Can't speak about the entire album because I haven't listened to it, but I like the acoustic version of Layla a lot more than the amped up one. The latter sounds very garage like, which is not necessarily bad. But you can just sort of tell something is off with the sound.Is the guitar tone on Layla and other Assorted Love Songs, in general, the worst guitar tone ever recorded on a famous album?
I'm not a big fan of the acoustic version, or anything Eric has done on accoustic to be honest. Everything he plays might as well have been played on electric.Can't speak about the entire album because I haven't listened to it, but I like the acoustic version of Layla a lot more than the amped up one. The latter sounds very garage like, which is not necessarily bad. But you can just sort of tell something is off with the sound.
As far as soundboard mixing I would have preferred a bit more of the bass, but otherwise (and given the acoustics of the room itself where they are playing) it's a fine version of Layla.@Tricycle Rider this version is worth a listen. Starts with the acoustic version so you'll be happy , then moves to the electric version with a solo from Lari Basilio that's one of the best solos I've heard recorded in a long, long time. Martin is a damn fine player too:View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-AYxGP-3YU&ab_channel=MartinMiller
Poor sound mixing on the part of whoever did the sound mixing on the soundboard back then.I'm not a big fan of the acoustic version, or anything Eric has done on accoustic to be honest. Everything he plays might as well have been played on electric.
Tom Dowd produced the Layla album, so I guarantee that the sound is exactly what he wanted, but what you've said is pretty much my issue too. They were using these small amps that really don't break up and distort in a pleasing way. That's usually fine if the guitar is in the mix and occupies it's own space, but on songs when it's brought forward it becomes too thin. Layla is a good example, because if you listen the guitars fit really well in the verse and chorus where you've got Bobby Whitlock on the keyboards and they drop back, but in the intro the sound tinny until the rest of the band comes in. Same thing happens when it's just Gordon on piano and Allman playing slide towards the end. Every time the guitar comes through on its own it kinda dies. Interesting fact on that piano section and the end, they were recorded several weeks after the rest of the song and if you listen you'll notice the mix changes, it's a lot less busy and the slide guitar isn't as distorted.
I think it's probably the progression of recording techniques, because it's much easier these days to either re-amp, where you record a direct signal and then stick it through different amp sims to get the sound you want, or record lots of parts with lots of different gear. This album was recorded with both Duane and Eric 'in the room' a lot so it's also harder to do downstream stuff because of the small amps. You get a lot of accidentals, mics picking up sounds you don't want, and with both amps in the room that means the mics are going to catch things from the other guitarist.
Possibly the worst guitar sound on that album is on Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad? Just listen to this, it's awful:
IMO, this messes with a lot of people. Some heard it in the (pick the era), but then heard it again and don't appreciate it for WHEN it was, and/or people didn't hear it in its own era, and therefore don't understand.Poor sound mixing on the part of whoever did the sound mixing on the soundboard back then.
Twas the 60s/70s back then though (probably lots of psychedelic drugs were involved), so with our more modern ears we'll just have to let it go.