Song of the Day #2,475: ‘Layla (Piano Outro)’ – Derek & The Dominos

goodfellas_laylaFor many years, my answer to the “What’s your favorite movie?” question was Goodfellas. Martin Scorsese’s 1990 masterpiece is the pinnacle of its genre — not just mob movies, but urban crime dramas.

I’ve since gone soft and my go-to answer is now Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, but Goodfellas remains in the top five, no question.

It’s the best work of Scorsese’s impressive career. Every shot, every frame, is inspired. And when it comes to music, no film ever has made better use of the “drop the needle” approach of using popular music as score.

All of which brings me to…

#5 Song I Associate With a Movie
‘Layla’ – Goodfellas

Scorsese uses the melancholy piano interlude that ends Derek & The Dominos’ ‘Layla’ during the film’s turning point, when the glamour and dangerous excitement of the mafia life give way to paranoia, fear and horror.

The sequence starts with the discovery of a series of bodies, whacked by Robert DeNiro’s Jimmy Conway to cover his tracks after a recent heist, then shifts to the planned elevation of Joe Pesci’s Tommy to “made” status. Anybody who’s seen the film knows how that turns out.

I don’t know if this was the first time I’d heard ‘Layla’ but it is forever married to this remarkable sequence.

Here’s the move clip, followed by the song absent all the dead bodies.

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3 thoughts on “Song of the Day #2,475: ‘Layla (Piano Outro)’ – Derek & The Dominos

  1. Dana says:

    A great pick, and another instance of a movie I haven’t seen in years, but really should revisit.

    I have to confess though that one of my associations of this famous piano outro comes courtesy of the long gone but not forgotten “Food Rocks” at Epcot. Sure, Soaring is a great ride, but did Disney really have to sacrifice this great 20 minutes of relaxing, air conditioned theatrical four food group singing bliss? 😄

  2. pegclifton says:

    Great movie and scene. Still don’t know why you dropped this down a notch on your favorites 🙂 I remember our Brooklyn tour took us past the house that was shown in your clip.

  3. Amy says:

    So many songs take on a sinister feeling after they have appeared in a scene such as this one. As you mentioned the other day, “Danny Boy” is another such song. After seeing Miller’s Crossing, I can never hear that song without hearing machine gun fire. I wonder how a musician/producer decides when to give the rights to use a song in a scene such as those. Do they just know/trust the filmmakers so imagine it will be an amazing use of their music? Would they turn down a similar request from a lesser filmmaker?

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