By 1972, The Allman Brothers' ever-increasing popularity and renown was overshadowed by the untimely death of lead guitarist, Duane Allman, less than a year earlier. Despite the tragedy, the remaining members of the band soldiered on and found solace in their music, releasing 'Eat a Peach': the most apt tribute to Duane fathomable.
The first three tracks were reordered shortly after Duane's death, with the rest all featuring Duane in inexpressibly sensational form. The obvious standout track on here is the instrumental jam, 'Mountain Jam', recorded live in 1971. It clocks in at an astonishing thirty-three minutes, yet it never once relinquishes its hold upon your attention. Much of this is ascribable to the duelling guitar jamming provided by Duane and Dickey Betts, who have clearly attained a higher level of mutual understanding and, consequently, an intangible musical oneness with each other. The complex and intense soloing featured throughout this mammoth track are fitting reminders of Duane Allman's prodigious ability when wielding the guitar, and corroborates The Allman Brothers Band's position as one of the most adroit jam bands of their generation.
However, this album is not reliant upon one epic track. The terrifically laid-back 'Blue Sky' features some lovely vocal work, and more flabbergasting guitar segments, once again courtesy of Duane and Dickey. Moreover, the post-Duane Allman 'Les Brers In A Minor', is a slightly less extravagant instrumental vis-à-vis 'Mountain Jam', but one which displays Betts' ability to solo breathtakingly even after his band-mate's sad demise. In fact, I don't think there's one track on here that could be singled out as weaker than the rest, and this is surely indicative of the Allman Brothers' indisputable brilliance.
A legendary album!