The Allman Brothers – Brothers and Sisters

More The Allman Brothers

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  • Off the charts Shootout Winning Triple Plus (A+++) sound or close to it on both sides of this classic Allman Brothers album – nothing could touch the superior sonics of this copy on either side
  • Of course it won our shootout – you won’t believe how lively, full-bodied, clear and HUGE it is compared to anything you’ve heard; super quiet vinyl too!
  • 4 stars on Allmusic and the band’s commercial peak
  • “The Allman Brothers Band’s first new studio album in two years shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, ‘Ramblin’ Man’ and ‘Jessica,’ helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales.”

*NOTE: On side one, a mark makes 4 very light dull ticks at the end of track 2, Ramblin’ Man.

One of the keys to the Allman’s sound is obviously the guitars and the way they blend with one another. Most pressings are dry, congested, and grainy, which hurts the effect of the multiple harmonizing leads. When you get a copy with smoother, more Tubey Magical, more open sound, you really understand what sound the band was after. It’s wonderful when it works, and no one ever did it better than these guys.

This vintage Capricorn pressing has the kind of Tubey Magical Midrange that modern records rarely even BEGIN to reproduce. Folks, that sound is gone and it sure isn’t showing signs of coming back. If you love hearing INTO a recording, actually being able to “see” the performers, and feeling as if you are sitting in the studio with The Allman Brothers, this is the record for you. It’s what vintage all analog recordings are known for — this sound.

If you exclusively play modern repressings of vintage recordings, I can say without fear of contradiction that you have never heard this kind of sound on vinyl. Old records have it — not often, and certainly not always — but maybe one out of a hundred new records do, and those are some pretty long odds.

What the best sides of this Classic Allman Brothers album have to offer is not hard to hear:

  • The biggest, most immediate staging in the largest acoustic space
  • The most Tubey Magic, without which you have almost nothing. CDs give you clean and clear. Only the best vintage vinyl pressings offer the kind of Tubey Magic that was on the tapes in 1973
  • Tight, note-like, rich, full-bodied bass, with the correct amount of weight down low
  • Natural tonality in the midrange — with all the guitars (acoustic, electric, bass), organ and drums (including tympani!) having the correct sound for this kind of recording
  • Transparency and resolution, critical to hearing into the three-dimensional space of the studio

No doubt there’s more but we hope that should do for now.Playing the record is the only way to hear all of the above, and playing the best pressings against a pile of other copies under rigorously controlled conditions is the only way to find a pressing that sounds as good as this one does.

Those Harmonizing Guitars

One of the keys to the Allman’s sound is obviously the guitars and the way they blend with one another. Most pressings are dry, congested, and grainy, which hurts the effect of the multiple harmonizing leads. When you get a copy with smoother, more Tubey Magical, more open sound, you really understand what sound the band was after. It’s wonderful when it works, and no one ever did it better than these guys.

What We’re Listening For on Brothers and Sisters

  • Extend the top and bottom and voila, you have The Real Thing — an honest to goodness Hot Stamper.
  • Energy for starters. What could be more important than the life of the music?
  • Then: presence and immediacy. The vocals aren’t “back there” somewhere, lost in the mix. They’re front and center where any recording engineer worth his salt would put them.
  • The Big Sound comes next — wall to wall, lots of depth, huge space, three-dimensionality, all that sort of thing.
  • Then transient information — fast, clear, sharp attacks, not the smear and thickness so common to these LPs.
  • Tight punchy bass — which ties in with good transient information, also the issue of frequency extension further down.
  • Next: transparency — the quality that allows you to hear deep into the soundfield, showing you the space and air around all the instruments.

TRACK LISTING

Side One

Wasted Words 
Ramblin’ Man 
Come and Go Blues 
Jelly, Jelly

Side Two

Southbound 
Jessica 
Pony Boy

AMG Review

Brothers and Sisters, the Allman Brothers Band’s first new studio album in two years, shows off a leaner brand of musicianship, which, coupled with a pair of serious crowd-pleasers, “Ramblin’ Man” and “Jessica,” helped drive it to the top of the charts for a month and a half and to platinum record sales.

This was the first album to feature the group’s new lineup, with Chuck Leavell on keyboards and Lamar Williams on bass, as well as Dickey Betts’ emergence as a singer alongside Gregg Allman…

The interplay between Leavell and Betts is beautiful on some songs, and Betts’ slide on “Pony Boy” is a dazzling showcase that surprised everybody.