BY CHRISTOPHER DORICK
RELEASED: FEBRUARY 12, 1972
GENRES: SOUTHERN ROCK
Quick take: Hold on! Before you write off Eat a Peach as “just another classic rock album,” let’s take a quick step back. If you’re anything like me, I once considered the Allman Brothers Band to be indistinguishable from any other southern rock band and never really gave them the time of day… until two weeks ago. I was exposed to this album recently by my father while driving through in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and was absolutely blown away. Seriously, this was different than anything else I’d ever heard. Certainly not in the sleazy vein I associate with Lynyrd Skynyrd, and not at all commercial like today’s country.
Beautiful from end to end, this album is the follow-up to the band’s first hit release At Fillmore East and follows the tragic death of founding member Duane Allman. The entire band was also in the throes of heavy heroin addictions during recording of this album. After Eat a Peach was released, Gregg Allman stated: “We were taking vitamins, we had doctors coming over and sticking us in the ass with B12 shots every day. Little by little by little, we crawled back up to the point where we were standing erect.” It needs to be understood that what the Allman Brothers Band was doing was revolutionary for the time. No, not the drugs, that was relatively commonplace… but their unique blend of blues and country with progressive rock and roll.
Eat a Peach is southern rock at its finest; vibrant, verbose lead electric guitar riffs with bluesy, honest, and crystal clear lyrics. This album tugs at your heart from the angle of persevering through tough times and dealing with loss, yet becoming a better person for being forced to experience it. There is a certain genuine feeling this album captures that has that has been somewhat forgotten through the years. It’s frustrating because the Allman Brothers Band tends to get written off as “another one of your dad’s classic rock groups,” and maybe in their later years they regressed into mediocrity, but this album… this album is gold. And no amount of time or future records are able to take that away.
So I urge you, against your seemingly better judgement that is telling you not to waste your time… please give Eat a Peach a listen. And as long as you approach it with open ears, you won’t be disappointed. That’s a promise.