Archive for May, 2012

“Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” by Derek & the Dominos (1970)

Superstardom may have seemed inevitable for Eric Clapton, but for a while he did his best to avoid it.

Having gained international fame through his work with John Mayall’s Blues Breakers and especially Cream, Clapton seemed to want to ratchet it up a notch after the latter band splintered. Joining with Traffic’s Steve Winwood, Family’s Ric Grech and Cream associate Ginger Baker, Clapton formed Blind Faith, for which the term “supergroup” was coined.

That project didn’t work out as well as expected, so Clapton decided to ditch the spotlight and play guitar for an American husband-and-wife team, Delaney and Bonnie Bramlett. Then there was the show he played as part of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band on Sept. 13, 1969, as captured on the “Live Peace in Toronto” album and D.A. Pennebaker’s “Sweet Toronto” movie. Proceedings go well until Yoko starts doing her thing all over the audience, as John so aptly puts it, but it’s kind of fun to watch the guys flailing away on their guitars as she caterwauls.

Back to Delaney and Bonnie: Clapton liked the other members of their band so much that he drafted them to play on his first solo album, “Eric Clapton,” recorded November 1969 through January 1970. Then bassist Carl Radle, keyboard player Bobby Whitlock and drummer Jim Gordon teamed up with Clapton to tour as Derek & the Dominos, which represented an attempt to keep a low profile.

Other “Dominos,” including George Harrison, went into the studio to record a couple of songs for a single, “Tell the Truth” and the lascivious “Roll It Over.” The single was released but quickly withdrawn, and the four regular members of the band subsequently traveled to Miami to work with producer Tom Dowd on a full album.

Dowd happened to also be working on the Allman Brothers Band’s “Idlewild South” at the time, and he invited Clapton to check out the Allmans at a Miami concert. Members of both groups headed back to Criteria Studios for an all-night jam session, and Clapton promptly invited Duane to sit in on laying down tracks for the album.

The result generally is regarded as the pinnacle of Clapton’s half-century of recording, a combination of original songs and blues covers, most drawing on the theme of unrequited love. Of course, much of that stemmed from Clapton’s own unrequited love for Harrison’s wife, Patti, the “Layla” of the album’s classic title track.

At first glance, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” seems sprawling, with its 14 songs spread over two albums in its original incarnation. And some critics at the time thought they detected some filler among the compositions.

That might be true for the album’s closer, “Thorn Tree in the Garden,” which is Whitlock’s song. Otherwise, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” stands as a statement by musicians putting on a clinic.

Several of the originals – “I Looked Away,” “Bell Bottom Blues,” “Keep on Growing,” “Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad?” and a slowed-down “Tell the Truth” – have become classic-rock standards, while the covers as just as scintillating, especially Big Bill Broonzy’s “Key to the Highway.” On the album, the song fades in, as the engineers didn’t quite capture the beginning of what started as an informal jam.

Clapton had been performing Billy Myles’ “Have You Ever Loved a Woman” since his Blues Breakers days, but the song takes on particular poignance in the “Layla” setting, nailing the Eric-Pattie relationship: “all the time you know she belongs to your very best friend.”

The LP’s fourth side opens with a hard-edged cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Little Wing,” which was was recorded right around the time of Jimi’s death. And the call-and-response vocals of Clapton and Whitlock are put to effective use on Chuck Willis’ “It’s Too Late,” as witnessed in the band’s appearance on Johnny Cash’s TV show.

The Clapton-Allman collaboration culminates with “Layla,” with its blistering dual-guitar attack leading in to Eric’s definitive tale of woe. The song eventually segues into a piano coda, composed and played by Gordon with the guitarists adding their flourishes.

The album reached No. 16 in the United States but failed to chart in Britain, probably because of Clapton’s muted presence. Thanks to the title track’s re-release as a single a few years later, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” eventually went gold. Twenty years after its recording, it was released as a three-CD “deluxe package” featuring two discs of instrumental jams and outtakes, the first of its kind and still one of the best.

As for Derek & the Dominos, they toured the U.S., then started working on a second album before the inevitable breakup. Clapton went into a drug-induced seclusion for a couple of years before finally producing the top-selling “461 Ocean Boulevard,” his solo masterpiece.

Radle rejoined Clapton for that album and was part of his band through the ’70s. Carl died in 1980 from a kidney infection.

Whitlock recorded four solo albums in the ’70s before spending much of the next two decades out of the music business. He returned to recording, performing and songwriting in 1999.

Gordon remained a sought-after session drummer, playing with the likes of Lennon, Harrison, Traffic, Steely Dan, Alice Cooper and Frank Zappa. Unfortunately, he developed schizophrenia and was eventually was convicted for the 1983 murder of his mother.

Allman was riding his motorcycle in his hometown of Macon, Ga., on Oct. 29, 1971, when he ran into a flatbed truck carrying a lumber crane. He died a few weeks short of his 25th birthday.

He never knew what his collaboration with Eric Clapton would mean to rock music’s legacy.

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“Exodus: Movement of Jah People” by Bob Marley & the Wailers (1977)

Two days before he was scheduled to play at a concert called Smile Jamaica in Kingston, the capital of his home country, Bob Marley was shot. So were his wife, Rita, and two others who happened to be at the Marley home at the time.

The identity of the perpetrator still is up for debate, but some sources point a finger at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Former CIA officer Phillip Agee, in the Marley documentary “Rebel Music,” confirms that Bob’s style of music may have gotten him into trouble: “The CIA would look upon the radical political content of reggae as dangerous because it would help to create a consciousness among the poor people, the great majority of Jamaicans.”

Whatever the case, Marley performed as scheduled on Dec. 5, 1976, then did what any sensible person would do: got the hell out of Jamaica. He settled in England, regrouped with band members including the legendary sibling rhythm section of Aston “Family Man” Barrett on bass and Carlton Barrett.

The result often is cited as one of the greatest albums of all time, with Time magazine calling it the most important album of the 20th century.

With “Exodus,” Marley certainly presents a revealing document of the Jamaican experience, particularly on the hard-edged title track, an epic that equates his countrymen’s situation with that of the Biblical Israelites: “Open your eyes and look within/Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?/We know where we’re going, we know where we’re from/We’re leaving Babylon, y’all, we’re going to our father’s land.”

Of course, Marley had taken strong political stances before, especially with “Get Up, Stand Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff” on the Wailers’ “Burnin’,” which many an aficionado prefers to “Exodus.” What gives the latter album an advantage is its crafting of a series of eminently accessible songs, transforming reggae from esoteric Caribbean music to the mainstream.

Whether that’s a good thing is in the eye of the beholder. But “Exodus” helped lift Marley to international star status, with his stature showing no signs of waning three-and-a-half decades later. (His early death and association with ganja don’t hurt matters, either.)

The music, though, is what counts, and “Exodus” is as strong a set as Marley ever delivered.

“Natural Mystic” starts proceedings with a sense of foreboding, as Bob pulls no punches in describing conditions in Jamaica: “Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, don’t ask me why/Things are not the way they used to be, I won’t tell no lie, one and all have to face reality now.”

Despite an upbeat tempo and chord structure, “So Much Things to Say” reveals further consternation, drawing on historical and contemporary figures of unjust punishment: “But I’ll never forget, no way, they crucified Jesus Christ/I’ll never forget, no way, they stole Marcus Garvey for rights/I’ll never forget, no way, they turned their back on Paul Bogle.” (History lesson: Bogle was a Baptist deacon who was executed by the British government for his part in Jamaica’s Morant Bay Rebellion in 1865. His image is on the country’s 10-cent coin.)

“Guiltiness” returns to a minor key, emphasized by a horn section, and continues the theme Marley made famous with “I shot the sheriff” of oppressors vs. the oppressed: “These are the big fish who always try to eat down the small fish, just the small fish/I tell you what, they would do anything to materialize their every wish.”

An ominous riff drives “The Heathen,” another call to the downtrodden: “Rise up fallen fighters, rise and take your stance again/’Tis he who fight and run away, live to fight another day.”

Perhaps the most well-known song on “Exodus” has reached that status through exposure that has nothing to do with the song’s message. “Jamming” has been used by the National Basketball Association with its promotional material for seven-foot men stuffing balls through hoops. NBA fans probably aren’t aware of some of the lyrics: “No bullet can stop us now, we neither beg nor we won’t bow, neither can be bought nor sold/We all defend the right, Jah children must unite, your life is worth much more than gold.”

The latter part of “Exodus” does seem to lighten the mood a bit with upbeat compositions that have become Marley favorites: the love song “Waiting in Vain,” the atmospheric “Turn Your Lights Down Low” and the melodically optimistic “Three Little Birds.” Closing the album is “One Love,” best remembered for its “Let’s get together and feel all right” line. But Marley can’t help but to include a call for divine retribution: “Let’s get together and fight this Holy Armageddon/So when the Man comes there will be no, no doom/Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner/There ain’t no hiding place from the Father of Creation.”

In 1981, cancer did the job that assassins couldn’t do five years earlier. Reggae still has its strong adherents, but it seems unlikely that anyone ever will take Jamaican music to the place Bob Marley did in his relatively brief lifetime.

“American Beauty” by the Grateful Dead (1970)

The line of demarcation separating the 1960s from the ’70s couldn’t have been more pronounced with regard to Grateful Dead albums.

The four LPs the band released on Warner Bros. Records from 1967-69 – “The Grateful Dead,” “Anthem of the Sun,” “Aomoxoa” and “Live/Dead,” presented the Dead in all its psychedelic glory. That’s fine for fans who are in a certain frame of mind, but some of the recordings aren’t all that accessible for the average listener.

With “Workingman’s Dead,” released in June 1970, the Dead showed it was capable of producing relatively succinct tunes with discernible melodies. Songs like “Uncle John’s Band” and “Casey Jones” became staples on FM radio, opening up the band to a wider audience.

“American Beauty,” which came out in November of the same year, sees the band continue to explore the rootsy-country themes that characterize “Workingman’s Dead,” in generally a more polished manner. Lyricist Robert Hunter helped the musicians realize some of their best-crafted compositions, such as in the opening track, “Box of Rain.”

As Blair Jackson wrote in “Garcia: An American Life,” bass player Phil Lesh “wanted a song to sing to his dying father and had composed a piece complete with every vocal nuance but the words.”

“If ever a lyric ‘wrote itself,’ this did—as fast as the pen would pull,” Jackson quoted hunter as saying. Lesh delivers the rather obscure words in a heartfelt manner for his first lead vocal on a Grateful Dead record.

Following is one of the band’s most popular songs, “Friend of the Devil,” sung by lead guitarist and rock icon Jerry Garcia. Mandolin player David Grisman, Garcia’s musical partner during the last several years of his life, guests on the tale of a man apparently beset by myriad problems with women.

Rhythm guitarist Bob Weir had been conspicuous in his songwriting absence since the bizarre “Born Cross-Eyed” on “Anthem of the Sun” (1968), but he returns on “American Beauty with perhaps his best-known composition. “Sugar Magnolia,” which represents one of Weir’s few collaborations with Hunter, actually is a compendium of two songs, with the coda “Sunshine Daydream” sometimes performed on its own in concert.

The role of the late Ron “Pigpen” McKernan in the Grateful Dead had diminished since the days when the rotund teenager performed with Garcia and Weir in Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions. By 1969, he had been supplanted as keyboard player by Tom Constanten, and his appearances in concert were limited, although they invariably were highlights of the show.

In the studio, McKernan was absent on “Aoxmoxoa,” with the credits simply listing his role as “Pigpen.” On “Workingman’s Dead,” he sang Hunter’s “Easy Wind,” easily one of the gems of the entire Dead catalog.

The band finally gave Pigpen an opportunity to perform one of his own compositions with “Operator” on “American Beauty.” The brief, effective modified blues tune tells the story of him trying to reach on old girlfriend whose whereabouts are unknown.

The Garcia-Hunter song “Candyman” is one of several bearing that title; it has nothing to do with “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” or Sammy Davis Jr. The Dead’s “Candyman” continues in the vein of “Friend of the Devil,” with a colorful character chasing tail.

The LP’s second side opens with the one-two punch of “Ripple” and “Brokedown Palace,” which remain among the Dead’s most-beloved songs. (I’ll put in the caveat that I heard the band play “Brokedown Palace” as an encore enough for me to get kind of tired of the guys doing so.)

“Till the Morning Comes” is an upbeat rocker that the Dead performed precious few times in concert before abandoning. The languid “Attics of My Life” kind of stalls the album’s proceedings, at least temporarily.

The comes the closing number, “Truckin’,” which chronicles the arrest of certain band members in New Orleans in early 1970, among other travails of being out on the road. Anone who’s taken even a remote interest in the Grateful Dead knows this is the song that contains the line for which the band is best known: “What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

That line, though, sort of seems out of place on “American Beauty,” which might be as close to a conventional pop album as the Dead ever recorded.

“Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” by the Small Faces (1968)

Several “rock operas” predate the Who’s “Tommy,” although that album’s 1969 release led to the coining of the term.

The previous year, the Pretty Things unveiled “S.F. Sorrow,” which seemed to follow a vaguely coherent theme that was made far more clear three decades later with a narrated version featuring Arthur Brown, of Crazy World fame.

Also in 1968 came “Odgens’ Nut Gone Flake,” on which the Small Faces devote an entire LP side to the thoroughly whimsical tale of Happiness Stan, who sets out on a quest for the missing half of the moon.

Hey, it was the ’60s …

The recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of the combined Small Faces and Faces might confuse listeners who know the latter group only as Rod Stewart’s early backing band. And even that’s not really the case.

As far as history, the Small Faces came together in 1965 with the late Steve Marriott on guitar, the late Ronnie Lane on bass, Kenney Jones on drums and Jimmy Winston (soon to be replaced by Ian McLagan) on keyboards. The band soon became one of Britain’s top acts, scoring several R&B-influenced hits as part of the Mod scene that also featured Pete Townshend and company.

By 1967, the Small Faces’ sound had taken on a decidedly psychedelic tinge, as evidence by the band’s only American hit (No. 16), the heavily phase-shifted “Itchycoo Park.”

“Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” hit the shelves in May 1968, frustrating clerks with its packaging: Instead the usual square record jacket, Immediate Records released the LP in the round, as Grand Funk Railroad would do four years later on this side of the Atlantic with “E. Pluribus Funk.”

The album’s title, taken from a Liverpool tobacco company, also is the name of the opening track, a slow-burn instrumental that incorporates orchestral backing amid the quartet’s flexing of its chops.

“Afterglow (Of Your Love)” sports an unconventional opening section, with Marriott’s acoustic guitar and sundry whistling accompanying Lane’s somewhat slurred reading of the chorus. The song then breaks into a more standard presentation, with Marriott delivering one of his more emotive vocal performances.

McLagan’s “Long Ago and Worlds Apart” features his far more subdued vocal, as he carries the tune with keyboards that are subjected to a major Leslie effect. The song seems to end after about two minutes, but fades back in for a decent jam that lasts another 30 seconds.

Perhaps the album’s most memorable tune is “Rene,” Marriott’s ode to a seaside prostitute, which he delivers with an appropriately Cockney accent in a rather risque manner: “If you can spend the money, you’ll have a ball/She’ll have yours.” After the lyrical section, the song continues with a two-and-a-half minute jam that borders on hard rock.

So does “Song of a Baker,” at least Marriott’s heavy riffing that leads into another observation of everyday life.

Controversy surrounded “Lazy Sunday,” which Immediate released as a single – it went to No. 2 in the U.K. – despite the band’s objections. Marriott wrote the song about his neighbors complaining about his music and recorded it as a joke. But whatever its intent, “Lazy Sunday” is an eminently fun and catchy tune that fully captures the carefree atmosphere at the heart of British psychedelia.

The side-length suite is divided into these sections:

  1. “Happiness Stan” is introduced by guest narrator Stanley Unwin (1911-2002), a British comedian who invented a nonsensical corruption of the English language he called Unwinese. (You might remember him as the Chancellor of Vulgaria in “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.) The Small Faces character Stan lives deep inside a rainbow, from which he watches the sky and sees half the moon disappear.
  2. In “Rollin’ Over,” Unwin describes how Happiness Stand embarks on a quest to find the other half of the moon, before the band breaks into the unrelated, hard-rocking love song that provides the title and was released as the B-side of the “Lazy Sunday” single.
  3. “The Hungry Intruder” tells of Stan sharing his shepherd’s pie with a fly: “My name is Stan, I’m on a quest/Take your fill, take nothing less.”
  4. Stan’s generosity pays off in “The Journey,” in which he transforms the fly into a creature capable of transporting him on his quest. The song proper starts with a short burst of hard rock before settling into an easy jam laden with cool sound effects.
  5. After seven days of journeying, they reach a tranquil beauty spot, where Stan meets Mad John. In a haunting melody, Marriott sings about John’s baggage: “There was an old man who lived in the greenwood/Nobody knew him or what he had done/But mothers would say to their children, ‘Beware of Mad John.'” Of course, John turns out to be a nice guy who gives Stan the answer to his query about the moon.
  6. “Happy Days Toy Town” wraps up proceedings with a tremendous sing-along: “Give me those happy days toytown newspaper smiles/Clap twice, lean back, twist for a while\/When you’re untogether and feeling out of tune/Sing this special song with me, don’t worry ’bout the moon/Looks after itself.”

“Ogdens’ Nut Gone Flake” went to No. 1 in England and continued to establish the Small Faces as major stars in their home country. But several factors led to the band’s demise the following year.

For one, the new album was impossible to re-create in concert. For another, the follow-up single, Marriott’s innovative “The Universal,” fared none too well on the charts, and the disappointed composer decided to stop writing music for a stretch.

Eventually, he was unhappy enough with the band in general to walk offstage and quite during a New Year’s Eve performance, opting to join forces with a teenage guitarist named Peter Frampton to form Humble Pie.

Lane, McLagan and Jones were trying to figure out how to proceed when the Jeff Beck Group splintered in the spring of 1969, and two members of its members joined the Small Faces, vocalist Rod Stewart and bass player Ron Wood, who switched to guitar. Figuring the new lineup represented a different group, the members dropped the “Small” part of the name.

Rather than serving as Stewart’s backing band, though, the Faces functioned as a unit, with Lane taking on many of the songwriting and vocal efforts. Eventually he left, and by the end of that band’s run, it was being billed as Rod Stewart and the Faces.

As for Marriott, he had a successful run with Humble Pie, with and without Frampton, through the early ’70s, until the gaining popularity of disco derail the band’s blues-boogie style. At that point, he re-formed the Small Faces with McLagan, Jones, bass player Rick Wills and ex-Thunderclap Newman guitarist Jimmy McCullough, but the reunion met with a thorough lack of interest.

So Marriott re-formed Humble Pie, sans Frampton, but that didn’t really go anywhere, either. He died in 1991 in a house fire.

Lane had a moderately successful solo career and recorded a critically acclaimed album with Townshend, “Rough Mix,” before being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. A highly respected member of the rock community, Lane was assisted greatly by his fellow musicians in financing his medical costs. He died in 1997.

Jones followed his Small Faces/Faces tenure by joining The Who. Although a highly competent drummer, Jones was no Keith Moon, the legend whom he replaced, and the band received plenty of criticism for carrying on following Moon’s death.

Wood, of course, joined the Rolling Stones, and McLagan has played with the band on tour and in the studio.

As for Stewart’s post-Faces career, if you can’t say anything nice …

“Animals” by Pink Floyd (1977)

The odd album out in Pink Floyd’s superstardom run of the ’70s usually is “Animals.”

It doesn’t hold the enduring appeal of its two immediate predecessors, “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here,” nor did it offer a multimedia extravaganza along the lines of “The Wall.” But many fans who delve beyond the FM hits cite “Animals” as one of their favorite Floyd recordings.

A major factor hampering the album’s popular appeal is its structure. Two short acoustic pieces, “Pigs on the Wing” parts 1 and 2, sandwich a trio of 10-plus-minute works, a format that never has guaranteed much in the way of airplay.

Two of the longer compositions started life on the road, so to speak. Pink Floyd played a couple of previously unreleased songs, “You Gotta Be Crazy” and “Raving and Drooling,” during the tour supporting “Wish You Were Here,” and when time came to record a new album, the band restructured the compositions a bit and retitled them to fit in with the “Animals” motif.

The former song became “Dogs,” which clocks in at more than 17 minutes and is the only “Animals” tune to be co-written by Roger Waters and David Gilmour; Waters is sole composer on the other tracks.

“Dogs” opens with a leisurely instrumental passage, with Gilmour’s acoustic guitar and Richard Wright’s organ setting an ironic pace for the lyrics to come. The song evolves as Waters’ diatribe against a person obsessed with material gain, to the point where cashes in any semblance of integrity: “You have to be trusted by the people that you lie to,
so that when they turn their backs on you, you’ll get the chance to put the knife in.”

Of course, the table eventually turns, with the song’s subject getting his comeuppance in the dramatic conclusion, with Gilmour’s stinging vocals repeated for effect:

Who was born in a house full of pain?
Who was trained not to spit in the fan?
Who was told what to do by the man?
Who was broken by trained personnel?
Who was fitted with collar and chain?
Who was given a pat on the back?
Who was breaking away from the pack?
Who was only a stranger at home?
Who was ground down in the end?
Who was found dead on the phone?
Who was dragged down by the stone?

“Pigs (Three Different Ones)” follows, Waters’ not-so-subtle attacks on a trio of characters, including the late Mary Whitehouse, who’s referenced by name. Ms. Whitehouse apparently rubbed the Pink Floyd bass player the wrong way with her crusades against her view of immorality in popular music.

“Sheep,” the erstwhile “Raving and Drooling,” begins with Wright’s suitably pastoral keyboard run before the other instruments start setting a more sinister tone. The lyrics come in with a hard-rock instrumental bang, with Waters aiming this time at those who merely follow and fail to question leadership. A spooky middle part features his parody of the Twenty-Third psalm, through the sonic artificiality of a Vocoder.

While such nihilistic themes run rampant through latter-day Pink Floyd albums, what sets “Animals” apart is its instrumental approach. As the late Nicholas Schaffner wrote in the band’s bio “A Saucerful of Secrets,” “Musically, Pink Floyd have never – before or since, in any incarnation – rocked out so uncompromisingly, or with more conviction.”

All that adds up to a generally overlooked gem in the discography of one of rock’s most popular acts.

“Band of Gypsys” by Jimi Hendrix (1970)

The first released document of Jimi Hendrix’s shows at the Fillmore East bridging the ’60s and ’70s represents something of an anomaly in the guitarist’s catalog.

“Band of Gypsys” is the only live album to appear in Jimi’s lifetime. It’s the only one to capture his collaboration with bass player Billy Cox and drummer Buddy Miles, with good reason: Besides four Fillmore shows on Dec. 31, 1969, and Jan. 1, 1970, the Band of Gypsys played just one other gig, which ended after two songs at Madison Square Garden.

And “Band of Gypsys” probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day except for a legal matter.

Before he made it big, Jimi had signed a contract with a show-business type named Ed Chalpin. After Hendrix became a superstar, Chalpin tried to cash in, with the result that Jimi agreed to a one-off album.

The results show a musical direction he may have pursued had he lived past age 27. Perhaps.

The music captured at the Fillmore East certain shows Hendrix veering away from his more complex and fanciful songs from 1966-68. The Cox-Miles rhythm section powers him through funkier, more solidly rooted jams, which very well could have been a precursor of things to come.

The original LP features two of the more extended numbers, “Who Knows” and “Machine Gun,” on the first side. The former features a memorable Hendrix riff driving a call-and-response vocal section by Hendrix and Miles, with Jimi running off molten guitar licks until Buddy breaks in with some fairly annoying scat singing. Oh, well.

“Machine Gun,” which Jimi dedicates to soldiers in various locales, including Vietnam, is a slow burner that stretches out for 12 minutes and contains some of the most biting Hendrix guitar ever captured on tape. The song wraps up with Jimi simulating gunfire with a wall of guitar feedback that must have been something to behold for the Fillmore audience.

Miles’ “Them Changes,” which became his signature song, makes its first appearance on “Band of Gypsys.” Compared with Buddy’s later solo version, the Fillmore take benefits significantly from Hendrix’s guitar licks, which should surprise no one.

Two more never-before-released Hendrix songs, “Power to Love” and “Message of Love,” follow. Both also represent Jimi in a much more R&B-driven vein than, say, the psychedelia of “Third Stone from the Sun” and “Are You Experienced?” In particular, “Message of Love,” with its catchy backup vocals, bears more of a resemblance to Stax/Volt than Swingin’ London.

“Band of Gypsys” closes with a truncated version of Miles’ “We Gotta Live Together,” a loose jam that rambled on for 16-plus minutes during the late show on New Year’s Day before segueing into the familiar territory of “Wild Thing,” “Hey Joe” and “Purple Haze.” The choice of Buddy’s song for inclusion on the LP, with at least three dozen other songs available from the Fillmore concerts, may have had something to do with Jimi’s opinion of Chalpin.

Regardless, it’s a decent enough conclusion for an often-overlooked gem in the Jimi Hendrix discography, one that deserves repeated listening no matter what the circumstances of its release.

“Eat a Peach” by the Allman Brothers Band (1972)

In the late 1960s and early ’70s, Duane Allman established himself as one of the most-sought session guitar players of the era, complementing everyone from Aretha Franklin to Eric Clapton. In his own group, he helped establish a sound and style that still stands at the forefront of Southern rock.

The Allman Brothers Band had broken through commercially and artistically with its third album, “At Fillmore East,” recorded at the famed New York City venue in March 1971 and released that July.

On Oct. 29, Duane was riding his Harley-Davidson in his hometown of Macon, Ga., when a flatbed truck stopped suddenly in front of him. He was thrown from the bike, which landed on top of him, and died shortly afterward.

He was 24 years old.

The Allmans had recorded a few studio tracks with Duane that hadn’t yet been released, and plenty still remained from the Fillmore recordings. The remaining members worked on some more tunes, and the first post-Duane album appeared little more than three months after his death.

“Eat a Peach” – its name was taken from a Duane quote about eating a peach for peace – may appear to be a patched-together project, but the result sounds like anything but. Most of the studio tracks and the shorter live numbers have found their way into Classic Rock radio rotation, and the longer tunes have remained part of the Allmans’ live repertoire to this day.

About those epic recordings, let’s start with the marathon: “Mountain Jam,” which took up two entire sides of the original vinyl. A group composition based on the riff of Donovan’s “First There Is a Mountain,” the Fillmore version clocks in at 33 1/2 minutes on the joined-together CD track.

The song actually segues out of a 22-minute performance of the band’s classic “Whipping Post,” with Duane and fellow guitarist Dickey Betts setting a breezy tone to open. After repeating the theme twice, Duane embarks on a solo about three minutes in, followed by brother Gregg’s turn on the Hammond organ, then Dickey’s fuzz-toned licks. Drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson team up for the spotlight, which wraps up Side Two of the LP.

On vinyl, Berry Oakley starts Side Four with one of the more memorable bass solos in rock history. Then comes a rousing guitar duet between Duane and Dickey before the song returns to its theme.

Also recorded at the Fillmore East – this time at the venue’s final show, on June 27, 1971 – is the definitive reading of Sonny Boy Williamson II’s “One Way Out,” which has become a staple of FM radio over the past four decades. The other live track is Muddy Waters’ “Trouble No More,” a version of which the band first did on its debut album in 1969.

In the studio, the three tracks recorded by the five-piece are “Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More,” the lengthy instrumental “Les Brers in A Minor” and “Melissa.” The latter quickly became one of the most beloved pieces in the band’s catalog.

“Eat a Peach” fittingly wraps up with the three remaining studio songs featuring Duane: “Stand Back,” Betts’ classic “Blue Sky” and “Little Martha,” the Allmans’ only tune written solely by Duane. To this day, the song is played over the PA system after every Allman Brothers Band show as a tribute to one of rock’s true legends.