The Allman Brothers Band

Whipping Post

Song Review by

"Whipping Post" demonstrates why the Allman Brothers transcended the limiting catch-all "Southern rock" term; it is a rock song that at once combines substantial elements of the blues, hard rock, jazz fusion, gospel, country, and soul music -- not to mention Southern gothic fiction -- into a combustible testament to rage. The protagonist sounds like he is about to go over the edge, perhaps capable of murder, at having been mistreated by a woman. The suspenseful 6/8 time signature and ascending chord sequence sound like a galloping soundtrack to an action scene in movie. The musical maelstrom -- the unrelenting rhythm section, blistering lead guitars, swirling organ, and vocals that are alternately weary and aggressive -- seems to mirror the turmoil stirred up in the man: "I've been run down. I've been lied to/And I don't know why I let that mean woman make me a fool/She took all my money, wrecked my new car/And now she's with one of my good-time buddies/drinking in some cross-town bar." And he is egged on by his friends: "My friends tell me that I've been such a fool...." The image of the whipping post is a particularly weighted symbol for Southerners; its use here may seem melodramatic, but not when the song is considered a glimpse into one man's personal struggle with inner (and outer) demons. The original recording of the song, from 1969's Capricorn release The Allman Brothers Band, clocked in at just over five minutes. Live, as evidenced on its Live at Fillmore East record, the band would jam on the piece -- grooving over the rhythm section and bringing the song to multiple climaxes -- often stretching it over 20 minutes. Other versions offer a more modest length, such as jazz artist Sarah K's and that by blues guitarist Pat Travers.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
The Allman Brothers Band 1969 Capricorn / Mercury 5:16
Eat a Peach 1972 Capricorn / Polydor 0:00
Brothers and Sisters 1973 Capricorn / Polydor 0:00
Beginnings 1973 Capricorn / Mercury 5:17
The Road Goes on Forever 1975 Polydor
No Image 1981 Capricorn
Universal Masters Collection 1981 Universal Distribution
Dreams 1989 Island / Def Jam / Universal / Universal Music 22:52
Classic Rock: Rock Renaissance 1989
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 5:22
A Decade of Hits 1969-1979 1991 Polydor 5:17
No Image 1993 Castle Music Ltd.
Legendary Hits 1995 Rebound Records 5:22
Hard Rock Essentials: 1960's 1995
Various Artists
Rebound Records 5:21
From the Earth to the Moon [Original TV Soundtrack] 1998
Original TV Soundtrack
Playtone Records / Sony Music Distribution 5:17
Roots of Rock: Southern Rock 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products / Rebound Records 5:22
60's Rock Hits [Polygram] 1998
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 5:21
Easyriders, Vol. 4 1998
Various Artists
Thump Records 5:18
Guitar Rock: Guitar Thunder 1998
Various Artists
Madacy Distribution / Time / Life Music 5:22
The Best of the Allman Brothers [Polygram 1981] 1999 Polydor / PolyGram 5:24
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of the Allman Brothers Band 2000 Polydor / Polygram 5:22
American Classics [Import] 2000
Various Artists
Shock 5:20
Hard Rock Essentials [Trans World] 2000
Various Artists
Trans World 5:17
Double Shot of Blues 2001
Various Artists
Polygram 5:21
The Road Goes on Forever 2001 Mercury / Universal Distribution 5:22
Best of Southern Rock: Extended Versions 2002
Various Artists
BMG Special Products 0:00
Trailer Tracks: 18 Classic Southern Rock Anthems! 2003
Various Artists
UTV 5:19
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: 60's Rock 2003
Various Artists
Universal International 5:21
Stand Back: The Anthology 2004 Hip-O 5:22
The Chronicles 2005 Mercury 23:04
Gold 2005 Island / Mercury 5:22
Southern Rock: Gold [2 CD] 2005
Various Artists
Hip-O 5:19
Best of Southern Rock [Madacy] 2006
Various Artists
Madacy 5:22
Colour Collection 2007 Spectrum Music 5:19
Rock Legends 2008 Mercury 5:18
Playlist Plus 2008 Mercury 22:57
The Best of the Allman Brothers Band: Green Series 2008 Universal Distribution 5:22
Legends of Rock 2009 Mercury / Universal Distribution / Universal
5 Classic Albums 2012 Island / Mercury 5:22
Icon 2013 Island / Mercury 5:20
Skydog: The Duane Allman Retrospective 2013 Rounder 5:19
Icon 2 2014 Mercury / Polygram 5:20
Back on the Road 2018 Left Field Media 18:11
Cream of the Crop 2003 2018 Peach / Peach Records Association 14:16
'60s Summer of Love [UMOD]
Various Artists
UMOD / Universal 5:19
100 Rock
Various Artists
Universal 5:20
No Image
Various Artists
Time Life Presents the 60s
Various Artists
Time Life 5:21