The Allman Brothers Band

Essential

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The Allman Brothers Band Essential, issued by Madacy, is one of the more bizarre packaging exercises in music history. This two-disc collection -- with liner notes that would be more appropriate in a juvenile encyclopedia -- is as close to misleading (can you say rip-off?) as one is likely to find. The first disc is debatable as to how essential it is anyway; who ever heard of an essential Allman Brothers compilation that didn't include "Ramblin' Man"? This one culls tracks from the band's albums ranging from their first to Win, Lose or Draw. But it's disc two that's utterly crazy. Apparently, someone in the department who assembles these collections either got lazy or is a huge fan of the Enlightened Rogues album: disc two of this "essential" comp features a straight reissue -- complete with the Capricorn label stamped on it -- of Enlightened Rogues! We've seen some weird things, but we're still scratching our heads over this one. This should have been titled "Some Essential Allman Brothers and Other Stuff." Avoid at all costs.

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