Top 100 Album Review: #49 – At Fillmore East, The Allman Brothers Band (1971)

I Recall None It.

With some songs going as long as 23 minutes, nothing is important from this aimless jam. 

Fillmore_East_Cover_1000

Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #49/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545863035586

This album is your typical top 100 switcharoo. Here is how it goes:

You know of the band or musician (in this case, it is the Allman Brothers) and you like the songs you do know (for instance Midnight Rider and Ramblin’ Man). You are excited to learn more of their stuff, and since it’s a top 100 album of all-time, you know it’s going to be great. Instead, you get NONE of the good songs that you do know, no good NEW stuff you didn’t know, and find there is NOTHING special about the album.

They did it to me with Frank Sinatra, then Sly and the Family Stone, and now the Allman Brothers. I realize I’m on the wrong side of history — good luck finding someone who doesn’t revere this as the most important live album of all-time.  It’s just truly aimless, and the incessantly repeated improvisations lasting as long as television shows never made a dent with me.

allman-brothers-classic-lineup-album-cover-crop-3-1200x632[OVERVIEW]

The Allman Brothers had released a couple albums, but none of them became commercially successful. People were broke, band members were struggling with drug addiction, and Duane Allman was being courted by Eric Clapton for his band Derek and The Dominos. None the less, the band continued to tour and continue to build their fan-base through live performances. Having already opened for Blood, Sweat, and Tears as well as the Grateful Dead at Fillmore East, the band decided to have their next album be  live at this location.

The album was recorded over two nights (March 12th and 13th of 1971) at Fillmore East. It would go on to be gold certified in a couple months and would finally be the commercial break through for the band.

[TRACKLISTING]

1. Statesboro Blues 4:08
2. Done Somebody Wrong 4:05
3. Stormy Monday 8:31
4. You Don’t Love Me 19:06
5. Hot ‘Lanta 5:10
6. In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed 12:46
7. Whipping Post 22:40

[BEST TRACK…I GUESS? You Don’t Love Me]

I don’t actually have a favorite track from this album, so I guess I really don’t love you. Just imagine my consternation when at minute mark 7:51, after more than enough improvisation, we aren’t even HALFWAY through the track.

You don’t love me, pretty baby,
You don’t love me, yes I know
You don’t love me, pretty baby
You don’t love me, yes I know

[LONGEST TRACK: Whipping Post]

I was driving across country during my first go with this album. Using a steady speed of 79 MPH, I traveled almost 30 miles during the duration of Whipping Post. At one point, I remember looking up at the scenery and thinking how beautiful the landscape was and how I remember nothing from this album.

Sometimes I feel, sometimes I feel,
Like I been tied to the whippin’ post.
Tied to the whippin’ post, tied to the whippin’ post.
Good Lord, I feel like I’m dyin’.

[CONCLUSION]

The mastery of the instrumentation here is undeniable. But, I listened to most of this album while typing this review, and never once did it break my concentration. It gets relegated to background music because of the undirected compositions. 78 minutes of masterful slide guitar can’t fix that.

Other People’s Takes: 

  • Pancakes and Whisky: It is the gold standard of live albums, and is probably how you were introduced to the Allmans, if you’re anything like me.”
  • Ear of Newt: “The Allman Brothers’ At Fillmore East is widely recognized as one of the greatest live albums in rock history.”
  • 13th Floor of Hell: “The Allman Brothers Band At Fillmore East,” has gone on to be revered as one of history’s greatest live records.”

Author: Casual But Smart

I review the top 100 books, movies, albums, and games of all time.

5 thoughts on “Top 100 Album Review: #49 – At Fillmore East, The Allman Brothers Band (1971)”

    1. I was utterly scared to hit post on this one. I know what Duane and Greg mean to music, and I know how revered this album is. The technical aspects (the improvisation, the musicality, the instrumentation) is phenomenal…but none of the songs are rememberable.

      Like

  1. As usual you make up your own mind and i like that. I grew into this one and like it the more i listen to it. I’m a bit of a jam guy.
    I don’t comment on your takes of albums like Sly Stone/Lennon because i just don’t get the music on most of these top albums. It’s a great idea, what you’re doing. I’ve listened to a few albums, read a few books, watched a few films that make these kinds of lists. I just don’t get it most of the time. So i take no issues with your opinions in fact it’s refreshing. There’s lots of common ground and i do enjoy your slant.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Your ear is guiding you. I do know from my past experience that I’ve done complete turnarounds on certain music. Lots of other music to listen to. Trying to force it doesn’t work. Grow is another thing.

        Like

Leave a Reply to Casual But Smart Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s