Two-disc Deluxe Edition features more than two dozen rare tracks
A few months after the Allman Brothers Band released their revered fourth studio album Brothers And Sisters, legendary frontman, vocalist, pianist Gregg Allman stepped out on his own with his masterful debut solo album Laid Back. Co-produced by Allman along with Johnny Sandlin, the collection of songs was a creative outlet where he was able to assume full control and explore his varying influences, including rhythm and blues and soul music. Exemplified by the album title’s relaxed approach, the songs were a departure from his band’s guitar-heavy sound in favor of gospel-tinged organs, slower tempos and a choir, all of which beautifully buoyed Allman’s soulful, and at times, mournful vocals. On several songs he sounds like a man reflecting on the last few tumultuous years which included the deaths of his bandmates, brother Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, hard touring and incredible success. Upon release in October 1973, Laid Back received positive reviews and peaked at number 13 on Billboard’s Top LPs & Tape chart while “Midnight Rider” became a top 20 hit across North America. To support the album, Allman embarked on an unprecedented tour accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra comprising members of the New York Philharmonic, which was captured for posterity on 1974’s The Gregg Allman Tour live album.
To honor this creatively fertile period in the late musician’s life, Mercury/UMe are reissuing Laid Back in a variety of formats, including a remastered and expanded Deluxe Edition on 2 CDs and digital, 180-gram black vinyl and a 180-gram limited purple and white marbled color vinyl edition. Allman’s iconic live album The Gregg Allman Tour will also be released on 2 LP vinyl for the first time since 1987. In addition to a 180-gram black vinyl pressing there will also be a limited color pressing on 180-gram grey and white marble vinyl. All releases will be available August 30th. The digital pre-order of Laid Back includes an instant grat download of the unreleased demo of the Jackson Browne classic “These Days,” which is also available to stream now.
The new Deluxe Edition of Laid Back expands the original album, which features tunes like “Please Call Home,” covers of “These Days” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” and a different take on the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider,” to 34 tracks and includes 26 bonus tracks of previously unreleased or rare songs or new mixes. Early mixes of all eight songs are featured alongside the remastered album on disc one while disc two includes demos, outtakes, alternates and a breathtaking solo acoustic live performance of “Melissa” from the Capitol Theatre on April 13, 1974. The 2 CD Deluxe Edition includes beautiful new packaging with unreleased photos and extensive liner notes by noted Allman Brothers Band historian John Lynskey. Tracks have been newly remastered from the original Laid Back analog album masters, as well as from analog and digital archival masters. Laid Back digital configurations will include HD 192kHz 24-bit and 96kHz 24-bit, Mastered for iTunes and standard streaming/download; while the Laid Back Deluxe Edition digital configurations include standard streaming/download and Mastered for iTunes.
Out of print on vinyl for over 30 years, The Gregg Allman Tour double LP, available on both 180-gram black vinyl and 180-gram grey and white marble vinyl, has been remastered from the original stereo analog tapes. This vinyl reissue mimics the original double LP with sides one and four pressed on disc one, and sides two and three pressed on disc two which optimizes playback for multi-disc turntables. Recorded over three nights at Carnegie Hall in New York on April 10-11, 1974 and at the Capitol Theatre in New Jersey on April 13, 1974, Allman along with members of the band Cowboy (Scott Boyer, Randall Bramblett, David Brown, Chuck Leavell, Bill Stewart, Tommy Talton), and a 24-piece orchestra performed songs from his debut solo album Laid Back alongside several laid-back reworkings of Allman Brothers Band songs like “Stand Back” and “Dreams.” The album also features spirited covers of “Turn On Your Love Light,” “Are You Lonely For Me Baby” and the Elvis Presley hit “I Feel So Bad,” as well as two tracks by Cowboy who take the reins with their songs “Time Will Take Us” and “Where Can You Go?,” the latter featuring Allman on keys. The record is also notable for its inclusion of “Oncoming Traffic,” a song that Allman said he was especially proud of and that wasn’t featured on any studio releases. Digital configurations will include HD 192kHz 24-bit and 96kHz 24-bit, Mastered for iTunes and standard streaming/download.
Laid Back and The Gregg Allman Tour showcase a remarkable time in Allman’s career when he set off on his own to explore a different side of his artistry where he was fully at the helm. Taken together these albums allow for an opportunity for fans to immerse themselves in the making of his solo album and the celebratory tour that followed.
Laid Back – 2 CD | LP
The Gregg Allman Show – 2 LP
CD 1: Laid Back Remastered
- Midnight Rider
- Queen Of Hearts
- Please Call Home
- Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing
- These Days
- Multi-Colored Lady
- All My Friends
- Will The Circle Be Unbroken
- Midnight Rider (Early Mix)*
- Queen Of Hearts (Early Mix)
- Please Call Home (Early Mix)*
- Don’t Mess Up A Good Thing (Early Mix)*
- These Days (Early Mix)*
- Multi-Colored Lady (Early Mix)
- All My Friends (Early Mix)*
- Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Early Mix)*
CD 2: Demos, Outtakes & Alternates
- Never Knew How Much (Demo)**
- All My Friends (Demo)
- Please Call Home (Demo)*
- Queen Of Hearts (Demo)*
- God Rest His Soul (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)
- Rollin’ Stone (Catfish Blues) (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)**
- Will The Circle Be Unbroken (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)
- Multi-Colored Lady (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)
- These Days (Solo Guitar, Piano & Vocal Demo)*
- Shadow Dream Song (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)
- Wasted Words**
- These Days (Alternate Version with Pedal Steel Guitar)
- Multi-Colored Lady (Rough Mix)*
- These Days (Rough Mix)*
- God Rest His Soul (Rehearsal)
- Midnight Rider (Rehearsal)*
- Song For Adam / Shadow Dream Song (Solo Guitar & Vocal Demo)
- Melissa (Live at the Capitol Theatre)*
* Previously unreleased
** Previously unreleased mix
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.