Unravelling the Derek And the Dominos In Concert album and its subsequent incarnations is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle. The different versions, culled from different shows, make it extremely complicated to untangle. Add to this the fact that no one in the audience had yet heard Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, because at the time of the Fillmore shows it had not been released, and the story becomes even more tangled.
The Derek And The Dominos live recordings are from the Fillmore East in New York City on 23 and 24 October 1970 and capture the band in all their, at times, rampant glory and at others that laid back Southern soulfulness that Messrs Radle, Whitlock and Gordon brought to the band.
Derek And The Dominos In Concert was originally released in 1973, nearly two and a half years after the band’s studio album originally had nine songs and running for an hour and half. It entered the Billboard album chart on 27 January 1973, where it reached No.20, but could only manage a disappointing No. 36 in the UK, in its one week on the survey on 24 March.
The concert was reissued as Live At The Fillmore on 22 February 1994 with a significantly different running order, and with the addition of four more tracks. In reality, six of the nine tracks released as In Concert, and three of its five previously unreleased performances, are different recordings of songs that featured on In Concert. In 2011, on the 40th anniversary super deluxe edition of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the running order was back to the original In Concert edition plus the extra four tracks, while utilising different versions of Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?, ‘Let it Rain’ and ‘Tell The Truth’ from Live At The Fillmore.
For whatever reasons the running order of these concerts were substantially changed. There were two performances on each date and for the late show on 23 October the concert ran as follows: ‘Got to Get Better in a Little While’, ‘Key to the Highway,’ ‘Tell the Truth,’ ‘Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?’, ‘Blues Power,’ ‘Have You Ever Loved a Woman,’ ‘Bottle of Red Wine,’ ‘Presence of the Lord,’ ‘Little Wing’ and ‘Let It Rain,’ with ‘Crossroads’ as an encore.
For the following night’s second show the set was: ‘Got to Get Better in a Little While,’ ‘Tell the Truth,’ ‘Nobody Knows You When You’re Down and Out,’ ‘Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?’, ‘Presence of the Lord,’ ‘Blues Power,’ ‘Have You Ever Loved a Woman,’ ‘Key to the Highway.’ ‘Bottle of Red Wine,’ ‘Roll It Over’ and ‘Let It Rain.’ For the encore there was no ‘Crossroads’ but instead ‘Little Wing.’
Of the 13 tracks on that 40th anniversary reissue of Layla, there were three tracks recorded on the first night: ‘Got to Get Better in a Little While,’ ‘Little Wing’ and ‘Crossroads.’ Of course there is no ‘Layla’ on the album because Duane Allman was not there to add his signature slide guitar.
The songs not on the band’s studio album but played in concert included ‘Got To Get Better In A Little While,’ from their unreleased second album, which shows perfectly what a tight outfit they were on stage. ‘Let it Rain,’ ‘Bottle of Red Wine’ and ‘Blues Power’ all come from Eric’s self titled solo album. Eric Clapton, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett wrote the first two songs, while the other is by Clapton and Leon Russell. ‘Presence of the Lord’ was from the Blind Faith album. And then there’s ‘Crossroads,’ a very different, more laid back approach than from the more frenetic version by Cream, but one that is full of latent energy. Which do you prefer?
Derek And The Dominos Live At The Fillmore can be bought here.