This four-CD celebration offers an incredibly comprehensive look at the Allman Brothers, adding early demos, rare live recordings, alternate takes, outtakes, remixes, and solo efforts to the already powerful "official" cat... more »alog. Their progression from '60s Invasion-style rockers to blues cover band with a taste for B.B. King to dynamic rock & roll juggernaut is astonishing, and the inclusion of sundry oddities will make collectors happy. The booklet is thorough and lovingly produced. --Marc Greilsamer« less
This four-CD celebration offers an incredibly comprehensive look at the Allman Brothers, adding early demos, rare live recordings, alternate takes, outtakes, remixes, and solo efforts to the already powerful "official" catalog. Their progression from '60s Invasion-style rockers to blues cover band with a taste for B.B. King to dynamic rock & roll juggernaut is astonishing, and the inclusion of sundry oddities will make collectors happy. The booklet is thorough and lovingly produced. --Marc Greilsamer
"Boxed sets such as this typically are a mixture of "Greatest Hits" material with enough unreleased material to hook die-hard fans into going ahead and spending money. "Dreams" is no exception to this, but it is better organized than most boxed sets. Die hards who already own the albums will get a lot of duplicate material, but roughly a third of it is unreleased and/or difficult to find. Those interested in discovering the group are in for a real treat! This boxed set is the perfect introduction.Disc one is mostly cuts from the Pre-ABB groups The Allman Joys, Hour Glass, The 31st of February, and The Second Coming. When I saw the track listings after buying the set, I was initially disappointed by this, as I have little interest in being an Allman's "completist." However, I was relieved that all of the early cuts are at least pretty good, and at times, sublime! You hear a clear progression from psychedelic cover band to blues virtuosos to jazz/rock/country fusion. The second half of the disc is downright excellent.Discs two and three are, by and large, greatest hits from the ABB golden era. If you don't already have a copy of the amazing Live at Fillmore East, there are three remastered cuts of probably the best tracks from Fillmore. Most ABB fans will already have Fillmore, but if you don't it's great to have these.Over half of Disc four is solo and side project material by ABB members. As with disk one, all of these cuts are at least pretty good, with some really excellent numbers thrown in as well.I'd rate this as one of the best boxed sets available because it doesn't contain any unnecessary filler tracks. You won't find yourself hitting the skip button very much at all. The breadth of ABB's musical heritage is laid out clearly and will continue to amaze after many listens.If you're new to the band, as I was, this is a can't-go-wrong purchase."
One of the top ten boxed sets ever released
Docendo Discimus | 10/20/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was one of the top boxed sets compiled and released along with Clapton Crossroads, and Bob Dylan Biograph.This box mixes great album tracks, outstanding live cuts (the quadrophonic Fillmore East cuts of Whipping Post and In Memory of Elizabeth Reed for example), terrific unreleased tracks (the Idlewild South outtake of Statesboro Blues, as an example), and thoughtful and insightful solo ventures. One of the best paced boxed sets. If you only want one Allman Brothers' release this fits the bill nicely.Oh, and had they done the Doobie Brothers' box (a group that had a similar career) the same way, that would get five stars as well!"
The Essential Brothers -- sort of
Docendo Discimus | 11/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first box set I ever bought, and with good reason. The Brothers are my favorite band (excepting, of course, the Beatles). For a fan, this is essential. You get to hear the birth and evolution of what finally became the ABB on disc one, the hearty meat of their brilliant career, and the sad, slow decline as personnel changes and other problems as the band disintegrated. This set beautifully documents their career up to the resurrection of the Brothers, beginning with the absolutely brilliant Seven Turns. The unreleased and expanded tracks speak to the amazing chemistry between the original musicians. Gregg, Duaine, Dickey, Berry, Butch, and Jaimoe seemed to have musical telepathy. The band as a whole could anticipate each musician's next move. The only thing about this set is that it will eventually prove dissatisfying if you're buying it as the one ABB set for your collection. It will make you want to get Beginnings, Fillmore, Eat A Peach, and Brothers and Sisters. However, you will still turn to this set for the stuff that those albums don't have. An amazing set from an amazing band."
Studio version of "Dreams" is indeed on this collection.
Docendo Discimus | 12/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"A previous review said that he wished that a studio or live version of "Dreams" was on this set in addition to the demo version. Well, the studio version which originally appeared on their self-titled debut from 1969 is indeed in this box set. It's the last track of the first CD.Now on to the review. This collection is excellent. Unlike what some previous reviewers have said, I like having the pre-Allman Brothers band material in there as well as the post-Allman Brothers band material. A lot of people mentioned that they only listen to the "meat" material--from around the end of CD 1 through CD 3. As far as I'm concerned if you're only interested in the ABB material, then save yourself some money and go with one of the three compilations out there that cover the same turf: "Decade of Hits," "Legendary Hits," or "The Millenium Collection." As a side note, "Mycology" makes a great companion to this CD. Covers their perhaps surprisingly excellent '90's material extremely well. Think of it as the the box set's "fifth" CD."