The Allman Brothers Band “At Fillmore East” (1971)

If I was pressed to name the most talented rock band, in terms of pure ability to play their instruments, I would choose the Allman Brothers. The first three tracks, standard blues fair, won’t win any converts. They are played very well, of course, but they’re just the appetizer for the main course. The 20-minute “You Don’t Love Me” kicks off the awe-inspiring portion of the album, show-casing the band’s brilliant interplay and individual contributions. Then, amazingly, “Hot ‘Lanta” does the same thing, even better, in just over five minutes. Finally, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Whipping Post” deliver 30-plus minutes of the greatest live rock performance I’ve ever heard. The communication between the entire band verges on telepathic, but you’d have to come up with a new super-power to describe the connection between Dickie and Duane. With most live recordings, I get bored by the time a song hits the six-minute mark. Here, even the ample running time seems cruelly short. –Lucas

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