07 February 2011

"Wait a Minute! That's the Same Song": Derek and the Dominoes, Buddy Holly and the Crickets

Back Cover of the Layla LPs (1970)
(not pictured: Eric Clapton, Carl Radle, Duane Allman, Bobby Witlock, Jim Gordon)

Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1957)

As I started my adventure into rock 'n' roll in 1970, Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs (1970) was one of the first important albums I owned. And I had completely missed Buddy Holly, a fading 50s memory to the newcomers like me. Gradually though, I learned more about Derek and the Dominoes as well as picking up little bits of information on Buddy Holly and his band The Crickets.

But it wasn't until I purchased a comprehensive Buddy Holly anthology last year that a connection clicked between the Layla album and Buddy Holly.

The experts out there will know this often covered Chuck Willis tune, but maybe I can make what was a startling connection me for a few folks out there.

On side four of the Layla double LP, there's a cover of the song It's Too Late. Derek and Co. cover the song in straight-ahead Clapton blues rock arrangement. I always liked the cut but had no idea of its history.

I was quite surprised as I listened to the Buddy Holly anthology Gold and I started to recognize the lyrics of one song but couldn't place them. Then it hit me. Buddy Holly had covered the very same song but in his pioneering Texas style of 50s rock. It's Too Late appeared on Holly's 1958 EP Rave On.

Below you can listen to the two covers in the order I was exposed to them: 1970 then 1958.

It's Too Late Derek and the Dominoes (1970)

It's Too Late Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1958)

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