Gregg’s masterful debut solo album Laid Back has been remastered as an expanded two-disc deluxe edition and reissue on vinyl. The deluxe edition of Laid Back features more that two dozen bonus tracks of rarities including unreleased demos, outtakes, alternates and new mixes.
To honor this creatively fertile period in the late musician’s life, Mercury/UMe reissued Laid Back in a variety of formats, including a remastered and expanded Deluxe Edition on 2CDs and digital, 180-gram black vinyl and a 180-gram limited purple and white marbled color vinyl edition.
A few months after the Allman Brothers Band released their revered fourth studio album Brothers And Sisters, legendary frontman, vocalist, pianist Gregg Allman stepped out on his own with his masterful debut solo album Laid Back. Co-produced by Allman along with Johnny Sandlin, the collection of songs was a creative outlet where he was able to assume full control and explore his varying influences, including rhythm and blues and soul music. Exemplified by the album title’s relaxed approach, the songs were a departure from his band’s guitar-heavy sound in favor of gospel-tinged organs, slower tempos and a choir, all of which beautifully buoyed Allman’s soulful, and at times, mournful vocals. On several songs he sounds like a man reflecting on the last few tumultuous years which included the deaths of his bandmates, brother Duane Allman and Berry Oakley, hard touring and incredible success. Of the album, NPR wrote, “It’s amazing stuff, deep and intense yet nowhere near the decibel levels of his work with the band. Allman is amazing when he’s belting his heart out about being tied to the whipping post. But he’s equally compelling — maybe even more so — in a quieter space, when he’s less fired up.” Upon release in October 1973, Laid Back received positive reviews and peaked at number 13 on Billboard’s Top LPs & Tape chart while “Midnight Rider” became a top 20 hit across North America.
The new Deluxe Edition of Laid Back expands the original album, which features tunes like “Please Call Home,” covers of “These Days” and “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” and a different take on the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider,” to 34 tracks and includes 26 bonus tracks of previously unreleased or rare songs or new mixes. Early mixes of all eight songs are featured alongside the remastered album on disc one while disc two includes demos, outtakes, alternates and a breathtaking solo acoustic live performance of “Melissa” from the Capitol Theatre on April 13, 1974. The 2CD Deluxe Edition of Laid Back includes beautiful new packaging with unreleased photos and extensive liner notes by noted Allman Brothers Band historian John Lynskey.