Eric Clapton's most famous song, the 1970 album's eponymous hit "Layla". Derek and the Dominos was a short-lived band that Clapton formed in 1970, and they only released this one album. But it is a landmark album, which skyrocketed Clapton to further success, and is heralded as one of his best ever. Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band is featured on the album playing slide guitar, and he also plays the solo in this song. The song is divided into two parts, the first part being the bluesy rock guitar that everyone recognizes, and the second is a beautiful piano section without lyrics. Although the two parts seem vastly different in style, the piano part has become just as famous and beloved as the opening riff, and the song would have had an entirely different identity without it.
This song was written about George Harrison's wife Pattie Boyd, whom Clapton was madly in love with at the time. The name "Layla" comes from the old Arabic story of Layla and Majnun, which tells of a poet who was in love with a woman, a woman who was being married off to another man. Majnun's unrequited love caused him to go mad. The story resonated with how Clapton was feeling at the time; Clapton and Harrison were best friends, and Clapton was anguishing his secret love for his friend's wife. In the end, Clapton tells them about his love, and they somehow stay best friends. Then after Harrison and Boyd divorce years later, Clapton ends up marrying her at long last. And then THOSE two get divorced a few years later, because I guess it wasn't as good as Clapton always thought. it'd be. :) Poor Clapton, you emotional trainwreck, you. No wonder you nearly died three times from different addictions.