I figured I might eventually get around to the Allman Brothers…but with a concise note from Dave on my Suggest an Album Everyone Should Hear page, I finally made it so.
Thanks for the note Dave!
Seriously. When you have a music collection that’s several hundred gigs…and not to mention the thousands of records, it gets tough trying to remember the best ones without a little help.
Recorded at the Fillmore East in 1971, this concert captures the band’s original line up of Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jai Johnson. It was the last set ever played at the Fillmore East before it was shut down…and around three months before Duane was killed in a motorcycle crash in Macon, Ga. A year later a traffic accident would also claim the life of Berry Oakley. The band that remains today is good, but not nearly as young, hungry and complete as it was here.
But this concert captures what is, for me at least, the original Allman Brothers displaying what made them so special in the first place. Excellent musicianship, amazing jams and that southern tinged jazz rock and blues that really made them famous. Even Bill Graham, the man who had seen it all in the music industry, was blown away by their performance. The guitar work here is stunning…especially on Statsboro Blues and Whipping post, but it’s the 12 minute version of In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed that really hits all the right notes.
Better yet, you get a smoking 18 minute version of You Don’t Love Me to top off the whole show.
There are a couple of recordings of this performance available, the commercial release of The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East is nice, but shortened with editing and mainly culled from the first nights show. Then you have The Fillmore Concerts which have much more material and are more even then the first release, but are still edited down a bit and mixed from two nights. Why record company’s insist on this is beyond me.
This bootleg version is an excellent soundboard recording and covers the real last show in all it’s glory. If you like the Allman Brothers, want to like the Allman Brothers or even just like a solid jam session…you do a lot worse than grabbing this little nugget HERE 1, HERE 2, HERE 3, HERE 4 and HERE 5.