Stand Back: The Anthology
In Stand Back's subtitle, the word "The" is no mistake, nor is it a grammatical convenience. This sprawling two-disc set is the only cross-licensed retrospective to dig into the all of the band's studio recordings from its debut in 1969 to 2003's Hittin' the Note and to offer not only representative cuts but the shining examples of the band's studio and live prowess, its transitions from incarnation to reincarnation to mutation, and its seminal At Fillmore East live set. Disc one is comprised of five cuts from The Allman Brothers Band, three from Idlewild South, two from At Fillmore East (the 13-plus minute "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed " and "Statesboro Blues"), and a whopping six cuts from Eat a Peach. Disc two begins with a handful from Brothers and Sisters, a pair each from Win, Lose or Draw and Enlightened Rogues, and Dickey Betts' brilliant "Hell & High Water" from Reach for the Sky, issued in 1980. It goes on to include tracks from Brothers of the Road, Seven Turns, Shades of Two Worlds, and Where It All Begins, and ends with an edited version of Gregg Allman and Warren Haynes' fine "High Cost of Low Living." There are 32 tracks in all, and the sound and package are excellent. Certainly it serves as a great introduction for the newcomer, but perhaps more importantly, it is the only place to get all the band's best cuts from albums that are sometimes spotty. Producer Bill Levenson has, with input from the band, assembled a truly awesome, even unbeatable collection.