Song 132: Derek and the Dominos, “Anyday” (1970)

Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs - Album Art

“Layla,” of course, gets the most love. “Bell Bottom Blues” is another well-known one, and “Keep On Growing” has its famous fans. But in my opinion, “Anyday” is the secret best song of Derek and The Dominos’ Layla & Other Assorted Love Songs, a record that combines the strengths of Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. Clapton had a handful of short-lived bands, but Derek and The Dominos have always been my favorite.

In 1970, Clapton was fresh off two of those short-lived bands, Cream and Blind Faith. All of Derek and the Dominos had been in a band with husband-and-wife rock/soul duo Delaney & Bonnie, and they all defected to do their own thing. There are a few stories about how the name “Derek and the Dominos” came to be, but the best one is that someone misheard the suggestion “Eric and the Dynamos.” (I’m going to take a wild guess and say that more than one person in that interaction was high.)

This song is a classic example of tension and release. The verses, all about rejection and anger, are sung to chords that are going down, down, down. The pre-chorus, with its slightly optimistic “If you believed in me,” opens the door a little bit, and the chorus, sunny and weightless, kicks it open. It’s pure hope, but only, as the chorus states, for a little while.

Derek and the Dominos is also one of Duane Allman’s finest hours. I have a hard time picking him out of each song, but I think that’s the band’s best feature: Clapton and Allman are obviously amazing guitarists, but the Dominos were a true group effort. Unlike Cream, which featured three musicians playing spare, distinct parts (and brilliantly so), Derek and the Dominos were all about cacophony. Not chaos, but a flurry of music. I love it.

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