Layla and The Man Who Sold The World: the classic albums no one saw coming

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You can make a case that Layla And Other Assorted Love Songs is Eric Clapton’s greatest post-Cream achievement. A double-album of musical grit and emotional tenderness featuring the heavenly glissando of guitarist Duane Allman, it reshaped blues rock into a new soft-rock genre. And the title track is about as iconic as a song can get. 

The album was inducted into the Grammy Hall Of Fame in 2000 and it figures in just about any ‘Greatest Albums Of All-Time’ chart you care to name. But it was an almighty flop at the time of its release in 1970, when it made a brief, mediocre showing at No.16 in the US chart and failed to chart at all in the UK. The reviews were not great either, with Melody Maker complaining of “pretty atrocious vocal work” and songs that induced “complete boredom”. 

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