Essential Listening: The Allman Brothers Band (180g Vinyl LP ) by The Allman Brothers Band

They hailed from Macon, Georgia. They looked like any number of young, hopeful bands straddling the violent fade of the1960s with the advent of the 1970s. Yet they sounded like no other group, their youthfulness belied by virtuosic abilities andinterlocking interplay Miles Davis would’ve envied.

It all starts here, on a smoldering self-titled debut that has few peers.Mastered from the original master tapes, Mobile Fidelity’s analog and digital versions of The Allman Brothers Band presentthe inimitable group’s 1969 debut in the most lifelike, uncompromising fidelity anyone has ever heard.

Opening up thedynamic contrasts, clearing direct paths for the frequency ranges, and ensuring optimal balances and neutrality, theseeditions take listeners to the producer’s chair at New York’s Atlantic Studios as the sessions went down.

The innate soulfulness of whiz-kid slide guitarist Duane Allman and his and organist/vocalist brother Gregg define theirnamesake group’s eponymous release, notched with raw-boned R&B and purifying gospel motifs. Entering with a memorableone-two punch in which fluid jazz lines mutate into an anguished 12-bar blues exchange between Gregg and Duane,continuing with an edgy and worthy take of Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More,” and closing with the landscape-shiftingworkout “Whipping Post,”

The Allman Brothers Band contains no flaws.And let’s not forget the aching on “Dreams,” a melodic 12/8-time piece showcasing slide-guitar voodoo and psychedelicaftertastes. Don’t miss this stellar work portrayed with mesmerizing sonics that further expand upon the group’s legend.

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