Deep Album Cuts Vol. 93: The Allman Brothers Band

A couple weekends ago, while I was hanging out at my brother's hotel after we held a memorial for our father, I glanced up at a TV and saw on the news that Gregg Allman had died. It didn't hit me as hard as Chris Cornell's death a few weeks ago, but it still strikes me that we lost two iconic rock vocalists in the same month, both guys who seemed to be born with these perfectly weathered romantic badass howls. The Allman Brothers Band survived the loss of two founding members (Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, both in motorcycle crashes a year apart) early into its run, and Gregg Allman continued to lead a talented group of musicians, on and off, for the next few decades, until their final tour in 2014. What I hadn't realized is that one of the other constant members throughout the band's career, drummer Butch Trucks, also passed away in January.

The Allman Brothers Band were always on my list of bands I'd wanted to explore deeply; I love a lot of southern rock and electric blues, and they're the only band that does twin guitar leads as famously as my beloved Thin Lizzy. What surprised me, though, was the band's use of two drummers, and how the way Butch Trucks and Jaimoe play together has more to do with James Brown than, say, the Dead. So it was fun to dig into the Allmans' catalog, even if I was spurred to it by some sad news.

The Allman Brothers Band Deep Album Cuts (Spotify playlist):

1. Southbound
2. Don't Want You No More
3. It's Not My Cross To Bear
4. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed
5. Little Martha
6. Can't Lose What You Never Had
7. Dreams
8. Blue Sky
9. Leavin'
10. Just Ain't Easy
11. So Long
12. Please Call Home
13. Statesboro Blues (live)
14. Hot 'Lanta (live)
15. Trouble No More (live)
16. Wasted Words (live)

Tracks 2, 3 and 7 from The Allman Brothers Band (1969)
Track 12 from Idlewild South (1970)
Tracks 13 and 14 from At Fillmore East (1971)
Tracks 5, 8 and 15 from Eat A Peach (1972)
Track 1 from Brothers And Sisters (1973)
Track 6 from Win, Lose Or Draw (1975)
Track 16 from Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas (1976)
Track 10 from Enlightened Rogues (1979)
Track 11 from Reach For The Sky (1980)
Track 9 from Brothers Of The Road (1981)

Ordinarily in these playlists I tend to avoid live albums or use them sparingly. But in this case they were just a huge part of the Allmans' legacy. Their classic era from the late '60s to the early '80s that I covered here included two live albums (At Fillmore East, one of the most acclaimed live albums of all time, and Wipe The Windows) as well as Eat A Peach, one of their top selling albums, which was half studio and half live recordings.

A lot of Allman Brothers Band tracks that were never released as singles became AOR radio favorites. And while one of those, "Whipping Post," is simply too famous for me to include as a deep cut, I did include other progressive radio staples like "In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed," "Blue Sky," and "Can't Lose What You Never Had." "Southbound," "Trouble No More," "Statesboro Blues," and the incredible 1-2 punch of "Don't Want You No More" and "It's Not My Cross To Bear" that kicked off their first album are among the most frequently played songs in the Allmans' countless concerts. The band performed "Leavin'" and "Southbound" on Saturday Night Live in 1982 (as their last live performance for breaking up for most of the '80s), even though neither song had ever been released as a single, and the latter was at that point nearly a decade old.

I recently saw an interview with Gregg Allman where he talks about Duane bringing him in to meet the band and play them some of his songs. And "Dreams" was the one that the band instantly liked, the one they all played along with that cemented him as a member of the band. And it's really cool to listen to the song with that in mind and just picturing this classic band gelling around that song. The band's repertoire was a mix of covers and originals written by several key members of the band, but Gregg Allman had a lot of great moments as a writer, including "Please Call Home," "Wasted Words," and "Just Ain't Easy."

Previous playlists in the Deep Album Cuts series:
Vol. 1: Brandy
Vol. 2: Whitney Houston
Vol. 3: Madonna
Vol. 4: My Chemical Romance
Vol. 5: Brad Paisley
Vol. 6: George Jones
Vol. 7: The Doors
Vol. 8: Jay-Z
Vol. 9: Robin Thicke
Vol. 10: R. Kelly
Vol. 11: Fall Out Boy
Vol. 12: TLC
Vol. 13: Pink
Vol. 14: Queen
Vol. 15: Steely Dan
Vol. 16: Trick Daddy
Vol. 17: Paramore
Vol. 18: Elton John
Vol. 19: Missy Elliott
Vol. 20: Mariah Carey
Vol. 21: The Pretenders
Vol. 22: "Weird Al" Yankovic
Vol. 23: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Vol. 24: Foo Fighters
Vol. 25: Counting Crows
Vol. 26: T.I.
Vol. 27: Jackson Browne
Vol. 28: Usher
Vol. 29: Mary J. Blige
Vol. 30: The Black Crowes
Vol. 31: Ne-Yo
Vol. 32: Blink-182
Vol. 33: One Direction
Vol. 34: Kelly Clarkson
Vol. 35: The B-52's
Vol. 36: Ludacris
Vol. 37: They Might Be Giants
Vol. 38: T-Pain
Vol. 39: Snoop Dogg
Vol. 40: Ciara
Vol. 41: Creedence Clearwater Revival
Vol. 42: Dwight Yoakam
Vol. 43: Demi Lovato
Vol. 44: Prince
Vol. 45: Duran Duran
Vol. 46: Rihanna
Vol. 47: Janet Jackson
Vol. 48: Sara Bareilles
Vol. 49: Motley Crue
Vol. 50: The Who
Vol. 51: Coldplay
Vol. 52: Alicia Keys
Vol. 53: Stone Temple Pilots
Vol. 54: David Bowie
Vol. 55: The Eagles
Vol. 56: The Beatles
Vol. 57: Beyonce
Vol. 58: Beanie Sigel
Vol. 59: A Tribe Called Quest
Vol. 60: Cheap Trick
Vol. 61: Guns N' Roses
Vol. 62: The Posies
Vol. 63: The Time
Vol. 64: Gucci Mane
Vol. 65: Violent Femmes
Vol. 66: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Vol. 67: Maxwell
Vol. 68: Parliament-Funkadelic
Vol. 69: Chevelle
Vol. 70: Ray Parker Jr. and Raydio
Vol. 71: Fantasia
Vol. 72: Heart
Vol. 73: Pitbull
Vol. 74: Nas
Vol. 75: Monica
Vol. 76: The Cars
Vol. 77: 112
Vol. 78: 2Pac
Vol. 79: Nelly
Vol. 80: Meat Loaf
Vol. 81: AC/DC
Vol. 82: Bruce Springsteen
Vol. 83: Pearl Jam
Vol. 84: Green Day
Vol. 85: George Michael and Wham!
Vol. 86: New Edition
Vol. 87: Chuck Berry
Vol. 88: Electric Light Orchestra
Vol. 89: Chic
Vol. 90: Journey
Vol. 91: Yes
Vol. 92: Soundgarden
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