At Fillmore East
|At Fillmore East|
|Live album by The Allman Brothers Band|
|Recorded||March 12, 1971–March 13, 1971 Fillmore East, New York|
|Genre||Blues-rock, southern rock|
|The Allman Brothers Band chronology|
At Fillmore East is a double live album by The Allman Brothers Band. The band's breakthrough success, At Fillmore East was released in July 1971. It ranks Number 49 among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and remains among the top-selling albums in the band’s catalogue. The original album was released in both conventional two-channel stereo and four-channel quadraphonic mixes. This album has been certified as platinum by the RIAA as of August 25, 1992.
Recorded at the Fillmore East concert hall, the storied rock venue in New York City, on Friday and Saturday March 12, 1971–March 13, 1971, the album showcased the band's mixture of blues, southern rock, and jazz. The cover of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" which opens the set showcases Duane Allman's slide guitar work in open E Tuning. "Whipping Post" became the standard for a long, epic jam that never lost interest (opening in 11/4 time, unusual territory for a rock band), while the ethereal-to-furious "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", with its harmonized melody, Latin feel, and burning drive invited comparisons with John Coltrane (especially Duane's solo-ending pull-offs, a direct nod to the jazz saxophonist).
The album was produced by Tom Dowd, who condensed the running time of various songs, occasionally even merging two performances into one track. For example, the first seven minutes of "You Don't Love Me" is from the first show on March 12 and the rest (starting at Duane's solo without the band) is from the second show on March 13. At Fillmore East peaked at No. 13 on Billboard's Pop Albums chart.
The album was also specially remixed for four-channel quadraphonic sound. In the four-channel mix Duane Allman is heard in the left rear channel, Dickey Betts in the right rear channel, Jai Johanny Johanson in the front left channel, Butch Trucks in the right front channel, and Gregg Allman and Berry Oakley both centered in the front channels. The four-channel version uses some different edits and performances of the songs taken from the same concerts. Some of these alternate versions appeared in the 1989 compilation Dreams, although in that release the four-channel recordings have been reduced to two-channels. In 1998 the entire four-channel edition was reissued on CD as a 4.0 (not 5.1) surround sound DTS disc.
Two other songs recorded during the same set of shows, "Trouble No More" and the memorable "Mountain Jam", were later released on Eat a Peach, the latter spanning two sides of the double album, together with a cover of the Elmore James boogie classic "One Way Out" from a different performance at the same venue, on June 27, 1971. The deluxe edition of Eat a Peach includes this performance in its entirety on the second disc.
Those songs were later included in their entirety, along with uncut versions of some, re-edited versions of others, and some previously omitted tracks, on a new release of the Fillmore material entitled The Fillmore Concerts (1992). "Stormy Monday" gained back a harmonica solo; "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" and "Drunken Hearted Boy" were included as well.
The year 2003 saw the release of a two-disc edition entitled At Fillmore East Deluxe Edition. It compiled all the released versions of the Fillmore material, some material from the collection Duane Allman: An Anthology and the Dreams box set, and remixed the material with a better soundstage than the 1992 release. In 2004 the album was released on SACD, with stereo and surround sound versions.
In 2003 the TV network VH1 named At Fillmore East the 59th greatest album of all time. That same year, it was also ranked No. 49 by Rolling Stone on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It was one of 50 recordings chosen in 2004 by the Library of Congress to be added to the National Recording Registry. The song "Whipping Post" is part of the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.
Album cover 
None of the pictures of the band for the cover were actually taken at the Fillmore East. The photographer Jim Marshall took the cover shot near the band's headquarters in Macon, Georgia, where the band had relocated from Florida to be near manager Phil Walden's new Capricorn Studios.
Normally the band hated being photographed; the cover of The Fillmore Concerts shows them displaying terminal boredom. However, during the session, Duane spotted a dealer friend, raced over and grabbed a bag of contraband, then returned to his seat, discreetly clutching the stash in his lap. This cracked up all the members, resulting in a memorable image.
The back cover shows their road crew gathered in the same spot with 0.47 lt (16 oz.) cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon beer provided by the photographer as a reward to the roadies for lugging out and stacking the band's heavy equipment for the photo shoot. Their expressions certainly seem to signify their displeasure at having to stack cases for a photo shoot.
Critical reception 
|Rolling Stone||favorable 1971|
At Fillmore East was well received by music critics upon its release. George Kimball of Rolling Stone gave it a rave review and stated, "The Allman Brothers had many fine moments at the Fillmores, and this live double album (recorded March 12th and 13th of this year) must surely epitomize all of them." Kimball cited the band as "the best damn rock and roll band this country has produced in the past five years" and said of comparisons to the Grateful Dead at the time, "The range of their material and the more tenuous fact that they also use two drummers have led to what I suppose are inevitable comparisons to the Dead in its better days." In his consumer guide for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau gave At Fillmore East a B– rating, indicating "a competent or mildly interesting record that will usually feature at least three worthwhile cuts." Christgau wrote that the songs "sure do boogie", although he ultimately found it musically aimless, stating "even if Duane Allman plus Dickey Betts does equal Jerry Garcia, the Dead know roads are for getting somewhere. That is, Garcia (not to bring in John Coltrane) always takes you someplace unexpected on a long solo. I guess the appeal here is the inevitability of it all."
In a retrospective review, Allmusic editor Stephen Thomas Erlewine gave the album five out of five stars and stated, "[it] remains the pinnacle of the Allmans and Southern rock at its most elastic, bluesy, and jazzy". Mark Kemp of Rolling Stone commented that "these shows — recorded in New York on March 12th and 13th, 1971 — remain the finest live rock performance ever committed to vinyl", and the album "captures America's best blues-rock band at its peak".
Track listing 
At Fillmore East 
Side one 
- "Statesboro Blues" (Will McTell) – 4:17
- "Done Somebody Wrong" (Clarence L. Lewis, Bobby Robinson, Elmore James) – 4:33
- "Stormy Monday" (T. Bone Walker) – 8:44
Side two 
Side three 
- "Hot 'Lanta" (Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson) – 5:17
- "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (Dickey Betts) – 13:04
Side four 
- "Whipping Post" (Gregg Allman) – 23:03
At Fillmore East - UK Vinyl LP - Atlantic Records 
Side one 
- "Statesboro Blues" (Will McTell) – 4:08
- "Done Somebody Wrong" (Clarence L. Lewis, Bobby Robinson, Elmore James) – 4:05
- "Stormy Monday" (T. Bone Walker) – 8:31
Side two 
- "Whipping Post" (Gregg Allman) – 22:40
Side three 
Side four 
- "Hot 'Lanta" (Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Dickey Betts, Butch Trucks, Berry Oakley, Jai Johanny Johanson) – 5:10
- "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (Dickey Betts) – 12:46
The track listing on the rear of the gatefold sleeve is different however and is the same as the American release (see above) although the track times are correct and match the vinyl.
The Fillmore Concerts 
Disc one 
- "Statesboro Blues" (Willie McTell) (March 12 second show) – 4:15
- "Trouble No More" (McKinley Morganfield) (March 12 second show) – 3:46
- "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" (G. Allman) (March 13 first show) – 3:20
- "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (Betts) (March 13 first show/March 13 second show) – 12:59
- "One Way Out" (Marshall Sehorn, Sonny Boy Williamson, James) (June 27) – 4:55
- "Done Somebody Wrong" (Lewis, Robinson, James) (March 13 second show) – 4:11
- "Stormy Monday" (Walker) (March 13 second show) – 10:19
- "You Don't Love Me" (Cobbs) (March 13 first show/March 12 second show) – 19:24
Disc two 
- "Hot 'Lanta" (D. Allman, G. Allman, Betts, Oakley, Johanson, Trucks) (March 12 second show) – 5:11
- "Whipping Post" (G. Allman) (March 13 second show) – 22:37
- "Mountain Jam" (Donovan Leitch, D. Allman, G. Allman, Betts, Oakley, Johanson, Trucks) (March 13 second show) – 33:41
- "Drunken Hearted Boy" (Elvin Bishop) (March 13 second show) – 7:33
At Fillmore East Deluxe Edition 
Disc one 
- "Statesboro Blues" (McTell) – 4:17
- "Trouble No More" (Morganfield) – 3:43
- "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" (G. Allman) – 3:27
- "Done Somebody Wrong" (Lewis, Robinson, James) – 4:33
- "Stormy Monday" (Walker) – 8:48
- "One Way Out" (Sehorn, Williamson, James) – 4:56
- "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" (Betts) – 13:04
- "You Don't Love Me" (Cobbs) – 19:24
- "Midnight Rider" (G. Allman, R. Payne) (June 27) – 2:55
Disc two 
- "Hot 'Lanta" (D. Allman, G. Allman, Betts, Oakley, Johanson, Trucks) – 5:20
- "Whipping Post" (G. Allman) – 22:53
- "Mountain Jam" (Leitch, D. Allman, G.Allman, Betts, Oakley, Johanson, Trucks) – 33:41
- "Drunken Hearted Boy" (Bishop) – 6:54
Additional Fillmore East recordings 
- Eat a Peach - contains "Trouble No More" and "Mountain Jam" from March 1971 and "One Way Out" from June 27, 1971
- Duane Allman: An Anthology contains "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'" from March 1971
- Duane Allman Anthology, Vol. 2 contains "Midnight Rider" from June 27, 1971
- Dreams contains "Drunken Hearted Boy" from March 13, 1971
- Eat a Peach, Deluxe Edition - second CD (the final Fillmore East concert) also contains "Statesboro Blues", "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'", "Done Somebody Wrong", "One Way Out", "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed", "Midnight Rider", "Hot 'Lanta", "Whipping Post", and "You Don't Love Me" from June 27, 1971
- Duane Allman – lead guitar, slide guitar
- Gregg Allman – organ, piano, Vocals
- Dickey Betts – lead guitar
- Berry Oakley – bass guitar
- Jai Johanny Johanson – drums, congas, timbales
- Butch Trucks – drums, tympani
Special guests 
- Thom Doucette – Harmonica on "Don't Keep Me Wonderin'", "Done Somebody Wrong", "Stormy Monday" and "You Don't Love Me"
- Jim Santi - Tambourine
Special guests (The Fillmore Concerts) 
- Bobby Caldwell – Percussion on "Drunken Hearted Boy"
- Elvin Bishop – Vocals on "Drunken Hearted Boy"
- Steve Miller – Piano on "Drunken Hearted Boy"
Production (At Fillmore East) 
- Tom Dowd – Producer, Liner Notes
- Aaron Baron – Engineer
- Larry Dahlstrom – Engineer
- Dennis M. Drake – Mastering
- Jim Marshall – Photography
Production (The Fillmore Concerts) 
- Tom Dowd – Producer
- Jay Mark – Mixer
- Dan Kincaid – Digital Mastering
- Bill Levenson – Executive Producer
- Kirk West – Associate Producer
- Terri Tierney – Project Coordination
- Richard Bauer – Art Direction
- Jim Marshall – Graphic Concept
- Jimmy Guterman – Liner Notes
- John Perkins - Best Boy
- "At Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers". The Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone. 2003-11-01. Retrieved 2007-04-28.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "500 songs that shaped rock and roll" 
- Jim Marshall, Proof, (Chronicle Books LLC)
- Allman, Gregg (2012). My Cross to Bear. HarperCollins. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-06-211203-3.
- Randy Poe, Skydog: The Duane Allman Story, (Backbeat Books)
- Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. At Fillmore East at Allmusic
- Christgau, Robert (February 1972). "Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- Kimball, George (August 19, 1971). "At Fillmore East | Album Reviews". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- Kemp, Mark (July 16, 2002). At Fillmore East, Rolling Stone
- "The Allman Brothers Band - At Fillmore East". Super Seventies RockSite!. Retrieved 2011-09-25.
- Christgau, Robert (October 15, 2000). "CG 70s: The Grades". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2011-09-25.