is a very well put together history of the Allman Brothers Band. Its story begins with the bands prior to the Allman Brothers Band and includes material from Duane and Gregg's early bands,
Hourglass, and 31st of February. In addition, there is solo material by Duane Allman,
and Dickey Betts and Berry Oakley's band The Second Coming. The song selections
on Dreams span a wide spectrum
of releases; the priority was obviously an attempt to include a
track from practically every release whether it's an Allman
Brothers Band album or a members solo release. This yields a thorough
history, rather than four discs of the best available music.
first disc starts off with twelve pre-Allman Brothers songs and most
are covers. The two strongest tracks are Duane Allman's stunning
workout of "Goin' Down Slow," and the Hour Glass with
the "BB King Medley;" both of these tracks are on the Duane
Allman Anthology Volume 1. The rest of the music is
interesting and hard to find, not necessarily essential. There are several early Eric Clapton
covers of the Yardbirds "Shapes of Things," and
Cream's "I Feel Free." In addition, Eric Clapton popularized
a few blues standards with Cream that these bands also covered,
Willie Dixon's "Spoonful," and Robert Johnson's
album closes with five Allman Brothers tracks, four from their strong debut
and an outtake of "Dreams."
second disc is the strongest musically in the collection as it
includes the bands
Idlewild South studio album as well as lots of live material and two
unreleased songs recorded during the Idlewild South
sessions. The live cuts include two from Ludlow's
Garage, a song Duane sings, "Dimples," that
available on Duane
Allman Anthology Vol. 2, and a rousing take of
"I'm Gonna Move To the Outskirts of Town." The selected
songs from the Fillmore East are hard to argue with in terms of
greatest; not too
many bands release such lengthy songs in compilations; "Whipping
Post" at 22:52, and "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" at
12:57. Even better is hearing one of the expanded Fillmore releases that
put the songs in context and flow of an Allman Brothers concert is pure bliss, especially
"Whipping Post's" segue into "Mountain Jam."
third disc begins with an unreleased medley of two blues standards
that was recorded live at A&R
studios on August 26, 1971 of "You Don't Love Me/Soul
Serenade," which is a certain highlight of the release. Even
better, they should have expanded Dreams to five discs and
included the whole
A&R studio set
which fits on one disc, and included an
unreleased version of "Mountain Jam" to fit the real
estate here. Well chosen highlights from "Eat a Peach"
follow as we say good by to Duane. The Dickey Betts only era begins
with "Melissa," while the rendition of "Ain't
Wasting Time" is live. Brothers
and Sisters is well represented with four tracks. After there is
a song from the solo material of both Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts as
well as a live cut from the same personnel as their live Wipe The
Windows ... album.
last disc continues the history of the band. There is
basically a sampling of one track from a slew of releases that give
you a taste, if your still hungry you may want to explore that material further.
The one exception is for their fairly strong comeback album
Enlightened Rogues. They include two studio cuts from it followed by
two live tracks from the same personnel.
is an excellent overview of the Allman Brothers Band with loads of
early rare tracks, a handful of unreleased gems, and a heavy
sampling of solo albums.
Grade A -