The Allman Brothers Band: The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (Deluxe Edition) (2004)
And the road goes on [and on] forever...
What a cluster bang! Enough already!
In my series of the Ten Greatest Live Rock Recordings of all time, I claimed that The Allman Brothers: The Fillmore Concerts, was the best of the best. I later rescinded that determination in favor of the Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus (The Deluxe Edition). (Universal Records is a real group of crafty Bastards!) I was prepared to reconsider because of Universal Chronicles/Mercury’s release of The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (Deluxe Edition). But, no, it is a continuation of the aimless and irresponsible release policies of the Universal Entertainment Group. But wait, before we get into that...
There exist at least two other versions of the Allman Brothers Band’s March 1971 shows at New York City’s Fillmore East. What makes The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (Deluxe Edition) special?
Nothing at all.
This present incarnation documents the entire original The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East double vinyl LP set from July 1971 (still available in a single compact disc edition) adding additional Fillmore material released later on Eat A Peach, Duane Allman: An Anthology, Volumes 1 & 2, and the Dreams box set. There are no previously unreleased performances and no alternate versions derived from different set.
One might confuse this new Deluxe Edition with Polydor’s supposedly definitive 1992 The Fillmore Concerts, with the addition of Midnight Rider, derived from Duane Allman: An Anthology, Volume 2. The Fillmore Concerts was more imaginatively conceived, containing several alternate versions of songs from contemporary performances available no where else. It was also completely reengineered, causing a bit of a fuss among purist, but still providing interesting listening, particularly to the rabid ABB fan (controversial among fans, but provides an interesting comparison).
What is good about this release? Each release of this material has been buoyed by an increase in the sonic quality of the music. The twin drum onslaught has the crispest definition of all previous releases, as well as Dickey Betts’ lead guitar and rhythm filigree. Duane Allman’s razor-sharp slide guitar shines with a blue-cold sheen on Elvin Bishop’s "Drunken-Hearted Boy." And, or course, the set includes the two most perfect electric blues on record, "Statesboro Blues" and "One Way Out."
No release of this material to date is absolutely complete. As collectors and enthusiasts, we are long past worrying about sub par performances. It is time that Universal Chronicles release all of the ABB Fillmore shows from 1971.
The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East, Polydor Records, 1971/1986
Eat a Peach, Polydor, 1971/1986
Duane Allman Anthology, Volume 1, Polydor, 1986
Duane Allman Anthology, Volume 2, Polydor, 1987
Eat a Peach (Ultradisc), Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratories, 1988
Dreams, Polydor, 1989
The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (Ultradisc), Mobile Fidelity Sound Laboratories, 1971/1992
The Fillmore Concerts, Polydor, 1992
Eat a Peach, Capricorn, 1997
The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East, Capricorn Records, 1971/1997
The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East, DTS Remastered, Polydor Records, 1971/2000
Eat a Peach, Quad, 2002
The Allman Brothers Band at Fillmore East (Deluxe Edition), 1971/2003
Track Listing: Disc 1: Statesboro Blues; Trouble No More; Don
Personnel: Gregg Allman