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Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach

Allman Brothers Band - Eat a Peach

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Genre: rock
Rating: 4 stars ****
Title:  Eat a Peach
Company: Capricorn
Catalog: 2CP0102
Year: 1972
Country/State: Macon, Georgia
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Available: 1
Catalog ID: 271
Price:  $20.00
The first double album I ever bought and I'll admit that the title and cover art played a big role in the purchase. Yes I knew who they Allman Brothers were, but I wasn't a gigantic blues-rock fan. On the other hand, I knew 'Melissa' and 'Blue Sky' were on this album and that was enough to warrant the investment of my limited funds.

The album's tortured history is well documented and that background makes it an even more impressive package. I'm hard pressed to think of another band that in the wake of a massive loss like Duane Allman's death, couldn't have found the inner strength and courage to pick up the pieces of their personal and professional lives to complete an album. The success of their prior album must have added even more pressure to the situation. As it was, the band's sense of loss was palpable throughout the grooves and it resulted in some of their finest work - 'Ain't Waistin' Time No More', 'Melissa', 'Trouble No More', and 'Blue Sky' are all classic Allman tunes. That's not to say "Eat a Peach" was perfect. I'm not sure why they felt the need to released a double album set, but devoting over thirty minutes to 'Mountain Jam' may have underscored their jam band credentials and given each member an opportunity to showcased their technical skills, but thirty minutes split over two sides made for a long song and at last to my ears, not even Duane and Dicky Betts twin lead guitars could salvage the results.

- Clearly a reaction to Duane Allman's death, 'Ain't Waistin' Time No More' Gregg supposedly borrowed the basic melody from some notes Dicky Betts played during the extended live version of 'Whipping Post'. I've listened to the songs dozens of times and never spotted the relationship, but who knows. Regardless, to my ears the song stands as one of the best things Gregg Allman's ever written. Yeah, it's a blues song, but with a cutting rock edge and some of the best lead and slide guitar Dicky Betts ever laid down on tape (yes lots of folks think it's Duane - it's Betts). rating: **** stars
- Written by and showcased Dicky Betts, 'Les Briers In a Minor' was another song recorded in the wake of Duane's death. The band struggled with the track; urban legend says they recorded nearly 30 takes, before deciding to use one of the first takes. The first three and a half minutes have always sounded like an extended warm up session ... and just when you'd basically given up on the song ever finding a focus - darn if it didn't become a killer jam tune. Besides Betts, the big surprise on this one was bassist Berry Oakley who turned in an inspired performance. rating: **** stars
- Gregg began writing what would become 'Melissa' back in 1967 and a rough version of the song was recorded the following year while recording with the Florida based band The 31st of February. Duane felt the song was incomplete but hit writers block and the song sat unfinished for the next four years. Supposedly one of Duane's favorite tunes, Gregg finished the song shortly after his death and in time to record it for "Eat a Peach". The song was supposedly the first track the band recorded when they regrouped in the studio. History aside, there simply isn't much you can say about 'Melissa' other than it's a rock classic. Bett's seemed to echo Duane's playing style on the song. One of the song's I'll ask folks to play at my wake. rating: ***** stars
- The song was based on Donovan's 'First There Is a Mountain' (hence Donovan was given a writing credit), but given the full Allman Brother jam treatment which saw it stretched out over two full sides (side two and four of the original vinyl). For anyone other than the true devoted hardcore, the 33 minutes plus 'Mountain Jam' was probably going to be too much of a good thing ... The song actually recorded at the same performance as their "Fillmore East" album (March 1971), but wasn't included on the earlier album due to the song's sheer length. It's a great example of Allman and Betts interlaced twin lead guitars and it has a truly amazing Johnason and Trucks drum solo. rating: **** stars
- Remember how Aretha Franklin made Otis Redding's 'Respect' her song ? Well, The Allman Brothers did the same thing to Sonny Boy Williamson's 'One Way Out'. Another Fillmore East carryover, their live version was simply crushing, serving as a classic example of Duane's bottleneck slide guitar prowess. If you listen closely you can hear Oakley flub the bass line about 30 seconds into the song. rating: **** stars
- Just like they appropriated 'One Way Out', they did the same thing with this blues classic - if you're a certain age (say in your late-40s/early-50s), this is the classic cover of 'Trouble No More'. Gregg seldom sounded as good and Duane and Dicky simply tore the song up. rating: ***** stars
- Gregg and Duane 'owned' the band, but 'Blue Sky' shows you what a key ingredient Betts was to the band's success. Written and sung by Betts (the track was apparently inspired by a girlfriend), its simply one of the best songs in their extensive repertoire. this was the easy-going, highly commercial side of the band for folks who were particularly attuned to 30 minute blues jams. The Duane-Betts bridge section is simply breath-taking. To this day I get chills every time I hear it. rating: ***** stars
- Co-written by bassist Barry Oakley and Gregg and the last track recorded with Duane, 'Stand Back' was the album's overlooked gem. A short, sweet, and slinky rocker that showcased Duane's instantly recognizable slide guitar, this one would have made a killer single. rating: ***** stars
- If you believe the story, Duane had a dream where Jimi Hendrix showed him how to play what became the instrumental 'Little Martha'. The title was apparently a dedication to girlfriend Dixie Lee Meadows. Musically it's a beautiful acoustic piece - just Duane and Dicky on guitar. Talk about a primer for students. rating: **** stars
- And if you didn't get enough of 'Mountain Jam' on side two, there was always another 15 minutes of it on side four. rating: *** stars

album inner sleeve: F. Holmes and D. Powell

Capricorn tapped the album for three singles:

- 1972's 'Ain't Wastin' Time No More' b/w '' (Capricorn catalog number CPR-0003) # 77 pop
- 1972's 'Melissa' b/w 'Blue Sky' (Capricorn catalog number CPR 0007) # 86 pop
- 1972's 'One Way Out' b/w 'Standback' (Capricorn catalog number 0014 ) # 86 pop

Flaws and all, its still a classic album that most people should have in their collection.

"Eat a Peach" track listing:
(side 1)
1.) Ain't Waistin' Time No More (Gregg Allman) - 3:40
2.) Les Briers In a Minor (instrumental) (Dicky Betts) - 9:05
3.) Melissa (Gregg Allman - Steve Alaimo) - 3:05

(side 2)
1.) Mountain Jam (Donovan Leitch - Gregg Allman - Duane Allman - Dick Betts - Jai Jai Johanson) - 19:37

(side 3)
1.) One Way Out (Marshal Sehorn - Willie Sonny Boy Williamson) - 4:58
2.) Trouble No More (McKinley Morganfield) - 3:28
3.) Stand Back (Gregg Allman - Barry Oakley) - 3:25
4.) Blue Sky (Dicky Betts) - 5:10
5.) Little Martha (instrumental) (Duane Allman) - 2:08

(side 4)
1.) Mountain Jam Cont'd (Donovan Leitch - Gregg Allman - Duane Allman - Dick Betts - Jai Jai Johanson) - 15:06
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