Eat a Peach
The Allman Brothers Band
Released: February 1972
Chart Peak: #4
Weeks Charted: 48
Certified Gold: 4/13/72
This is the Allman Brothers' second two-disc album, and it was taped partly on stage and partly in the studio, both before and after the death of Duane Allman. Undertaking two double-length albums within a few months is probably unwise in the best of circumstances, and was, I think, foolhardy in view of the tragedy that hit this particular band. Eat a Peach sounds like a rush job. What's the point of rerecording "Trouble No More," when the band couldn't improve on the superb version in its first album? The point probably is a shortage of material, which also explains the inclusion of the two-part, thirty-four-minute "Mountain Jam," occupying two full sides. The jams, and some of the songs, stretch out solos too long, dwell too long on riffs that really aren't that interesting, and rely too heavily on repetition. "Ain't Wastin' Time No More," "Melissa," and "One Way Out" are fine, reminding me once again why I once thought this would be the best blues band since Joe Turner's. But schedules and accidents are messing things up. Greg Allman should call a creative time-out, getting his troops together to discuss discipline, tightness, and new material. And, although I doubt it will happen, I'd like to see a slide guitarist in the band again, to recapture at least some of the grace that Duane once provided.
- Noel Coppage, Stereo Review, 10/72.
Eat a Peach can well be considered the Allman Brothers' transition album. It is in all ways a remarkably fluid, cohesive musical statement. Duane Allman's uniquely personal guitar work impresses on more than half of the cuts. One half of the album is an eminently satisfying jam which was recorded at the Fillmore East. Of the studio tracks "Melissa," "Blue Sky" and "Trouble No More" seem particularly well executed.
- Billboard, 1972.
Side three is a magnificent testament. It opens with Gregg doing Sonny Boy Williamson justice, wrenches through some of the most formally intense accompaniment Duane ever played, skips into a high-spirited Dickey Betts tune, and provides a coda for a whole sensibility in one two-minute acoustic duet. Side one sandwiches two subordinary Greggeries around an instrumental excursion that sounds like Dickey OD-ing on Live/Dead. And sides two and four comprise thirty-four minutes with an all-too-relaxing theme by Donovan Leitch. I know the pace of living is slow down there, but this verges on comatose. And all the tape in the world isn't going to bring Duane back. B
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
Half of Eat a Peach consists of more fiery improvisations from the Live at Fillmore dates, in the form of the "Mountain Jam." Even though this was released after Duane Allman's fatal motorcycle accident, the studio sides include some tracks showcasing his soaring lead work. Creatively, the band was in peak form with great tracks like "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" (number 77), "Melissa" (number 86), "One Way Out" (number 86), "Stand Back," "Blue Sky," and the delicate acoustic guitar instrumental "Little Martha." * * * * *
- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
Eat a Peach includes tunes from the Fillmore shows, including the 33-minute "Mountain Jam" (which back in the days of vinyl consumed two sides!) as well as great new tunes like "Melissa" and "Blue Sky." * * * *
- Alan Paul, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
Master axeman Dickey is at his sweetest, Gregg at his most gravelly, the brothers at their tightest on this peachy keen '70s Southern rock landmark two-fer. It's a fitting swan song for Duane, an extraordinary electric slide player, who contributed three cuts plus mythic live tracks from Fillmore East and tragically died before its completion. This boatload of talent laid out the rudiments of the current jam band phenomenon with "epics" from "Blue Skies" to the hold-onto-your-hat 22-minute "Mountain Jam." * * * * *
- Zagat Survey Music Guide - 1,000 Top Albums of All Time, 2003.
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