Allman Brothers’ Massive 50th Anniversary Set: Listen

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The 5-CD edition of Trouble No More

The Allman Brothers Band’s 50th anniversary is being celebrated with a massive set. Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection is available as a 10-LP or 5-CD set with live performances and rarities from across their career, with seven previously unreleased tracks. It arrived on Feb. 28 via Island Mercury/UMe.

Order the 5-CD set here, and the 10-LP edition here.

We’ve got several of the tracks below.

From the Jan. 14 announcement: When Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks, Dickey Betts, Duane Allman, Jaimoe, and Gregg Allman finally coalesced in 1969 as the Allman Brothers Band, after stints in other bands and musical endeavors – some alone, some with each other – the group’s very first informal jam together was the stomping Muddy Waters song, “Trouble No More.” Almost immediately the six musicians knew they were on to something special. Shortly after, it also became the very first song they officially demoed together for their eponymous debut record, an album that would begin their legendary, unparalleled, and often times, turbulent journey as one of the best American rock bands to ever exist.

The band’s original 1969 demo of “Trouble No More,” which has remained unreleased for more than half a century, fittingly opens the new career retrospective of the pioneering Southern rock legends. Trouble No More—produced by Allman Brothers Band historians and aficionados Bill Levenson, John Lynskey and Kirk West —offers a massive selection of 61 ABB classics, live performances and rarities. The collection is bookended with a live performance of “Trouble No More” from the Allman Brothers Band’s final show at New York’s Beacon Theatre that brought the band’s legend to a close and which brings this retrospective full circle.

The previously unreleased demo recording of “Trouble No More” was made available on Jan. 14.

The deluxe vinyl box set of Trouble No More: 50th Anniversary Collection presents the Allman Brothers Band’s legacy across 10 LPs packaged in five gatefold jackets housed in a wood veneer wrapped slipcase with gold graphics, accompanied by a 56-page book.

The 5-CD edition is packaged in a 12-panel softpack with a visually distinctive slipcase and includes an 88-page booklet. Both physical editions feature a nearly 9000-word essay on the 50-year history of the band by John Lynskey, unreleased band photos along with newly shot photos of memorabilia from the Big House Museum in the band’s adopted hometown Macon, Ga., and a recap of the 13 incarnations of the band lineup. All recordings have been newly mastered by Jason NeSmith at Chase Park Transduction in Athens, Ga.

The collection is grouped into five distinct eras representing the various stages of the band’s recording and performance history, divided by the group’s stints on the Capricorn, Arista and Epic labels, as well as the band’s own Peach imprint. Starting with The Capricorn Years 1969 – 1979 Part I, the collection kicks off at the beginning of the Allman Brothers Band’s story with their first-ever recording, the previously unreleased 1969 demo version of “Trouble No More,” and includes highlights from their self-titled debut like “Don’t Want You No More,” “It’s Not My Cross To Bear,” and “Whipping Post;” standouts from their second album, Idlewild South, such as the classic “Midnight Rider;” Dickey Betts’s first songwriting effort for the band, “Revival;” and “Don’t Keep Me Wondering,” with Duane’s slide guitar work center stage.

Watch the official unboxing video

The original lineup’s legacy album, the legendary live At Filmore East, recorded in March 1971 at promoter Bill Graham’s East Village theatre, is represented here with the blues-rock shuffle of “Statesboro Blues,” a sultry take on “Stormy Monday” and the dazzling 13-minute instrumental odyssey, “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed.” As Lynskey writes in the liner notes, “There is no question that the Allman Brothers Band was at their best up on a stage, playing live music for an audience. The group played with unbridled energy, and without constraints. While their set list did not vary all that much from night to night in the early days, the band’s desire to explore, create and improvise guaranteed that each show would be a different listening experience… Their marathon concerts became the stuff of legend, and that spirit was captured on At Fillmore East, the live set by which all others are measured.”

Related: 10 great Live at the Fillmore albums

The Capricorn Years 1969 -1979, Part II collects songs from the double album, Eat A Peach, made with tracks recorded in 1971 with Duane Allman before he tragically died in a motorcycle accident. Released in 1972, the cuts featured on the set include “Blue Sky,” written and sung by Betts; “Melissa,” Gregg Allman’s tribute to his brother and “One Way Out,” recorded live in June ‘71, on the closing night of the Fillmore East.

Watch the new lyric video for “Melissa”

“Hot ‘Lanta” and “You Don’t Love Me” from a live performance at New York’s A&R Studios broadcast on WPLJ radio and “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” recorded at Puerto Rico’s “Mar Y Sol Festival,” in April 1972, showcase the band in a variety of live settings.

Songs from their #1-selling album, Brothers and Sisters, include Dickey’s country-infused hit single, “Ramblin Man” and “Wasted Words,” which were the last two songs to feature bassist Berry Oakley who also tragically died in a motorcycle accident at the same age as Duane, 24.

Watch the new lyric video for Betts’ classic

Part II concludes with a previously unreleased outtake of “Early Morning Blues,” a standard blues number that eventually morphed into “Jelly Jelly.”

More from the Jan. 14 announcement: As The Allman Brothers Band experienced one blow after another, Brothers and Sisters tore up the charts and so they soldiered on through the pain and grief and did what they did best – play. The Capricorn Years, 1969-1979, Part III/The Arista Years, 1980-1981 launches with two live performances from their historic “Summer Jam” show in July ’73 with the Grateful Dead at Watkins Glen, NY, which drew more than half a million fans to the grounds of the famed raceway. “Come and Go Blues,” released on the live album, Wipe the Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas, is an especially grooving number of Gregg’s, while “Mountain Jam” is a previously unreleased breathtaking version that grew out of a line from Donovan’s happy folk song “First There Is A Mountain” into a 12-minute jam. The band’s record Win, Lose Or Draw, recorded in 1975 after a couple years apart following the release and subsequent tours for Gregg and Dickey’s debut solo albums is highlighted here with the moving title track, their inspired rendition of Muddy Waters’ “Can’t Lose What You Never Had” and the rollicking instrumental, “High Falls.”

As a result of fractures in the band, they disbanded after the album’s tour and remained apart for four years. Eventually overtures were made and after an impromptu performance together made them yearn to be together again, the original members – Butch, Dickey, Jaimoe and Gregg – decamped to the studio and recorded 1979’s Enlightened Rogues. Included here are standouts “Crazy Love,” “Can’t Take It With You,” “Pegasus” and a live version of Gregg’s autobiographical “Just Ain’t Easy.” The end of the decade would also mark the end of their time with Capricorn, as a result of the label going bankrupt, and a new label home with Arista Records. “Hell and High Water,” and “Angeline” from the resulting album, Reach For the Sky, released in 1980, had glossier production and synthesizers. Sadly, Jaimoe and the group would part ways after this. “Never Knew How Much,” a gorgeous ballad that originated during the sessions for Gregg’s solo album, Laid Back, and “Leavin’” a song that may have foreshadowed what was to come from their album, Brothers of the Road, released in 1981, round out the chapter.

Listen to “The Sky Is Crying” from 2014

In 1989, after years apart and several solo albums, the original members of the band were approached about doing a reunion tour to promote an upcoming career box set, and Butch, Dickey, Jaimoe and Gregg all agreed. For the tour, they recruited Warren Haynes, a guitarist that Dickey had been playing with, and went out as a seven-piece. The chemistry was palpable and the shows so well received that the band, now signed to Epic, recorded Seven Turns, their first album together in nearly a decade. The Epic Years, 1989-2000 includes the album’s title track, considered one of Dickey’s best songs, and “Good Clean Fun.” They quickly set to work on 1991’s Shades of Two Worlds which saw Dickey take a dominant role as a songwriter, as heard on “Nobody Knows,” and Warren emerge as an influential member of the group, co-writing five songs with either Dickey or Gregg, including “End Of The Line,” which sounded like vintage Allman Brothers. Some of the many other highlights from this era include “Low Dirty Mean,” from the 1992 live album, Play All Night: Live At The Beacon Theater, a rare live performance of Robert Johnson’s “Come On Into My Kitchen,” and songs from 1994’s Where it All Begins, including the stellar title track and the live fan favorite “Soulshine,” which displayed Warren’s singer/songwriter talents. It concludes with the unreleased “I’m Not Crying,” a composition written by Jack Pearson who replaced Warren after he left to focus on his band Gov’t Mule.

Listen to the 1992 live cover of Robert Johnson’s “Come On Into My Kitchen”

The final chapter, The Peach Years, 2000-2014, spans a variety of lineup changes, most notably the departure of original member Dickey Betts and the introduction of guitarist Derek Trucks, the nephew of Butch Trucks. The younger Trucks delivers an emotionally charged solo alongside Betts’s recent replacement, Jimmy Herring, on the previously unreleased, somber-and raw, “Loan Me A Dime,” recorded on August 26, 2000, the day bassist Allen Woody passed away. Gregg sounds especially emotional on the powerful performance. Woody’s death shook the band but it was out of this tragedy that Warren would make his way back to his brothers. Included here is a spectacular, never-released live performance from the band’s 2001 Beacon run of “Desdemona,” a new song that Warren and Gregg wrote together. The tune, along with the shimmering “The High Cost Of Low Living” and the poignant “Old Before My Time,” would be featured on the Allman Brothers Band’s final album, Hittin’ the Note, released in 2003. Two unreleased gems from the band’s 2005 annual stand at the Beacon Theatre include an extremely rare version of “Blue Sky” with Gregg handling the lead vocals and Derek’s and Warren’s solos augmented by lively piano work from longtime former bandmate Chuck Leavell, who was sitting in for the March 21 show; and Warren and Derek’s wonderful interpretation of Duane’s instrumental, “Little Martha,” from that same night. Appropriately the collection culminates with a live version of “Trouble No More,” the first song the Allman Brothers Band ever played together and the last song of their career. As Lynskey writes, “In those four minutes, 45 years came pouring out of the speakers; 45 years of superior blues/rock music, created by incomparable musicians. The final notes echoed through the theatre early in the morning of October 29, 43 years to the day that Duane Allman died.”

On March 10, for one night only at Madison Square Garden in New York City, The Brothers – Jaimoe, Warren Haynes, Derek Trucks, Oteil Burbridge, Marc Quinones-joined by Duane Trucks, Reese Wynans and special guest Chuck Leavell will celebrate 50 years of the music of The Allman Brothers Band. It notably marks the first time in more than five years that these legendary players will be together on stage to perform their iconic hits, and the first time since the passing of founding members Gregg Allman and Butch Trucks. The show sold out immediately upon going on sale. Tickets are available at StubHub.

Listen to “Mountain jam” from the 1973 Watkins Glen festival

5-CD/Digital Track List
The Capricorn Years 1969 – 1979 Part I / CD1
Trouble No More (Demo)*
Don’t Want You No More
It’ Not My Cross To Bear
Whipping Post
I’m Gonna Move To The Outskirts Of Town (Live at Ludlow Garage)
Midnight Rider
Don’t Keep Me Wonderin’
Hoochie Coochie Man
Please Call Home
Statesboro Blues (Live at Fillmore East)
Stormy Monday (Live at Fillmore East)
In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed (Live at Fillmore East)

The Capricorn Years 1969 – 1979 Part II / CD2
One Way Out (Live at Fillmore East)
You Don’t Love Me / Soul Serenade (Live at A&R Studios)
Hot ‘Lanta (Live at A&R Studios)
Stand Back
Blue Sky
Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More (Live at Mar y Sol)
Wasted Words
Ramblin’ Man
Early Morning Blues (Outtake)

The Capricorn Years 1969 – 1979 Part III / The Arista Years 1980 – 1981 / CD3
Come And Go Blues (Live at Watkins Glen)
Mountain Jam (Live at Watkins Glen)*
Can’t Lose What You Never Had
Win, Lose Or Draw
High Falls
Crazy Love
Can’t Take It With You
Just Ain’t Easy (Live at Merriweather Post Pavilion)
Hell & High Water
Never Knew How Much (I Needed You)

The Epic Years 1990 – 2000 / CD4
Good Clean Fun
Seven Turns
Gambler’s Roll
End Of The Line
Nobody Knows
Low Down Dirty Mean (Live at the Beacon Theatre)
Come On Into My Kitchen (Live at Radio & Records Convention)
Sailin’ ‘Cross The Devil’s Sea
Back Where It All Begins
No One To Run With
I’m Not Crying (Live at the Beacon Theatre)*

The Peach Years 2000 – 2014 / CD5
Loan Me A Dime (Live at World Music Theatre)*
Desdemona (Live at the Beacon Theatre)*
High Cost Of Low Living
Old Before My Time
Blue Sky (Live at the Beacon Theatre)*
Little Martha (Live at the Beacon Theatre)*
Black Hearted Woman (Live at the Beacon Theatre)
The Sky Is Crying (Live at the Beacon Theatre)
“Farewell” speeches (Live at the Beacon Theatre)
Trouble No More (Live at the Beacon Theatre)

* Previously unreleased

Best Classic Bands Staff

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