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ALBUM REVIEW

ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND

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EAT A PEACH

Released - February, 1972, Capricorin Records. Produced by Tom Dowd

Gregg Allman - Vocals, Organ, Piano, Acoustic Guitar on "Melissa", Backing Vocal on "Blue Sky".
Duane Allman - Slide Guitar, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar.
Dickey Betts - Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Slide on "Ain't Wastin' Time No More", Lead Vocal on "Blue Sky".
Berry Oakley - Bass Guitar
Jai Johanny Johanson - Drums & Congas
Butch Trucks - Drums,  Tympani, Gong, Vibes & Tambourine and additional Percussion

Lyric credits listed next to song title below.

SONG

RATING

Ain't Wastin' Time No More (Greg Allman)       9.3
Les Brers In A Minor (Dickey Betts)       7.2
Melissa (Greg Allman)       8.5
Mountain Jam (Donovan Leitch & Allman Bros Band)       8.0 
One Way Out (Marshall Schorn & Elmore James)     10.0
Trouble No More (Mckinley Morganfield)       8.9
Stand Back (Greg Allman & Berry Oakley)       6.3
Blue Sky (Dickey Betts)       9.3
Little Martha (Duane Allman)       7.7
Ave.     8.36

REVIEW

Eat A Peach is half a studio album, and half a live one. Actually, there is only three songs that were recorded live here, but time wise, they account for more than half of the music you hear on the LP. Duane Allman was killed while they were making this gem, his motorcycle being hit by truck. He appears on all but the first three songs.

An all around good feeling effort, with the live cuts being some of the best found on the album; yet if Duane had lived chances are they would not have been included. "One Way Out" is perhaps one of the best covers ever recorded live. Greg Allman's vocals are full of feeling with some great added slide guitar work by brother Duane. The best studio cuts are Greg's "Ain't Wastin' Time No More", again, his vocals are just full of that great blues feel, and Dickey Betts' "Blue Sky", his lead guitar on this one is a pure ten!

"Melissa" is another interesting studio cut, written about Duane by Greg, while Duane was still alive, but recorded after this death. Yet many fans figured this was about Duane's death when the LP came out, being confused with the lyric talking about "the dead man's ghost" and "will he lie beneath the clay", but that part of the song was about bluesman Robert Johnson, not Duane. Yet the rebel in the song is Duane, and the song is about his main love, that being his motorcycle, which Duane named "Melissa".

Perhaps an entire review could be written about "Mountain Jam" alone. Recorded live at the Fillmore East in NYC (as are the other two live cuts), it clocks in at 33 minutes and 38 seconds! Hell, some albums are not that long! Instrumentals are usually easy to rate for me, but this one goes in several directions, so I rated it by the different parts of the song, and then come up with a average rating from there. The song is taken from Donovan Leitch's hit, "First There Is A Mountain", in fact the first eight minutes of it follow that song nicely, then it chances a bit. The next five minutes of the song is it's best part, as it just explodes into a new life of it's own. What follows after that is a five minute solo from the drummers - Jai Johanny Johanson and Butch Trucks; perhaps not so overwhelming like so many drum solos can be, but still nicely done. Following that Berry Oakley joins Johanson and Trucks with his bass guitar for about another five minutes, and then the rest of the band is back, with a great lead slide guitar played by Duane. At about the twenty seven minute mark the song slows down big time and closes out in the last couple of minutes with a return to the theme from "First There Is A Mountain". Overall, for such a long number, not bad at all, in fact, very good! I only wish I was in the audience the night they play this classic piece!

It's a shame albums like Eat A Peach are not made any more. When you listen to an album like this one you can't help but long for those days of great rock music past. Around that time it seemed whenever any of the major bands or solo artists released a new album, you just couldn't wait to hear what was up next for the ever changing sound of rock. Unlike today's rock music, you were never disappointed by what you would hear next, and this album is a prime example of that. Although the Allman's were really more of a blues band, they were still considered a rock band back then, and please forgive me if I can't help but reminisce about those good ol' days.

- - Keno 2004

To listen to some soundclips from EAT A PEACH or to purchase it, click on any of these links:Eat A Peach [Remastered]

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