Beginnings, released in 1971, was a double album, combining The Allman Brothers Band's first two albums, The Allman Brothers Band and Idlewildsouth respectively, on one disc.
It may just be my personal opinion, but I think the Allman Brothers are the kings of southern rock. While they lost guitarist Duane Allman to a tragic motorcycle accident after only a few years together, they continued to make great albums (such as the classic Eat A Peach) even after his death and dominate the other great southern rock bands of that time i.e. Lynyrd Skynyrd and CCR.
To the review . . .
The CD kicks off with Donít Want You No More despite the unintelligible double negative, this song is great. Itís basically a two minute plus jam with fantastic guitar and percussion work, the result of two guitarists and two drummers. It bleeds into Itís Not My Cross To Bear, one of the strongest tracks on the CD, with a screaming guitar starting it off and Gregg Allmanís strong, tortured lyrics coming in at 44 seconds and continue throughout the song. A slow, sad, but strong blues song.
Next up is Black Hearted Woman, a much more upbeat song although itís about infidelity and catching a cheating woman with her ďbackdoor man.Ē Standard blues song with an alright solo but the strong part is around the three minute mark where the band joins in with an addictive chorus, which is just scat singing but is still good. Itís followed by Trouble No More which has a fantastic guitar intro and riffs. Every Hungry Woman, like every song on this CD features great guitar work which fits wonderfully with Gregg Allmanís howling vocals. This song has a great guitar solo and a very addictive chorus. Definitely one of the best on the CD.
Dreams comes next. This song is very slow and sad, seeing as itís about depression and contemplating suicide. Though thereís few vocal parts, Greggís singing really adds to the song which is essentially jam-oriented. Despite being so depressing, itís a very good song with (gasp) great guitar work. Though itís over seven minutes long, Dreams is an awesome song from start to finish. Itís followed by Whipping Post, a song about cheating women and making a huge mistake thereby being tied to Ė guess what" Ė a whipping post. It starts with a great bassline and an exceptional screeching guitar in the pre-chorus and chorus. I used to really love this song but I guess I heard it too much. Still a great song though.
Next up is the first song from Idlewildsouth Ė Revival. This starts off with a huge instrument jam where all of the band members show off their skills. At 1:35 Greggís vocals come in. This is a very upbeat, gospel-like song, considering the seven blues songs that preceded it. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside from the first lines: ďPeople can you feel it" Love is in the air. People can you feel it, Love is everywhere.Ē Great song from start to finish.
Donít Keep Me Wonderiní is another upbeat song about a criminal and his girl whoís apparently cheating on him. Very good song with a great chorus. Midnight Rider follows, another song about an outlaw. This is the second shortest song on the CD but definitely the best. It has a very catchy slide guitar going throughout the song to which Gregg contributes wonderful vocals. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed is an instrumental jam song. It has some good guitar but I never really got into it. I guess itís a little too long but itís a matter of opinion; a lot of people like it. Hoochie Coochie Man really differs from the latter song. It starts out with a great bass line. Bassist Berry Oakley sings this song and his voice really fits the song. Great spin on the classic blues song. About a guy with a lot of mojo. Please Call Home is another great song. Itís about a guy who accepts his girlfriend breaking up with him but tells her to call home if she changes her mind. Leave My Blues At Home is a song about dealing with the blues, hence the title. Kind of like Dreams, only more upbeat. A great way to close out a fantastic CD.
So thatís all. I know itís kind of long but this is a great CD and deserves a review. Itís also my first review, so if it sucks, donít be an a****** about it.
If you canít get the CD, download:
ē Donít Keep Me Wonderiní
ē Midnight Rider
ē Hoochie Coochie Man