Eric Clapton: “Lay Down Sally” (1977)

Move over Dayton, Ohio, as Tulsa, Oklahoma struts its funky wings on this classic Clapton hit.

Kronomyth 7.1: More Than OK.

This is Eric Clapton’s one original everlasting contribution to the Tulsa sound, and the whole thing comes together like a perfect machine: the guitar interplay between Clapton and George Terry, the sweet stereo sisters (Marcy Levy, Yvonne Elliman) and Clapton’s own understated genius evident in his agile fretwork and frayed vocal chords. The single version is about a half-minute shorter than the elpee version; again, it seems they just faded it out early.

In the US, “Next Time You See Her” was selected as the B side. It’s a Clapton original but reveals the man to be all too human when it comes to songwriting, which has always been his Achilles heel. Well, I mean that and heroin, and cocaine, and alcohol. In the rest of the world, Clapton’s version of J.J. Cale’s “Cocaine” was featured on the flip side, making this a true double single.

US 7-inch single version

A1. Lay Down Sally (Eric Clapton/Marcy Levy/George Terry) (3:20)
B1. Next Time You See Her (Eric Clapton) (3:58)

International 7-inch single version
A1. Lay Down Sally (Marcy Levy/Eric Clapton)
B1. Cocaine (J.J. Cale)

US 7-inch back-to-back hits single reissue
A1. Wonderful Tonight (Eric Clapton) (3:41)
B1. Lay Down Sally (Marcy Levy/Eric Clapton) (3:48)

The Plastic
Released on 7-inch in December 1977 in the UK and Germany (RSO, 2090 264) and the US and Canada (RSO, RS 886) and in 1978 in Chile (RSO, 2090 264) with regional picture sleeve. Reached #39 on the UK charts (charted on December 24, 1977 for 6 weeks) and #3 on the US charts (charted on January 7, 1978 for 23 weeks, RIAA-certified gold record). Also released as promotional 7-inch single in 1977 in the US (RSO, RS 886) with mono version of “Lay Down Sally” on the flip side.

  1. Re-released with “Wonderful Tonight” on 7-inch back-to-back hits single in the US (RSO, RS-8020) and Canada (Stardust, URC 1296).

Did You Know?

  • Red Sovine had a minor country hit with his version of “Lay Down Sally” in 1978.
  • Jerry Garcia Band played this song in their concerts during the early ‘90s.

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