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I consider myself fortunate to have a copy of this magnificent box. Rhino have done a wonderful job on the package and the music in my opinion, but why issue it as a limited edition of only 10,000 which is bound to keep prices up!!

A comment that I made elsewhere was that Duane Allman achieved more in his 24 years than many do in a full lifetime, and surely this box is evidence to back that up. It starts back in 1965 with unreleased tracks by the Escorts (care of his brother Greg) with an immediate crisp sound that exemplifies 60s recordings. From there the 7 CDs take us on a delightful aural ride up to the last track Little Martha (from Eat A Peach in 72). Perhaps being a Deadhead, the inclusion of Duane playing with the Dead at the Fillmore East in April 71 is the icing on the cake! But then again CD2 contains his session work with some Soul greats. OK, so I do have duplications of some of the tracks but having an anthology of this quality is worth it.

Anyone who is fan of the Allmans will love the music contained here and for collectors it makes a great companion to Dreams, but like I said in the heading many will not be able to get a copy either due to price or availability!!

Something worth a mention if you are considering a purchase is the packaging itself. It comes in a hinged long box with a gold velvet lining. The internal dimensions are very precise to hold the paper (not cardboard) slip cases and the book. There is a sticker (why??) and a plectrum as well. My only gripe, and it is a minor one is that the book could have been a hardback and why have it open lengthways - crazy in my opinion.

If you are wondering is it as good as everyone says - yes it is - even Uncut gave it 9/10 a couple of months back.
55 comments|13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 17 March 2013
The 129 tracks contained in this 7 cd box set cover such diverse musical genres as garage, psych, rhythm and blues, blues, blues rock, dead on rock and roll, jazz rock, soul, anything remotely related to the blues or rock is to be found in the track listing. Duane's daughter Galadrielle was in charge of licensing and she did an absolutely perfect job. Not only is Duane's work with The Allman Brothers, and AB precursor groups The Alllman Joys, Hour Glass and 31st of February included, but his session work at Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals, AL, where he played on sessions with r&b legend Wilson Pickett, The Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, Clarence Carter, super producer King Curtis, Chicago blues guitar legend Otis Rush, former Steve Miller Band member Boz Scaggs and Ronnie Hawkins, as well as Criterion Studio, Florida based post-Blind Faith Eric Clapton band Derek and the Dominos, and the list goes on and on. All of this accomplished before his untimely death in 1971 at age 24. Well over 8 hours of absolutely amazing music contained within the 7 discs. The box set, due for official release on 19 March, 2013, arrived from The Allman Brothers website on 13 March, which offered the set at a discounted price of $99.99 plus shipping and handling. I got set #132 of the 10,000 numbered sets available and was fortunate enough to get my order for a second set processed before the bands website ran out. Rounder Records, the label which was in charge of release sold out their copies on pre-order and I don't know how many copies or had available. It appears that sold out their available copies prior to release date despite a hefty price of 160 pounds sterling, about $260US. The 72 page booklet includes two essays and complete track annotations as well as many previously unseen photos and 9 previously unreleased tracks. The only thing that keeps this retrospective from being Bear Family quality is the length of the booklet and it not being hardbound. The sound, remastered by Paul Blakemore, is crisp and clean. It is obvious that extensive searches were performed to obtain the absolute best sound sources. After giving the set extensive listening I have yet to find a weak link in the track listing or the sound quality. The highlights here are far too many to mention, but standouts are Fenton Robinson's blues gem "Loan Me A Dime" recorded at Muscle Shoals for Boz Scaggs' first solo album, a live version of "Blue Sky" recorded with The Allman Brothers only a month before his tragic death, a cover of the Steppenwolf classic "Born To Be Wild" recorded during a Wilson Pickett session at Muscle Shoals, and a cover of The Band's classic "The Weight" coming from a Muscle Shoals session with Aretha Franklin. If you are reading this review and haven't already ordered your copy of "Skydog" I wish you luck as I fear the 10,000 copies are all spoken for at this point. But I'm sure there will be copies available from Amazon drop shippers, I just wonder what the asking price will be. I could go on, but I think I've already conveyed how essential this set is to any collector of classic music of the 1960s and 1970s, especially if you have even a passing interest in the art of playing slide guitar or Southern rock or gorgeous lead guitar lines or tasteful, never overplayed, guitar solos. The box even contains Duane's rare vocal efforts, on St. Louis Jimmy Oden's blues classic "Goin' Down Slow" and Duane's self-penned "Happily Married Man." Fact of the matter is Duane's voice sounds pretty nice, but he rarely utilized it, preferring to stick to his amazing guitar performances. "Skydog" is absolutely chock full of those performances. As is inevitably the case there may be the odd track here and there that one would have liked to be included in the set, but short of a true Bear Family, all inclusive endeavor, this is as close as its gonna get. My rating of this retrospective? The scale ends at 5 stars, so 5 stars it is, although "Skydog" rates 5 stars plus. My recommendation? Get this retrospective in whatever manner possible or you will forever live with regret.
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on 9 December 2013
I have the Duane Allman anthology albums Vol 1 and 2 on vinyl and was intent on getting them on cd, then this came out. It gives a far more definitive insight into the genius of Skydog. There were a few very pleasant surprises in some of the additional material. One such song was " One More Night" by Ronnie Hawkins. When I first heard it I thought it was a Dickey Betts outtake, it sounded so similar. Allman's ability to adapt to any style of music is astounding, I can't think of any guitarist with such a wide range. I was happy to see "You don't love me/Soul Serenade" from a radio broadcast included, the improvisation is first class, incorporating one song into another. Although the price will deter any non fans from investing in this reelease, its a must for all fans of great guitar work. In my humble opinion Duane Allman is the best and most under rated guitarist ever
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on 16 November 2014
An amazing range of music encompassing the vast talent that is Duane Allman. I won't deny that I have some of the tracks, but it's amazing to have a definitive collection spanning his recording career. Duane your magic shines on , and to Galadrielle your dad was a truly inspirational guitarist as also portrayed in your book Please be with me. Cheers Vintage Rob
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on 21 July 2014
Really excellent wide ranging boxed set I have wanted to buy for a long time.Not that widely available in the UK,bit of a travesty.
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on 5 January 2014
I bought this as a last minute impulse buy for my hubby for xmas and it arrived within days. He loves it, thanks!!
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on 14 April 2014
I bought this item because of the ratings from other buyers, it met
my expectations completely.and I only can recommend it to all
fans of Duane and his music.
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on 15 August 2014
Very good condition,I am happy
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on 6 August 2014
Spend same amount on two anthologies and second hand five star review allmans more bang for your bucks
33 comments|One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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