Most helpful positive review
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Sometimes, when I haven't listened to the Allman Brothers Band in a while, I sort of forget how amazing they are
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.