1973 had seen The Allman Brothers Band overcome the deaths of founding members Duane Allman and Berry Oakley and release the highly successful Brothers And Sisters album, with its #2 hit single "Ramblin' Man". Reaching new levels of fame and recognition, they came to be seen as leaders in the emergent 'southern rock' movement. They ended the year with a brilliant New Year's Eve concert in San Francisco, organised by Bill Graham, which was broadcast nationwide on the radio. Both Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts also embarked on solo careers.
Meanwhile, however, relationships within the band were not in a good way. Their success had led to problems with egos and personality conflicts, with guitarist Dickey Betts and pianist Chuck Leavell both wanting to move in different directions, leaving Allman to try and mediate. When it came to recording the follow-up to Brothers And Sisters, the band were no longer a unified group. Allman was not present for many of the sessions and his vocals had to be recorded later, and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe went missing and had to be replaced by session players on a few songs. When it came out in 1975, Win, Lose Or Draw was seen as an uneven record and was received coolly. Betts seemed to be fully in control, repeating his Brothers And Sisters formula by contributing some mellow country-rock songs and an extended instrumental ("High Falls"). There were also a couple of Allman compositions (which followed in the style of his solo album Laid Back), and covers of numbers by Muddy Waters and Billy Joe Shaver.
Though its often seen as a 'beginning of the end' sort of album, Win, Lose Or Draw is still a great record, with some truly fantastic highlights. It did indeed manage to chart at #5. However shortly after its release the band effectively fell apart, with Gregg Allman falling out with the other members. Leavell, Jaimoe and Lamar Williams went on to form jazz-rock group Sea Level, and Betts continued with his promising solo career.
Brothers And Sisters (1973) <|> Wipe The Windows, Check The Oil, Dollar Gas (1976)
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