Derek and the Dominos was a music group formed in the spring of 1970 by guitarist and singer Eric Clapton along with Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon, who had all played with him in Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. Duane Allman from the Allman Brothers Band joined the group early in the recording of their first album. They were a blues-rock band that demonstrated virtuosity at its finest, showing some of Eric "Slowhand" Clapton's finest work.
The group debuted at the Lyceum Theatre in London on June 14, 1970 where the announcer mispronounced their provisional name of Eric and the Dynamos to Derek and the Dominos, the band decided to take up the new name and undertook a summer tour of England. From late August to early October, working at Criteria Studios in Miami with legendary Atlantic Records producer Tom Dowd, the band recorded Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, a brilliant double album now widely regarded as Clapton's masterpiece. Most of the material, including Layla (which soon became an FM radio staple) was inspired by Clapton's unrequited love for Pattie Boyd who was married to his best friend George Harrison. Clapton was seeing Pattie secretly at the time and Whitlock was dating her sister. It was not until much later that the affair was open; Boyd moved in with Clapton in 1974 and married him in 1979. However, they were separated in 1985 when Clapton started a relationship with Yvonne Khan Kelly and they divorced in 1988. The two-part song "Layla" was recorded in separate sessions; the opening guitar section was recorded first, with the second section following several months later. The second section was an elegiac piano piece composed and played by drummer Jim Gordon; early on, he objected to it being added onto Layla, but after some arguing among the band's members he finally agreed.