The Best Of The Allman Brothers Band (Polydor/UME) edition of the 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection series, released January 25, 2000, gathers together 11 of the finest examples of the group’s progressive blend of music from the South--blues, R&B, country, and gospel. From the hard-driving jam “Whipping Post” to the jazz-influenced “Dreams,” from the live “Hot ‘Lanta” to the rollicking “Jessica,” from its biggest hit “Ramblin’ Man” to Southern Rock standards “Melissa” and “Midnight Rider,” The Best Of The Allman Brothers Band spans the group’s heyday from 1969 to 1979 by featuring the original recordings of its greatest songs.
Brothers Gregg (vocals, keyboards) and Duane Allman (guitars), Dickey Betts (guitars, vocals), Berry Oakley (bass), and Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson (drums) formed the band in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1969 before moving to Macon, Georgia. The Allman Brothers Band, with “Whipping Post” and “Dreams,” and Idlewild South, with “Revival” and “Midnight Rider,” were only modest successes.
A mix of triumph and tragedy then took hold. The double album Live At Fillmore East, with “Hot ‘Lanta,” went Top 10--followed by Duane’s death in a motorcycle accident. Then Eat A Peach, again a double album, with “Melissa,” “Stand Back” and “Blue Sky,” went Top 10--and Oakley was killed in a motorcycle crash near the site of Duane’s accident. “Ramblin’ Man” hit #2 pop and its album, Brothers And Sisters, which also featured “Jessica,” went to #1--and the band fell apart.
In 1978, the members regrouped for Enlightened Rogues, with “Crazy Love,” which again went Top 10--and then broke up once more. In 1989, The Allman Brothers Band returned to recording and to the road, and, thankfully for music fans, has been there ever since.
The series 20th Century Masters/The Millennium Collection features new “best of” albums from the most significant music artists of the past century.
1. Whipping Post
4. Midnight Rider
5. Hot 'Lanta
7. Stand Back
8. Blue Sky
9. Ramblin' Man
11. Crazy Love