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Author: Subject: Gregg's dissatisfaction with the ABB debut album (1969)

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:06 PM
I was watching the ABB Live at the Beacon Theatre DVD interviews with the band. In the video, Gregg Allman says that he wish he could "re-cut the first album." Apparently he wasn't satisfied with what went down in the recording studio.

Any opinions of the album, do you agree with Gregg that there were major problems with it?

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:10 PM
Great songs and great performances. Weird mix. Sounded funny to me even as a teenager.
It's not a Tom Dowd production and the mix suffers because of this.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:11 PM
I read the post to Johnny and without further comment, Johnny said he agreed with Gregg.
 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:22 PM
quote:
Great songs and great performances. Weird mix. Sounded funny to me even as a teenager.
It's not a Tom Dowd production and the mix suffers because of this.


Agreed....

The mix was all over the place. Some songs didn't even sound they recored by the same band.

But my God, what a great album....

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 06:33 PM
Perhaps it could have been better from a production standpoint or perhaps that is the beauty of the album.

It can't be all bad considering that it is my favorite studio album by the ABB and it still makes up a large chunk of the live set. Too bad Gregg doesn't write like that anymore.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 07:48 PM
He wants to re-cut it without Dickey He also doesn't like the fact he was photo'd with a Jackson Browne hairdo....

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 08:41 PM
I'd be willing to bet this comment had more to do with the fact that Arlo Guthrie, Jimmy Buffet and other artists have re-recorded their most famous albums because they felt they did not get the best royalty rate on the first recordings. Guthrie re-recorded the Alice's Restaurant for this very reason. I'll bet the ABB was thinking the same thing for a while.
Additionally, there may have been the added reason to get the band in the studio to record anything period.
Lastly, I have an original print of that album on vinyl and the mix is just fine. The messed up mixes are likely Polygram re-issues. Just take a listen to that 'Fillmore Concerts' box set they re-mixed. ABSOLUTE garbage! Duane is turned waaaay down. Unlistenable.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 08:44 PM
doesn't Warren in that interview counter gregg's comment by claiming it a great record anyway?time constraints cause first albums some problems mostly because studio execs give a limited budget to unproven acts. I liked it at the time winter 69-70 they sounded different.

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 08:54 PM
quote:
I'd be willing to bet this comment had more to do with the fact that Arlo Guthrie, Jimmy Buffet and other artists have re-recorded their most famous albums because they felt they did not get the best royalty rate on the first recordings. Guthrie re-recorded the Alice's Restaurant for this very reason. I'll bet the ABB was thinking the same thing for a while.
Additionally, there may have been the added reason to get the band in the studio to record anything period.
Lastly, I have an original print of that album on vinyl and the mix is just fine. The messed up mixes are likely Polygram re-issues. Just take a listen to that 'Fillmore Concerts' box set they re-mixed. ABSOLUTE garbage! Duane is turned waaaay down. Unlistenable.



I don't think so. Gregg has long been saying this, it was a quick recording. And how could he be thinking about re-recording it with Duane dead since 1971? I personally love it. It has a primal rawness that I think makes it their best album ever. It may be less than slick but Gregg never sounded quite so agonized again.

Doug

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 08:55 PM
I don't get the impression Atlantic was all that interested in the first Allman Brothers album and didn't give it a lot of attention. With usual record company foresight of the time, they didn't realize what they had on their hands.
 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 09:19 PM
quote:
quote:
Great songs and great performances. Weird mix. Sounded funny to me even as a teenager.
It's not a Tom Dowd production and the mix suffers because of this.


Agreed....

The mix was all over the place. Some songs didn't even sound they recored by the same band.

But my God, what a great album....


Could'nt agree more....

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 10:02 PM
quote:
Great songs and great performances. Weird mix. Sounded funny to me even as a teenager.
It's not a Tom Dowd production and the mix suffers because of this.


quote:

Agreed....

The mix was all over the place. Some songs didn't even sound they recored by the same band.

But my God, what a great album....


quote:


Could'nt agree more....






i grew up with the beginnings remix. it wasn't until the capricorn cd remasters that i heard the original mix of the album. i think the 70's beginnings remix is better. producer adrian barber also engineered the lp. i'm unsure if it was his say on the original mix or the record label's or if the band had any imput at all. i know adrian was highly respected as an engineer from his work with cream and other atlantic artists. anyone have any idea who might have had final say on the mix?

 

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  posted on 2/27/2008 at 10:52 PM
I thought Adrian Barber did an awesome job as producer he got a sound outta those guys that has never been duplicated. I guess as an artist Gregg is his own worst critic.I love the first album,even though Duane and Gregg are in a seperate photo (probaby not their idea) and the other guitarist is "Dick " Betts

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 01:40 AM
Yeah it really sucked !

I understand what he means, but it was a very good musical debut.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 02:12 AM
Every great artist is a perfectionist, even when they happen to achieve perfection. What ever improvements over the mix of the first album they might be able to achieve in re-recording still wouldn't be able to top the performances on that album - "Dreams" is still, to this day, the band's greatest studio performance. No need to get all George "I can't stop fecking with my work from decades ago" Lucas on us. Those cuts are what they are, near perfect.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 02:13 AM
quote:
doesn't Warren in that interview counter gregg's comment by claiming it a great record anyway?time constraints cause first albums some problems mostly because studio execs give a limited budget to unproven acts. I liked it at the time winter 69-70 they sounded different.


Exactly. And I think those time restraints helped bands. Look how many first and second albums are classics.

I agree with the Beginnings album also. I had the original albums but when I started buying Cds I got the Beginnings package for the first time.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 02:47 AM
I think begginings came from a different master than the orginals. I think Butch said something about that years ago. Polydor butchered their releases by having them mastered and produced in germany. I never liked the sound of Begginings- the remastered capricorn version too.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 08:55 AM
Beginnings did use a different mix for its version of the first album, you can hear it without too much trouble on the Capricorn remasters, I believe it even mentions it in the liner notes.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 10:35 AM
quote:
He wants to re-cut it without Dickey He also doesn't like the fact he was photo'd with a Jackson Browne hairdo....


I don't think that's what he meant at all. In fact, he had made a similar comment in a 90's interview (I wish I could find it), long before Dickey was out of the band. But as is already mentioned, I think he continued to state that really it was in the mixing. He said everyone was there for the mixing and kept asking to have their part turned up. If the multi-tracks exist, I bet a much better mix could be created.

That album, more than any other to me, most represents what the band is all about. It's a great batch of songs. The performances are all great, but almost all of those songs got even better over time. And I'm sure Gregg meant that he wished they could rerecord them, back then, with the original lineup.

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 12:00 PM
I think Tony was kidding....weren't you Tony!

Mitch

 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 12:13 PM
i would not want him to re-cut it. just re-master and re-mix it
 

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  posted on 2/28/2008 at 12:17 PM
quote:
quote:
doesn't Warren in that interview counter gregg's comment by claiming it a great record anyway?time constraints cause first albums some problems mostly because studio execs give a limited budget to unproven acts. I liked it at the time winter 69-70 they sounded different.


Exactly. And I think those time restraints helped bands. Look how many first and second albums are classics.

I agree with the Beginnings album also. I had the original albums but when I started buying Cds I got the Beginnings package for the first time.


I agree wholeheartedly... to me, most bands studio albums decline over time! My favorite album from many bands is their first, including the ABB (exempting AFE of course).

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 04:08 AM
The first album was cut in six days at Atlantic Studios in New York. Tom Dowd was scheduled to produce, but he got called away. (When Dowd was interviewed by our friend Bill Ector in the early '90s, Tommy said he couldn't remember whether it was Memphis or Muscle Shoals, but Wexler sent him down to one or the other, leaving Adrian Barber to take over at the last minute.) Although Barber had already done some impressive engineering work with Buffalo Springfield and some jazz guys like Fathead Newman and Herbie Mann, the first ABB album was Barber's first time in the producer's chair.

I think it was a really impressive debut, especially for a band that had played together for the first time only 5 months earlier. Plus, Jaimoe ended up playing congas on several of the tracks. When Barber got brave enough to let the two drummers play together at the same time, those are the tracks that sound more inspired to me.

I can't imagine what it was like for this proper Englishman Barber to suddenly find himself in the studio with a Southern band with two drummers. The engineering side of him must've been totally freaked out trying to figure out how to mic them, no less produce them.

But I've heard plenty of acts say they wish they could've done their first album over again. John Lennon always said he couldn't even listen to the early Beatles albums. At least the ABB had six days to record their debut. That first Beatles album was recorded in a single session!

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 07:34 AM
The album sounds perfect to me...to this day.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 07:52 AM
a bad mix won't kill a great performance and a great mix won't help a piece of crap. the 1st record is a killa...sure blew the top of my head off when those opening riffs came out of Bob Spularjerich's car 8track when i heard it the first time!

that said, recording is a craft and the more you do it the better you get at it. even my crappy little homemade recordings are made better now than when i first started with the TEAC. made better, not sounding better...

 

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