented. The album is an outpouring of EC's love, frustration, and gut-wrenching pain caused by his love for his best friend's (George Harrison) wife. It also marked the pairing of 2 of the greatest guitarists ever. Along with DUANE ALLMAN, Eric & the "Derek & The Dominos" gang crafted an album of emotional, gut-wrenching rock & blues that has never been matched. Beautiful acoustic songs like "I Am Yours," and "Mean Old World," paired with electrifying blues such as "Key To The Highway," & "Nobody Knows When You're Down & Out," and of course, the epic guitar duality on the majestic "Layla," all combined to make an album of incredible, immortal music.
I read on the ERIC CLAPTON fansite "Where's Eric?," that there will be a 40th Anniversary edition of "LAYLA" released next year...this will mark the 2nd time the album has been given an anniversary treatment, the first being back in the late 90's for the LP's 25th anniversary. That was a very nice set with remastered sound, extra songs, and cool booklet. It featured a few previously unreleased tunes, alternate takes, and late night jam sessions with members of the Allman Brothers Band. Now, I don't imagine there was much more new stuff to be released, seeing as how after Duane Allman resumed his duties with his own band, Derek & The Dominos recorded a few more songs, but none with the fire or feeling of the original album's release. These are all available on the 25th Anniversary set as well as the Eric Clapton "Crossroads" box set. So chances are that there won't be many new, if any, surprises, but...it's a great reminder of how this fantastic, career-defining album remains one of the bright, eternal lights of Rock's pantheon.