Often described as the first Southern rock album, The Allman Brothers Band’s self-titled debut album was first released on November 4th, 1969. The album features a number of the band’s most well-known songs, like “Dreams”, “It’s Not My Cross To Bear”, and “Whipping Post”. It still looms large as the defining moment that the Allman Brothers were born.
From 1965 through 1969, brothers Duane Allman and Gregg Allman went through a number of band lineups – both separate and together. It took four years for the siblings to travel the world and get back to the basics in the South, putting together a major jam session that featured all of the band’s initial players: Berry Oakley, Jaimoe, Butch Trucks, and Dickey Betts. This would be the lineup for several years, until Duane’s untimely death.
In August 1969, the band was just cutting their teeth in the South when record executives enticed them to make the album. Between a few blues numbers and some originals penned by Gregg Allman, the band made their way from Macon to New York for a recording session. The Allman Brothers Band album was recorded in just two weeks, quickly turned around for a release just a few months later. Today marks the anniversary of that release.
The album initially flopped on a national level, as the band’s Southern influenced rock sound failed to take hold. But, it had turned Macon, GA from a sleepy town into a vibrant musical community. That’s when the band knew they were onto something. “They wanted us to act ‘like a rock band’ and we just told them to fuck themselves,” remembered Trucks.
Now, we can look back at this album to see a wildly talented band in their earliest days. The Allman Brothers Band may have had a lot of drama over the years, but at the heart of it all is their undeniable thirst for authentic Southern rock and roll. That’s what you hear on Allman Brothers Band, musicians who take their craft seriously but also know how to let loose and rock out. It’s a great record.
Don’t just take our word for it! Listen to The Allman Brothers Band on the anniversary of its release, streaming below.
RIP to the Brothers lost…