Allman Brothers Band: At Fillmore East (Atlantic T659005, £3.45)

WITH THE current output of albums at saturation point, it is extremely hard for a reviewer to devote more than just one brief hearing to most collections. The vogue for double-albums doesn’t help our plight none.

When an album of this quality becomes available all others have to take a back seat. Indeed it has already gone down on my personal listing of this year’s ten best albums.

The Allman Brothers, Duane and Greg together with Dickey Betts (guitar), Berry Oakley (bass) and drummers Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks have all the requisites to emerge as one of the truly great bands of the seventies. Surprisingly enough, this album is quite a reversal from their brace of studio offerings in that it is more-or-less an informal free-blowin’ blues outing. Yet they still retain the essence that first attracted their ever-increasing admirers.

As a guitarist, Duane Allman is a monster — his gut ripping slide figures devastating most competition. It would take a brave, confident musician to enter a cutting contest, no matter how friendly it may be.

I have already given both these albums well over a dozen plays on the stereo and each time I find something new, exciting and invigorating. I don’t intend to do a track-by-track of the seven selections, save for naming them: ‘Statesboro Blues’, ‘Done Somebody Wrong’, ‘Stormy Monday’, ‘You Don’t Love Me’, ‘Hot ‘Lanta’, ‘In Memory of Elizabeth Reed’ and ‘Whipping Post’.

I urge you to completely disregard the abundance of cliché-ridden high-decibel albums taking up valuable space on the racks. At such a low price you just can’t afford to be without this, even at treble the price I’d still wholeheartedly recommend it.

© Roy CarrNew Musical Express, 13 November 1971

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