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Monday, 13 March 2017
"Brothers And Sisters: Deluxe Edition" by THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND (July 2013 '40th Anniversary Deluxe Edition' 2CD Reissue – Seth Foster Remasters) - A Review by Mark Barry...
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"…The Band Is Jumping And So Am I…"
Allman Brothers Band fifth album was an American No. 1 - so a decent aural
brush-up of 1973's "Brothers And Sisters" has long been on the cards.
And you have to say that Universal's 40th Anniversary celebration does that
huge fan favourite a proper solid.
Typically (and just like buses) this 2013
sonic overhaul comes at cash-strapped music lovers in three forms - a 2CD
Deluxe Edition (reviewed) - a 4-Disc Super Deluxe Edition and even a good old
Vinyl reissue. Here are the details for the Rambln' Southbound Man...
July 2013 - "Brothers And Sisters: Deluxe Edition" by THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND on Mercury/Universal
3728804 (Barcode 602537288045) is a 2CD '40th Anniversary' Reissue and Remaster that breaks down as follows:
1 (38:23 minutes):
Wasted Words [Side 1]
Come And Go Blues
Southbound [Side 2]
1 to 7 are their 5th album "Brothers And Sisters" - released August 1973
in the USA on Capricorn CP 0111 and September 1973 in the UK on Capricorn 2429
102 (reissued shortly after onto Capricorn K 47507).
2 - REHEARSALS, JAMS and OUTTAKES (66:16 minutes):
Wasted Words (3 Dec 1972 Rehearsal) 5:06 minutes
Trouble No More (Oct/Nov 1972 Rehearsal - Muddy Waters cover) 3:58 minutes
Southbound (Instrumental Outtake, Recorded 8 Nov 1972) 5:56 minutes
One Way Out (Rehearsal) 5:38 minutes
I'm Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of The Town (Rehearsal) 11:14 minutes
Done Somebody Wrong (3 Dec 1972 Rehearsal) 3:50 minutes
Double Cross (Outtake - Recorded 13 May 1973) 4:36 minutes
Early Morning Blues (Outtake - Recorded 27 May 1973) 9:27 minutes
A Minor Jam (Studio Jam - Recorded 8 March 1973) 16:30 minutes
1 to 9 are all PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
There is also a 4CD American SUPER DELUXE EDITION of "Brothers And
Sisters" on Mercury/Universal B0018079-02 (Barcode 602537288076) that
offers 2 further 2CDs (10 tracks on Disc 3 and 7 on Disc 4). Both feature a
Previously Unreleased Concert - "Live At Winterland, 26 September
1973". This has unfortunately garnished something of a price tag since its
3-way foldout card digipak has one of those ugly stick-on DE bandanas
unceremoniously taped onto the bottom of the outer digipak instead of the outer
title plastic slipcase of old. Those slipcases were/are awkward to get the
discs out of - but I actually kind of miss them now. Once opened the inside has
a live photo of the band spread across all three flaps (under both see-through
plastic trays) and the 24-page booklet is a chunky and colourful affair with
excellent SCOTT SCHINDER liner notes. Butch Truck's son Vaylor is on the front
of the booklet and Berry Oakley's daughter Brittany is on the back page - as
they were on the front and rear of the original gatefold vinyl LP sleeve in
1973. There's the famous family photo gracing the centerspread and live shots
of the band in action and detailed reissue credits on the last four pages. But
the big news is a massive upgrade in sound. ANDY SKUROW and ELIOT KISSELEFF did
the Tape Research and Transfers (respectively) and SETH FOSTER (a very
experienced Universal engineer) did the mastering - and what a bang-up job
they've done. Everything to my ears is better - vocals, guitars, but especially
the Rhythm Section - clear and full of presence.
album opens with Gregg Allman's "Wasted Words" which now has huge
punch - Betts slide guitar tight with the vocals. Perennial rave "Ramblin'
Man" has the keyboards punching above its former weight while that dual
guitar finish sounds brill. Chuck Leavell's fab piano licks on "Come And
Go Blues" now get a bit of extra oomph - but they properly explode out of
the speakers on the Side 1 Bluesy finisher "Jelly Jelly". Side 2
opens with another Dicky Betts original "Southbound" where the
cohesion of the guitars, piano and especially the funkily tight rhythm section
blast into your living room. New Bassist Lamar Williams had only finished
auditions for the band and along with Drummer Jaimoe they absolutely rock this
track. We then an instrumental that has since gone into history - up there with
"Albatross" and "Cavatina" in its impact - the wonderful
"Jessica" in its full seven and half minutes glory (where would
"Top Gear" be without it). With Betts given full Lead Guitar reign,
Les Dudek on Acoustic and Gregg Allman on Organ - that Leavell solo part still
put chills up me - and now sounding utterly brilliant. "Brothers And
Sisters" ends on "Pony Boy" with Betts on his Dobro sounding
like he's in your living room - beautifully done and easy to see why it's a
concert fave still (lyrics from it title this review).
had expected Disc 2 to be workmanlike - it s not - it rocks. Because the
rehearsals are from their most volatile, sad and yet strangely productive
period - to my ears the tracks bristle with looseness and discovery and a band
wanting to matter and cope. The "Southbound" instrumental is a case
in point - the band boogieing through the song like it was the most natural thing
in the world (which for them it was). The cover of Muddy Waters' old Chess
classic "Trouble No More" is just brilliant - while a real find is
"Early Morning Blues" - the song replaced by "Jelly Jelly"
on the album. Using the same back beat - you get mournful Rock Blues for nine
and half great minutes ("What goes on in your worried and mixed up
mind..."). The other cool outtake is "Double Cross" - a Lynyrd
Skynyrd Boogie Shuffle circa "Nuthin' Fancy". Admittedly the near
seventeen minutes of "A Minor Jam" will test the patience of
newcomers - but I can't help think that die-hards will secretly chew up every
indulgent guitar/piano jamming minute of it.
there you it - a winner made better. Five weeks at Number 1 and their first
platter to go Platinum - it's easy to hear why "Brothers And Sisters"
endures all these years after. And I still wonder what that child is looking at
in those leaves below his feet...a plectrum maybe...a discarded hairnet...