“Got to Get Better in a Little While” — Derek & the Dominos

Most everybody has a favorite song by Derek & the Dominos, and 99.999% of those would choose a song from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs, the only studio album released by the band.

What about those other pitiful few? I can’t speak for them, but I’d damn sure pick “Got to Get Better in a Little While.” We first learned about that one when RSO released In Concert in 1973, a selection of tunes from Derek & the Dominos’ two-night stand at Fillmore East October 23 & 24, 1970. Recall that Layla was not released until November 9, 1970, and many venues on the fall tour did not advertise that this was Clapton’s band.

We caught both nights at The Electric Factory in Philadelphia on October 16 &17, 1970. Clapton’s mastery was stunning, and he truly abused his wah-wah pedal all night. I could not for the life of me tell you that they played “Got to Get Better in a Little While” during any of the sets I heard, but I’d bet yes.

The song appeared on The Johnny Cash TV Show, when Derek & the Dominos performed at The Ryman in Nashville November 5, 1970. That was available on YouTube and then was included on the 40th anniversary box set for Layla, including the 20+ minutes of live music they played from that date.


The next appearance was a slowed-down version also from the box set from recordings done in April and May of 1971 at Olympic Studios in London for the second studio album, which never came to fruition. It was preceded by “Got to Get Better in a Little While Jam.” All of those are also included on the 50th anniversary vinyl release.


The definitive version remains the one from In Concert also included on the Live at The Fillmore set, featuring a world of wah-wah. Bobby Whitlock was masterful on piano, and Carl Radle and Jim Gordon laid down a killer groove for Clapton and Whitlock to surf on. “Just like Sly, you got to take a stand.” My favorite, hands down.


Don’t you know what’s wrong with me?
I’m seeing things I don’t want to see.
Sniffing things that ain’t no good for me.
I’m going down fast, won’t you say a prayer for me?

It’s got to get better in a little while.
It’s got to get better in a little while.
It’s got to get better in a little while.
It’s got to get better in a little while.

The sun’s got to shine on my guitar someday.

Revolution all across the land.
Just like Sly, you got to take a stand.
Please don’t hurt nobody, don’t knock them down;
Give them a helping hand to get off the ground.


Still one thing that you can do;
Fall down on your knees and pray.
I know the Lord’s gonna answer you.
Don’t do it tomorrow, do it today.




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