Gregg's 1973 solo debut also became his biggest hit, a #13 LP featuring his Top 20 classic Midnight Rider . Remastered from the original master tapes!
By the end of 1973, the Allman Brothers Band
seemed to have it all nailed down. They'd proven their mettle with a fine synthesis of blues, jazz, folk, and country influences; expanded upon it with the definitive Fillmore East
set; and moved forward after the separate losses of guitarist Duane Allman
and bassist Berry Oakley. The group's myriad strengths, in fact, might've been the reason that one of their most obvious gifts--Gregg Allman's pained, growling voice--was sometimes overlooked. Laid Back
, Gregg Allman's first solo disc, seems in part an effort to gain a little more recognition. It worked, particularly given the strong radio response to its opening track, a loping remake of "Midnight Rider." Likewise, much of the album's remainder finds Allman tweaking the band's blues ("Queen of Hearts") and country sides (a cover of Jackson Browne
's "These Days"); horns and gospelish backing vocals add to the personal, often mournful feel. Much more coherent than its dated cover art (an either childlike or blasted-out-of-his-gourd Gregg ignoring a blazing volcano) indicates, Laid Back
is an often convincing version of the man's music. For Allman, it would get much, much worse before it would be this good again. --Rickey Wright