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Where It All Begins
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2004
Recorded live in the studio in 1994, "Where It All Begins" is a terrific latter-day Allman Brothers album. It is filled with big, muscular rock songs, only one of which is over seven minutes long...and that is REALLY tight for an Allman Brothers record!

Musically, "Where It All Begins" is more diverse than most of the band's records, spanning rock, soul, blues, a little bit of jazz and funk, and various forms with a hyphen and the word "rock" (blues-rock, country-rock...)
Gregg Allman has a much stronger presence than on the 1990 comeback album with four songwriting credits, including two of the best songs, the confessional "All Night Train" and the great, muscular funk of "Sailin' 'Cross The Devil's Sea".
Dickey Betts gets five...he usually provided the countryish flavour, but here he brings the wonderful, tough "Mean Woman Blues" and the driving hard rock of "No One To Run With" to the party, as well as the powerful mid-tempo blues stomper "Change My Way Of Living" and two more traditionally "Betts-ish" numbers, the title track and "Everybody's Got A Mountain To Climb".

The rhythm section is perfect, tough yet supple, with plenty of swing...bassist Allen Woody and percussionist Marc Quinones are just wonderful, and this is the Allmans' last studio album to feature the combination of Dickey Betts and slide guitarist Warren Haynes. Haynes is a fine, rough singer, and he provides an updated version of the Gov't Mule number "Soulshine", a wonderful, melodic slow rock song. He also gets co-writing credits on "All Night Train" and the apostrophe-song ("Sailin' 'Cross The Devil's Sea"), and plays sizzling lead and slide guitar.

This is an unusually strong and consistent batch of songs...the garish cover looks like something from a cartoon, which is a bit of a shame, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with the music. "Where It All Begins" is a bit more mainstream and certainly not as improvisational as the Allman Brothers records of the early 70s, and that may not be to everybody's liking, but most listeners, whether casual or diehard, should get a kick out of this delightful album all the same.
In fact, "Where It All Begins" should appeal to all serious rock and blues fans. And don't forget to pick up the live album from the ensuing tour, "An Evening With The Allman Brothers Band - 2nd Set".
This is one album I never get tired of.
4 3/4 stars - highly recommended.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2001
Like the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band has often been labelled "better live than in the studio." Anyone who has ever seen the Brothers at their considerable heights may well agree. But, they have turned out some wonderful studio compositions -- Where it All Begins being the last. Perhaps it was the Woodstock festival, perhaps the fact that guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody were in the middle of forging Gov't Mule, but the Allmans had more energy on this album then they had shown in some time(or have shown since). Gregg and Dickey sound wonderful (although the years have caught up to them both) and the music can reach spiritual heights at its best.
This is a great place to start for new fans -- songs like "No One to Run With" and the title track are fine illustrations of why we diehards love these guys so much. There is great guitar work here, classic songwriting, intricate drumming, and feet-tapping good fun. And, those of us who have remained loyal to the ABB over these last few years know that Gregg hasn't sung any new songs since this album. With Dickey's departure last year, there may never be another studio album from the band. So, don't pass this one up.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2006
I found this cd in a used shop and got it for only 5 bucks! What a great deal!! This is not The Fillmore Concerts or Eat a Peach but it delivers. The title track is a real stand out. And 'Nobody Left to Run With' is a fantastic song that got some airplay. Both of these songs do what the brothers do so well - create a mood. In this case the mood is a very good one. There's a lot of joy on this entire album. I love it all the way through.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Cut from the same cloth as many of the Allman Brothers' best releases, "Where It All Begins" features the extended jams, coiled dual guitar solos from Dickie Betts and Warren Haynes, and pain-wracked, blues-drenched Gregg Allman vocals making this group among few in classic rock still evolving, if not quite progressing. (This is especially true of Southern rock, constantly running to stand still.)
Credit clean production from veteran Tom Dowd (Aretha Franklin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Clapton). He contains, yet doesn't cool, the fiery live feel of Betts' Bo Diddley-ish "No One Left To Run With" (a personal favorite), his deep blues "Change My Way Of Living," the Memphis soul of "Everybody's Got A Mountain To Climb" and Allman's adulterous tale "Temptation Is A Gun," written with ex-Journey members Neal Schon and Jonathan Cain.
Also credit exceptional performances from drummers Jaimoe and Butch Trucks and percussionist Mark Quinnones. Like great baseball teams "strong up the middle," their swift rhythm kicks beneath the solos rate with Charlie Watts as among the finest still actively playing. This gives the ABB an anchor Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann could not (in the studio, at least) give the similarly solo-inclined Grateful Dead.
The title is slightly misleading; where it all begins (and ends) for the Allmans is in concert. There, like the Dead, they sharpen and strengthen their sun-dried jazz/blues/Southern rock hybrid. Collecting their music also begins with live albums, whether the seminal "Live At Fillmore East" or the 90s "Evening With" and "2nd Set." CDs. But "Where It All Begins" is a highly recommended LP from a group that performing nearly as well in studio confines (and should more often).
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2005
When I see that only 19 people before me have reviewed this great album it lets me know how overlooked it really is/was.

Put this beauty on a the short list of the best work done by the ABB. I mean look at the band, 4 of the original members are here, plus the great Warren Haynes and Allen Woody, then throw in Marc Quinones and what we have here is a supergroup.

Every single song is great, there is nothing resembling a throw away track.Greg co-wrote 4 of the songs, Dickey wrote 4 by himself and co-wrote another one and Warren Haynes wrote one.

The playing is fantastic and the lead vocals are as good as ever. I highly recommend this album, if you like the music of the ABB get it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2007
The Allmans continue their comeback with another strong album from the mid-90. Overall I don't find this album quite as strong as "Shades", but it is another solid effort from the band. Highlights include the 10 minute title track written by Dickey Betts. I also like "No One Left To Run With" by Greg Allman. It has a Bo Diddly riff and lyrics that just about anyone over the age of 40 can relate to. The rest of the album is pretty much vintage Allmans blues rock. Not a bad song in the bunch, but not a lot that really stands out either.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I was privileged enough to see the Bros. in Portland, Maine [3rd row from the front, I might add!] when they kicked off their reunion tour in 1989, which this album was a part of. I had seen them many times before and this was probably the best concert I ever attended. They were FABULOUS, tight, right on.
I even brought with me to the concert a person who wasn't ever sold on the Bros. to begin with. By the time this concert was finished, I had created a monster.
This album was the first original music that they'd done in a long while. As much as I love them, they are constantly putting out albums that have the same songs on them, over and over. It sure was refreshing to get this new stuff!! And it is good!
It was an astonishing reminder of what one can do when they put their mind to it. I so wish the Bros. would continue. Now they are touring, minus Dickey Betts, due to some kind of falling out. I saw them 2 years ago in Daytona and was miserably disappointed. They are missing a large part of themselves minus Dickey. I decided then that it was the last time I would see them live.
They have been such an incredible band. Everyone is getting old. Thank goodness for the many recordings so that we can appreciate days gone past. Cheers to the Bros. I'll never quit listening.
You won't be disappointed with this album.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2005
This is a highly under-rated album, suprisingly. Yeah, the production is itself somewhat understated and mellowed, but there is great depth and beauty in it. A great line up and altogether a great album that I highly recommend.

-Robert, Illinois.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 24, 1999
This may be the best of the reunion albums for the Allman Brothers Band. I would not give every ABB album 5 stars, but this one deserves it. It was actually recorded "live" in the studio at Burt Reynolds ranch in Fla, with no overdubs. No One to Run With has a strong Bo-Didley beat is one of the best ABB songs ever and is still their encore of choice today. Dickey Betts and Warren Haynes do the classic note-for-note running harmony guitar lines and make them sound fresh and powerful. Where It All Begins is a great sing-along Betts tune with nice extended jams. Soulshine & Everybody's got a Mountain to climb are nice pieces of songwriting. The Betts-Haynes-Allman harmony vocals are truely special and help make some good songs on here great. The ABB in the 90s have turned out to be one of the great surpises, particularly after 2 disasterous albums on Arista (1980&81) and 2 uninspired Gregg solo albums of the 80s. Haynes' slide guitar helped give this band a second life & that is rare in the world of music.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 28, 2003
This is the third studio album from the reformed Allman Brothers. It was recorded live, in the studio. It is 56 minutes long.
There is only one sensational song on this album, the 9 minute Back to Where It All Begins. Most of the remaining tracks are still very good. It does end a little weakly with Everybody's got a Mountain to Climb, a pedestrian Betts tune, and What's Done is Done, a boring Allman song. But it ends nicely, with an Allman blues number.
What's nice about this album is that it really sounds like a total band effort, instead of just a collection of Betts and Allman solo material.
The Allman Brothers Band reformed in 1989, adding Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on bass (plus a keyboard player and percussionist). Their first studio album, Seven Turns, did not sound like a group effort. It sounded like solo material from Betts and Allman. Next came Shades Of Two Worlds, which is the best Allman Brothers album since Eat A Peach. For some reason, Shades of Two Worlds is out of print and almost impossible to find. They also released two live albums that are excellent. They take old and new material and play it in new and exciting ways. It just isn't a dinosaur band rolling out the old hits.
In the late nineties, Haynes and Woody quit to concentrate on Gov't Mule. Gov't Mule is a great band along the lines of the Allman Brothers, only the music is harder. Their alive album, With A Little Help From Our Friends is on par with the Allman Brothers Live At the Fillmore East. Woody died, and Haynes has done a number of projects since, including playing in Phil Lesh's band.
The Allman Brothers have reformed, having Derek Trucks replace Haynes (and released the live album Peakin at the Beacon). Then they kicked out Betts and Haynes came back. They have a new studio album out.
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