Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads

Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads

Feature Photo: Robert Catalano, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Our top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads article looks at some of the band’s more laid-back recordings. This was not an easy list to put together because there’s a fine line between a ballad and a blues song. Can we consider a slow blues number a ballad? Many people would argue no. However when looking through the entire Allman Brothers Band catalog, there are not a lot of ballads. Because of this, we decided actually to include some of the slow blues numbers as ballads. Even more complicated was that many of their best songs were more mid-tempo recordings. We had to distinguish some lines because a song like “Blue Sky” which just didn’t make it as a ballad in our eyes. Additionally, we were trying to find some forgotten songs to add to this list that we thought would be nice to take a listen to again. In the end, we think we have put together a nice selection of Allman Brothers Band Ballads that people will enjoy.

# 10 – Seven Turns

The Allman Brothers launched an amazing comeback in 1990 when they returned with their first new album of material in eight years with a revamped lineup fueled by some new blood. The additions of guitarist Warren Haynes on guitar and Allen Woody on the bass lit a fire for the band as the new album Seven Turns had been their strongest effort since Brothers and Sisters. This would be the start of the band’s longest-ever run without breaking up. For the next twenty-four years up until October 28, 2014, The Allman Brothers Band brought great joy to music fans, young and old. The pick here, “Seven Turns,” was the title track to their 1990 comeback album.

# 9 – Sail Away

The Allman Brothers Band album Enlightened Rogues is probably one of the band’s most overlooked albums, especially when looking back at their catalog. When it was released, it was pretty successful, breaking into the top 10 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums list. It also spawned a hit single in the song “Crazy Love.” Produced by Tom Dowd, the album really should not be overlooked. Closing out the album is a real lost gem in the song “Sail Away.” Its an absolute beauty of a ballad and one of the band s mist underrated and undermentioned tracks. The song was composed by Dickey Betts and John Lundahl.

# 8 – Jelly Jelly

In the number eight spot on our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list, we present the song entitled “Jelly Jelly.” This is one of those blues songs we talked about in the introduction. Gregg Allman’s vocals sound fantastic in this one. He also performs a great organ solo that is followed up by a brilliant Chuck Leavell piano solo. The song was released on the album entitled Brothers And Sisters. The album was released in 1973. The song “Jelly Jelly” was composed by Billy Eckstine and Earl Hines.

# 7 – Desdemona

We jump about thirty years ahead with this one. In the number seven position on our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list is the song entitled “Desdemona.” The song was released on the album Hittin’ The Note. This was the best Allman Brothers Band album since Seven Turns. Gregg Allman was quoted as saying he thought it was one of the best albums the band had ever released. The album was released in 2003. The song was composed by Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes.

# 6 – Old Before My Time

Continuing with our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list, we stick with the 2003 Hittin’ The Note album for one more song. It’s kind of sad to listen to this one that Gregg Allman sings about being old because he is no longer with us. Anyone who saw Gregg Allman perform in the 200os could see that time had taken its toll on Gregg, although he always sounded great. The man went through a lot losing his brother at such a young age. There were many other issues that came up along the way, but he carried on.

# 5 – Little Martha

At the halfway point on our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list is the only instrumental presented here. The Allman Brothers Band was a group that released some of the greatest rock instrumentals of all time, like “Jessica,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed,” and so many more. Most of the instrumentals were flat out rockers. However, we feel “Little Martha” fits the ballad category perfectly. It was released on their legendary Eat A Peach album.

# 4 –  Stormy Monday

At the number four spot on our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list, we present the legendary song entitled “Stormy Monday.” The Allman Brothers Band’s version of the classic song was released on their monumental live album At Fillmore East. The song has never appeared on any studio album as the only versions that exist are live versions. The song was composed by T-Bone Walker. It’s a real slow barn-burning blues number that some people may take objection to be called a ballad. Yet we felt we had to include this one because is just so outstanding.

# 3 – Soulshine

Cruising along on our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list we present the breathtaking song entitled “Soulshine.” This is probably the most loved new Allman Brothers Band song of the Warren Haynes era. Fittingly so, because the brilliant guitarist and songwriter was also the tune’s composer. Warren Haynes’s beautiful song was handed off to Gregg Allman to perform lead vocals on. While Warren has also recorded the song and done such a wonderful job on it, who wouldn’t want a song they composed to be sung by Gregg Allman?

# 2 – Midnight Rider

It doesn’t get much bigger than these next two songs on our Allman Brothers Band Ballads list. The song “Midnight Rider” was released on the album entitled Idlewild South. The album was released in 1971. The song opens with an iconic riff that once you hear it, you will never forget it. The lead vocal, sung by Gregg Allman, is just as classic as the riff. This one also borders the categories of ballad and mid-temp rocker, but we picked it anyway because the band used to do this one acoustically sitting together on chairs during live performances.

# 1 – Melissa

We close out our Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads list with the monumental song entitled “Melissa.” Now this is a perfect ballad. If you want to define the definition of a soulful ballad, well, just play this song. The song was released on the Eat A Peach album. The album was released in 1973. Melissa was released as a single with Blue Sky as the B-Side. That, my friend, is a pretty good B-Side. “Melissa” was one of the earliest songs Gregg Allman had ever written as its origins date back to 1967.

Top 10 Allman Brothers Band Ballads article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2024

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