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The Layla Sessions: 20th Anniversary Edition Box set, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued

4.5 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Box set, Original recording remastered, September 18, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Want to hear Eric Clapton and Duane Allman jam with a killer band for over an hour, showing off both lightning licks and tender touch? That's what you get on disc three of this groundbreaking set, while disc two unearths a slew of alternate Layla takes. And disc one? Every song from one of the great rock albums, rebuilt using the long-lost multi-tracks: Layla; Bell Bottom Blues; I Am Yours; Key to the Highway , and the rest, plus lots of illuminating annotation!
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Disc 2
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Disc 3
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 18, 1990)
  • 20th Anniversary Edition edition
  • Original Release Date: 1990
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set, Original recording remastered, Original recording reissued
  • Note on Boxed Sets: During shipping, discs in boxed sets occasionally become dislodged without damage. Please examine and play these discs. If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund or replace your purchase.
  • Label: Polydor
  • ASIN: B000001FZ5
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #68,555 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
First,we'll start with the first disc,which is a remaster/remix of the origanal "Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs" album.
First,nothing was really taken or added to these tracks.The origanal album is 77:06 minutes long.This remaster is 77:00 minutes long.I can live with an album that is six seconds shorter.
The origanal version of this album,even the re-released remaster,sounds a bit muddy.By that I mean you can hear vocals,bass,drums,and in the background the other guitar and organ.
This new remix changes all of that.You can hear everything clearly,including all of Clapton and Allman's guitar parts.
Take for example the exellent song,"Why Does Love Got To Be Sad".In the origanal mix,when Clapton comes in twards the end of Allman's solo,it sounds like Allman stopped playing after a few notes.In this remixed version you can hear that he just moved lower on the neck,playing some very deep guitar lines.In the origanal mix this is burried under Clapton's playing.Now you can hear how it was meant to be heard,with both Allman and Clapton playing leads.
Plus,on tracks like "Anyday" and "Key To The Highway",you can hear Allman's slide parts much clearer.They ring out much more than the origanal versions.
Now,onto the jams disc.It should be noted that there are no vocals on this disc,just insturmental jamming.The first three jams are just Clapton and the other Dominos.Exellent playing,some of Clapton's best for sure.On the fourth jam,everything changes.This jam not only has Eric and the Dominos playing with Duane Allman,but also Dickey Betts,Berry Oakley,Butch Trucks and Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers.It is an insturmental take on Howlin' Wolf's "Killing Floor".
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Format: Audio CD
The reviewer below states the truth when commenting that the new remix emphasizes the guitars and de-emphasizes drums and bass. If you're only going to have one copy of this album, then you'll probably be better off with the original remaster.
That said, this remix is a dream for me because, finally, I can hear all the different guitar parts distinctly. Like the aforementioned reviewer said, the original remix was muddy -- you can usually hear the main lead line, and the rest are lost in the mix. This new remix brings out the other guitar lines to the front. So now, among other things, you can hear the three simultaneous leads in "Keep on Growing" crystal clear, and so on. More importantly, you can finally hear Clapton's slide countermelody to Allman's lead in the coda portion of "Layla"!
So... The original remastered album makes a more "unified" statement and is probably more listenable. It brings out the important melodies and relegates the rest to the background. This boxed set mix can sound a bit cluttered (so many guitar lines going at once can be distracting), but it's great for the collectors/completists and the guitar fanatics.
As for the unreleased material: "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" (alternate master #1) is, IMO, even (yes!) better than the album version (a pretty mean feat! ). I always love "Mean Old World," and I enjoy all the other outtakes as well. I do tend to find my attention wandering during the jams, mostly because they're so long. Much of it is very enjoyable, nevertheless.
I won't speak for others, but for me (Clapton completist/guitar fan) this set was worth every penny -- and that's the truth.
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Format: Audio Cassette Verified Purchase
Well, now. I do not think, in the history of recorded music, that the moon and tides have ever been so right for a great album. Clapton was broken hearted, at the top of his game, his band was fantastic with two all-worlders on board (Allman and Gordon), two top sidemen (Radle and Whitlock), and he was ready to work.

The result is a double album that probably features the best pair of guitarists to ever grace an album. And do they grace it. After the third song, Duane Allman joined the ensemble for "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out", and he and Clapton proceede to tear the house down. I mean, if you want top notch, legendary guitar heroes trading licks, pushing the other to the limit, in all types of songs (not only da Blues is featured), then this is the top album of all time. Jim Gordon is just fantastic, and Radle is about as solid a bottom as it gets. Whitlock sings lead fairly often, keeping his keyboards in the background.

The original mix, as released on the double record set, was kind of "muddy". One had to put the treble all the way up to get a proper sound. The first CD release had the same problem. The mix on this version fixes some of that, thankfully. But, the new mix also brings out so much more. The rhythm and second guitars are much more up-front, allowing the listener to hear things the other mixes never allowed us to hear. Clapton and Allman's guitar fills are just mesmerizing, and there are a lot more guitar tracks on some songs than the original mixes ever let us hear.

The folks who think Allman out-played Clapton on the album need to give a listen to one of the alternate takes of "Have You Ever Loved a Woman" available on this "Layla Sessions" CD.
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