Allman Brothers Band Albums Ranked Worst to Best
Like many groups that managed to last almost a half century, the Allman Brothers Band‘s long, complicated history isn’t always an easy one to navigate. Personnel changes, breakups, deaths, live albums and missteps dot their timeline. Through it all, the band released only a dozen studio records. We’ve sorted them out in our Allman Brothers Band Albums, Ranked From Worst to Best list.
The Allman Brothers Band were formed in Jacksonville, Fla., in 1969 by keyboardist/singer Gregg Allman and his older brother Duane, who had been a session guitarist at FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala., performing on soul classics by Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett. Along with second lead guitarist Dickey Betts, bassist Berry Oakley and drummers Butch Trucks and Jai Johanny Johanson, they set the template for Southern rock — blues-based rock played by virtuoso musicians taking extended solos that displayed jazz, country and classical influences.
But Duane died in a motorcycle accident in 1971 shortly after their commercial breakthrough, as did Oakley a little more than a year later, which soon sent the band into a tailspin. They broke up in 1982, but got back together in 1989 to celebrate their 20th anniversary, with Warren Haynes injecting some fresh blood and songwriting talent. Betts departed in 2000, but the group remained a major touring act until late-2014, when they decided to call it a day.
Even though we usually stick to studio albums on our worst-to-best rankings, we’ve included 1971’s At Fillmore East – the live album that made them stars – because without that record their entire career might have been way shorter.