The Allman Brothers Band
At Fillmore East


5.0
classic

Review

by Matthijs van der Lee USER (219 Reviews)
October 30th, 2011 | 24 replies


Release Date: 1971 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Short but everlasting glory.

Ability, creativity and expression build respect and admiration, and define what anyone is ultimately remembered for. Death has a habit of cutting short creativity but enlarging legacy, especially so for the young. It is an infamous turn in popular music that brought greater renown to some than they might ever have achieved in a longer lifetime.

One of the most remarkable of musical tragedies struck The Allman Brothers Band in 1971 and 1972, first claiming guitarist and band leader Duane Allman, and then bassist Berry Oakley, a little over a year later. They both died in similar motorcycle accidents, in the same area, at the age of 24. The originally six-headed band, while still actively performing today, never quite recovered from their deaths, never again blending the way they did in ’71. It was approximately half a year before Duane’s death that they committed to tape what is perhaps the tightest live jam ever recorded by a rock collective. At Fillmore East, the Allman Brothers played with the kind of ability, creativity and expression that every passionate musician envies.

Duane Allman may have been their greatest player, and their creative drive, but it really took six to make magic. With brother Gregg singing behind the organ, second guitarist Dickey Betts putting out his own tune, and the unique two-drummer rhythm setup of Jaimoe Johanson and Butch Trucks with Oakley, The Allman Brothers created a sound unlike and beyond that of any other band. Taking the classic blues as their primary inspiration, they involved the flair of jazz (Duane was listening to Miles Davis and John Coltrane at the time) and a tinge of country, delivering it with a determined loud rock volume.

Dedicating the first four of seven tracks to classic blues covers, Fillmore East opens with an earth-shaking rendition of Willie McTell’s Statesboro Blues, driven by Duane’s signature slide guitar sound and his brother’s greatly fitting voice; Gregg Allman was 23 at the time, which is hard to tell. As a trademark throughout their performances, Betts trades off his own solos with Duane, while the rhythm section’s continually incredible pace makes the kick-off the same powerful experience every time. Elmore James’ Done Somebody Wrong follows in the same vein, but it is only after these that At Fillmore East confirms The Allman Brothers’ reputation as the finest jamming rock band on the planet.

The four main attractions run at an average of about 15 minutes: all simply a pleasure, and each one seemingly better than the next. Stormy Monday, despite Duane and Betts’ superb solos, is Gregg Allman’s strongest moment individually. ‘They call it stormy Monday/but Tuesday’s just as bad’, he croons passionately over his Hammond organ, which comes up front and fits the song perfectly. It’s a well-needed respite before the nearly-20-minute You Don’t Love Me, a final stretch of reworked old-school blues with intense and heartfelt guitar solos all around; a mighty presence indeed. The band’s following own material neatly shows the progression from that which they were inspired by. The relatively short Hot ‘Lanta serves as a showcase for each player’s individual qualities, before leading into what are arguably The Allman Brothers Band’s two greatest accomplishments. Betts’ jazzy composition In Memory of Elizabeth Reed is a fine beauty, incredibly smooth and mellow compared to the core Allman numbers, but never losing a moment’s attention.

Yet as mesmerizing as all the previous can be, the final 23 minutes of Fillmore East stand on lonely heights. Whipping Post isn’t just The Allmans’ signature tune. It is the be-all, end-all of their individual and collective talent. It especially defines Duane Allman as a guitarist, which is to say it defines him as one of the greatest. Every note ablaze with passion, every second a gift in this godly jam. A tour de force that is also a painful reminder of how brutally soon the flawless chemistry of this band was cut short. Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, who deserves special credit for possibly laying down the single most effective bass intro ever, made the behemoth that is Whipping Post a fitting way to remember them by. The Allman Brothers Band has continued to survive for over 40 years, but they will always have to look back on what they played here. It was unbelievable.

- R.I.P. Duane Allman: November 20, 1946 – October 29, 1971
- R.I.P. Berry Oakley: April 4, 1948 – November 11, 1972




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user ratings (219)
Chart.
4.5
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other reviews of this album
Baz360 (5)
One Of Rock's Masterpieces...

keep on phishin' (5)
...

robo2448 (5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
Nagrarok
October 30th 2011


8526 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Actually planning on getting back at reviewing with something else, but for now this will have to do. Album is pretty damn fantastic.



Anyone who hasn't heard this, educate yourself!: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCtaCO7BOJ4

jefflebowski
October 30th 2011


8440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good god does this album jam hard

clercqie
October 30th 2011


6515 Comments


Album and band are fantastic

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 30th 2011


25522 Comments


Excellent review as usual. Album is incredible.

Digging: Thee Oh Sees - Live In San Francisco

jefflebowski
October 30th 2011


8440 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

some of the playing on Whipping Post is ludicrously good

Nagrarok
October 30th 2011


8526 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Whipping Post is just unbelievable, I've heard it often enough but still there's not a second in there that bores me. Thanks for the pos's.

foxblood
October 30th 2011


6818 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

good review, love this band/album so much. the jams are mind blowing

Jethro42
October 30th 2011


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Some classic Nag' piece of work for an everlasting piece of art. I'm currently jamming on my Deluxe Edition format. What a great way to start a Sunday evening! I'm enjoying ''In Memory of Elizabeth Reed atm.

So happy to see you covering this and above all, to see you back to writing, mate.

SowingSeason
Moderator
October 30th 2011


21536 Comments


Welcome back, Nag!

Digging: Glass Animals - How To Be A Human Being

Jethro42
October 30th 2011


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Actually planning on getting back at reviewing with something else


Is it what I think?

MO
October 30th 2011


20867 Comments


yea this rules, Allman Brothers are so good

I'VE BEEN RUN DOWN
I'VE BEEN LIED TO
I DON'T KNOW WHY
I LET THAT MEAN WOMAN MAKE ME A fool

Nagrarok
October 31st 2011


8526 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks all; deluxe edition is an even richer collection obviously, including the neverending Mountain Jam, but that and two others are also on Eat a Peach. And yes Jethro, of course it is what you think. Wow, I realize I hadn't reviewed anything in more than 3 months, I do need to pick it up.

Aids
October 31st 2011


24261 Comments


Nag is awesome. Really good review, I should probably listen to this.

seifer
October 31st 2011


1006 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

awesome review for an awesome album

Jethro42
October 31st 2011


14132 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

And yes Jethro, of course it is what you think


I was pretty sure that was the case, so I'm not surprised at all but...

YA

HOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Nagrarok
October 31st 2011


8526 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Thanks guys, although I must say the great Duane Allman deserves more than 'I should probably listen to this' from you Aids. Do listen.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
October 31st 2011


7164 Comments


Good to be back on reviewing Nag.

Will read the review asap.

Digging: Medicine Boy - Kinda Like Electricity

JamieTwort
Contributing Reviewer
October 31st 2011


25522 Comments


I might have to 5 this.

Whipping Post and You Don't Love Me are amazing.

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
November 1st 2011


7164 Comments


excellent review, pos.

InbredJed
May 31st 2014


6497 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pos, love this album.



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