Brothers band together for top seventies’ album
Airdrie music fan Jim Milton presents his latest ‘Hidden Treasure’ feature by putting the Allman Brothers Band’s 1973 release Brothers and Sisters under the spotlight.
Who? – Forerunners of the thriving “southern rock” movement to originate out of America’s southern states in the late 60s. Encompassing elements of country, folk and blues, the genre claimed the Allman Brothers as its chief exponents. Deeply affected by the deaths of founder members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, three Macon Georgia blocks and almost exactly a year apart, the band survived through various personnel changes to carry on a stop-start career that only came to its latest halt in 2014.
What? – The band’s fifth album and the first following Duane and Berry’s deaths, Brothers and Sisters only qualifies as a ‘hidden treasure’ in the respect that it was the band’s first release after a twin tragedy few thought they could recover from.
It also came after the platinum selling Eat a Peach and At Fillmore East, acclaimed critically as one of the greatest live albums in rock music history.
When? – Recorded October to December 1972 and released on Capricorn Records, the following August.
With? – Replacing Berry Oakley and Duane Allman and joining core founders Gregg Allman, Betts and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson (or plain Jaimoe) Lamar Williams on bass and pianist Chuck Leavell.
Session help from Les Dudek and Capricorn buddy, Tommy Talton.
Stand-out? – Ramblin’ Man and Jessica, a long-running theme tune for BBC2 motoring show Top Gear, have become iconic rock staples while the Betts-penned Southbound grew into a particular favourite during the band’s live set.
What happened next? – What didn’t? Of all the 70s bands, the Allmans suffered more than most at the hands of internal bust-ups and wanton excess.
Sales of the band’s subsequent recorded output plummeted in line with its dwindling quality whilst conversely, their stock as a live attraction grew and grew.
They regularly grossed $100,000 per show with their 1973 appearance at the Watkins Glen Summer Jam, New York, accompanied by the Band and the Grateful Dead, entering the Guinness Book of Records for the largest concert audience (600,000) ever.
Family affair The cover for the Brother and Sisters album