Layla (6:26)

Cover of Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert

From Eric Clapton's Rainbow Concert and 121 other releases

Layla is the title track on the Derek and the Dominos album Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs, released in December 1970. It is considered one of rock music’s definitive love songs, featuring an unmistakable guitar figure, played by Eric Clapton and Duane Allman, as lead-in. Its famously contrasting movements were composed separately by Clapton and Jim Gordon.

Inspired by Clapton’s then-unrequited love for Pattie Boyd, the wife of his friend and fellow musician George Harrison, “Layla” was unsuccessful on its initial release. The song has since experienced great critical and popular acclaim. It is often hailed as being among the greatest rock songs of all time. Two versions have achieved chart success, first in 1972 and again twenty years later. In 2004, it was ranked #27 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

The album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs opened to lackluster sales (the album never reached the charts in Britain) as with Clapton unmentioned except on the back it appeared to be a double album from an unknown band. In addition the song’s length proved prohibitive for radio airplay; as a result an edited version of the song, trimmed to 2:43, was released as a single in March 1971 by Atco (U.S.). It peaked at only #51 on the Billboard Hot 100.

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the iconic guitar riff from Layla featured on a series of British TV adverts for Vauxhall cars. It also featured prominently in the 1990 film Goodfellas.

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What will you do when you get lonely
No one is waiting by your side?
You've been running and hiding much too long
You know it's just your foolish pride

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics

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