"Let me try to address some stuff not emphasized in other reviews:1) Yeah, it lives up to the hype. Unless you don't like jam songs or blues at all, you should love it. 90% of blues rock bores me silly and I still love this. It's exceptional music and is rightfully placed in Amazon's "Essential" camp.2) Do you need the Fillmore Concerts over the shorter/cheaper Fillmore East? Maybe. It's chief advantage is it's longer. Also, the mix is more balanced, which bothers some because the guitars are less prominent. I prefer it. The rhythm section, especially Berry Oakley, is too often overlooked in reviews of this album and they are just as important as the guitar players to the music. More casual fans may prefer the shorter/cheaper "Fillmore East" album, which contains the choicest cuts.3) Two tracks, "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and "You Don't Love Me" are pieced together digitally from multiple takes. The result is very pleasing music indeed, but some may be bothered by this digital manipulation of a so called "live" song. It's still "live," in a certain sense, but manipulated to include the producer's best picks from both takes. I should point out MOST (literally) live albums contain some studio manipulation. The original Fillmore East contained whole tracks; not digitally pieced together. I'll let you decide if this bothers you or not. I cannot hear any splicing. They did a good job blending the takes but I would have preferred whole takes.4) If you don't have any Allman Brother's Band (ABB) albums, start with this or Fillmore East (the shorter/cheaper version). If you don't like this, you won't like ABB at all. But, don't worry . . . you will like it."
Worth savoring and reissuing in a fuller, richer form
Douglas Groothuis | 01/25/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Like many of my age (47), I have returned to some--not all!--of the music of my teenage years. Despite being a jazz fanatic, some rock still attracts and delights the aging sensorium. Somehow most of the old albums disappeared, but the memories did not. I owned and often played the original double-album in high school, and was amazed at the proficiency and creativity of this group: the tight double lead lines, precise double drumming, extended improvisations, and Duane Allman's inimitable slide guitar. About ten years ago, I purchased the cassette of the original album and played it off and on, still appreciative of this original and unique achievement.This CD version, however, raises it all to a still higher level of excellence. I heard things in this mix I never heard before. It's not hype; it's true. There are new versions of songs on the original and few shorter pieces not on the original at all. The only unimpressive number is "Drunkin Hearted Boy"--a jam with Elvin Bishop (who sounds like a street urchin who accidently wondered on stage) around 6:00 AM. Elvin may be instantiating the lyrics. Duane evinces some good chops (of course), nonetheless, on this classic blues format. But it doesn't add much--especially considering the stellar hights of virtuosity exhibited elsewhere on these recordings.While many lable this version of the Allman Brothers (when both Duane and Berry Oakley were alive--both would be die in motorcyle accidents within about two years) as blues/rock, the work is better understood as blues/jazz/rock. This judgment rests on the extended improvizations and the more jazz-like time-keeping of the two drummers. I remember Duane Allman being quoted somewhere (how's that for a precise attribution?) as saying he was influenced by Miles Davis and modal jazz. The improvisations make this clear. Perhaps he was the John Coltrane of slide guitar.Lastly, the blues, at their best, approximate the biblical genre of lamentation (see The Book of Lamentations, many of the Psalms, etc.). The blues would not exist in an unfallen world. Think particularly of "Whipping Post." Cries go up to heaven for release: "Sometimes I feel like I've tied to the whipping post. Good Lord, I feel like I'm dying." Greg Allman's voice is the perfect vehicle for these wailing supplications. (How his voice has changed on the newest release, "Hitting the Note," over thirty years later! But it's still fitting for the genre.)Doug Groothuis"
The One to Buy
John Ratliff | Santa Clara, CA United States | 05/15/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It was with some hesitatation that I bought this album, given some of the criticisms below. And the first time I put it on the stereo and cranked up "Statesboro Blues," it seemed very strange, after listening to the original "Live at Fillmore East" mix about a thousand times. Guitars are not as prominent; drums are much clearer, as is Greg's organ. But as someone else said, it really does sound more like a concert, and I've grown to appreciate how this mix allows you to hear the entire band. I really like the way the cuts flow into each other and you can really kick back for a 2 hour plus concert.Duane was in a class by himself, but his great accomplishment was to build a band worthy of his abilities on the guitar. The only album that I can think of that comes close to this one is "Kind of Blue:" really a magical encounter of the most talented musicians grooving with each other. The difference here is how ABB transcended musical genre, fusing jazz, blues, acid rock and R&B into something very great, and a lot of fun.Only disappointment: I do miss the audience members yelling "Whipping Post.""
Hall of Fame Set
Rick T | Baton Rouge, Louisiana | 03/23/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are enough detailed reviews here for you to be informed about the content. I'm just adding that I rank this as one of the best rock, blues-rock discs of all time. It also makes the list as one of the very best live performance recordings of all time. Even if you are hardcore fan of another style you will surely appreciate this for it's expression as art. I've been listening to the Fillmore shows since the original release in '71. I keep coming back for more. This expanded edition is the ESSENTIAL now."
(Not So) Simply the Best
Richard B. Luhrs | Jackson Heights, NY United States | 01/28/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The 1971 ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND AT FILLMORE EAST album is (duly) famous enough, and enough has been written about it, that little need be said concerning the music contained in this package. Yes, it's the greatest live rock album - possibly the greatest rock album, period - by the greatest rock band led by the greatest guitarist ever, and after thirty-five years it's pretty obvious that no serious contender for any of those titles is going to appear in this lifetime. If you haven't heard these recordings before, buy them in whatever form you can. If you have, then THE FILLMORE CONCERTS is probably the most convenient and best-assembled way to own them. Augmenting AT FILLMORE EAST with material edited out of the original LP and CD ("Stormy Monday" is about two minutes longer), as well as performances later released on EAT A PEACH and DREAMS, THE FILLMORE CONCERTS more than doubles the running time of what was already a double album; but as noted in many previous reviews, the expansion comes at a price for the purist. A few moments of between-song chatter ("'Whipping Post!' 'Whipping Post!'") have been deleted; a different version of the instrumental "Hot 'Lanta" (neither better nor worse) has been substituted for the original in an apparent - and, alas, successful - effort to snare hardcores who already own everything else here; and the incredible "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," as the liner notes go to great lengths to inform us, has been reassembled from two separate performances, though I can't for the life of me hear the difference. These are, of course, matters of concern only for us fanatics; but a quick scan of this page shows just how many of us are out there - and suggests how many more are yet to be created. With at least three different versions of these spectacular performances currently available, newcomers really do have a choice to make, while diehards have little choice but to throw up our hands and buy everything. Why the complete set of Fillmore concerts still has yet to be released as a box set is a mystery; surely no music could be more worthy of such treatment, nor more guaranteed to sell. Until that time, however, THE FILLMORE CONCERTS fills a very real need in fine fashion. Play all night!"