At Fillmore East is the first live album by American rock band the Allman Brothers Band, and their third release overall. The album was released in July 1971 in the United States by Capricorn Records. As the title indicates, the recording took place at the New York City music venue Fillmore East. It was recorded over the course of three nights in March 1971 and features the band performing extended jam versions of songs such as “Whipping Post”, “You Don’t Love Me” and “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.
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At Fillmore East was the band’s artistic and commercial breakthrough, and has been considered by some critics to be one of the greatest live albums in rock music. It has also been ranked among the best overall albums by artists and continues to be a top seller in the band’s catalog,
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The following is an excellent review of At Fillmore East. See more live albums here.
“By 1971, the live/extended improvisational rock album was nothing new, but it hadn’t yet been crystallized with the beauty of Southern rock and roll. Sure, bands like Cream had dug into the trunks of blues for their work, but five-sixths of the Allman Brothers Band were actually natives of the dirty South, and could therefore express those roots better than their English counterparts.
But unlike their British rock and roll colleagues, the Allman Brothers Band breathed new life into what would have normally been called drawn-out noodling. But staleness was not the case with the fire and passion instilled by the still-unmatched pairing of guitarists Duane Allman and Dickey Betts, the keyboards and tormented vocals of Gregg Allman, Berry Oakley’s muddy genuine bass, and the double-percussion of Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson.
When it was released, “At Fillmore East” was a double album, yet still did not contain all of the incredible performances from March 12/13, 1971 (the group supposedly jammed until dawn, which isn’t too far-fetched when one considers the wealth of unreleased Fillmore material dished out on recent expanded editions, and on the band’s 1972 album “Eat a Peach”).
Through the blistering extended jams, one never loses interest, and there are no “live album cliches” to weigh down the music. Dickey Betts’ stirring instrumental “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” is a must, the opening “Statesboro Blues,” as well as the Elmore James tune “Done Somebody Wrong,” are educational for the blues beginner.”
See The Allman Brothers perform Whipping Post on At Fillmore East below