Gregg Allman Reissues, With Prev. Unreleased Material: Listen

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A few months after the Allman Brothers Band released their fourth studio album, Brothers and Sisters, vocalist and keyboardist Gregg Allman released his debut solo album, Laid Back, in October 1973, co-produced by Allman along with Johnny Sandlin.

Mercury/UMe reissued Laid Back on Aug. 30 in a variety of formats, including a remastered and expanded Deluxe Edition on two CDs, 180-gram black vinyl and a 180-gram limited purple and white marbled color vinyl edition.

Laid Back included a new recording of “Midnight Rider,” one of the Allman Brothers Band’s many signature tunes. The song, released as a song from the solo album, reached #19 on the Hot 100.

Watch the lyric video for “Midnight Rider”

The new Deluxe Edition of Laid Back expands the original album – which features tunes like “Please Call Home,” covers of “These Days” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” – to 34 tracks and includes 26 bonus tracks of previously unreleased or rare songs or new mixes. Early mixes of all eight songs are featured alongside the remastered album on disc one while disc two includes demos, outtakes, alternates and a solo acoustic live performance of “Melissa” from the Capitol Theatre on April 13, 1974.

Allman’s live album The Gregg Allman Tour will also be released on 2-LP vinyl for the first time since 1987. In addition to a 180-gram black vinyl pressing there will also be a limited color pressing on 180-gram grey and white marble vinyl.

Related: Read an interview with Gregg Allman from 2011

Says a press release about Laid Back, “The collection of songs was a creative outlet where he was able to assume full control and explore his varying influences, including rhythm and blues and soul music. Exemplified by the album title’s relaxed approach, the songs were a departure from his band’s guitar-heavy sound in favor of gospel-tinged organs, slower tempos and a choir, all of which beautifully buoyed Allman’s soulful, and at times, mournful vocals. On several songs he sounds like a man reflecting on the last few tumultuous years which included the deaths of his bandmates, brother Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, hard touring and incredible success.”

The 2-CD Deluxe Edition of Laid Back includes beautiful new packaging with unreleased photos and extensive liner notes by Allman Brothers Band historian John Lynskey. Tracks have been newly remastered from the original Laid Back analog album masters, as well as from analog and digital archival masters.

Listen to the demo of the Jackson Browne classic, “These Days”

Upon release in October 1973, Laid Back received positive reviews and peaked at #13 on Billboard’s Top LPs & Tape chart, thanks in part to “Midnight Rider.” To support the album, Allman embarked on a tour accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra comprising members of the New York Philharmonic, which was captured for posterity on 1974’s The Gregg Allman Tour live album.

Out of print on vinyl for over 30 years, The Gregg Allman Tour double LP, available on both 180-gram black vinyl and 180-gram grey and white marble vinyl, has been remastered from the original stereo analog tapes. This vinyl reissue mimics the original double LP with sides one and four pressed on disc one, and sides two and three pressed on disc two which optimizes playback for multi-disc turntables. Recorded over three nights at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 10 and 11, 1974 and at the Capitol Theatre in New Jersey on April 13, 1974, Allman, along with members of the band Cowboy (Scott Boyer, Randall Bramblett, David Brown, Chuck Leavell, Bill Stewart, Tommy Talton), and a 24-piece orchestra performed songs from Laid Back alongside several reworkings of Allman Brothers Band songs like “Stand Back” and “Dreams.”

Listen to “Don’t Mess Up a Good Thing” from The Gregg Allman Tour

The album also features spirited covers of “Turn On Your Love Light,” “Are You Lonely For Me Baby” and the Elvis Presley hit “I Feel So Bad,” as well as two tracks by Cowboy.

The record is also notable for its inclusion of “Oncoming Traffic,” a song that Allman said he was especially proud of and that wasn’t featured on any studio releases.

Best Classic Bands Staff

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  1. Guy Smiley
    #1 Guy Smiley 1 September, 2019, 11:53

    Needs to be expanded CD of The Gregg Allman Tour. Great, underrated album but would love to hear more!

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