DREAMS is a 4-CD box set compiling in chronological order tracks by the Allman Brothers Band, as well as tracks by bands featuring one or more member of the Allman Brothers Band and solo performances by Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts.
Personnel includes: Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts (vocals, guitar); Duane Allman (guitar, dobro, background vocals); Paul Hornsby, Scott Boyer, Elvin Bishop, Tommy Talton, Steve Beckmeier, Rickey Hirsch, John Hug, Dan Toler (guitar); John Hughley (steel guitar); Tom Doucette (harmonica); Steve Madaio, Pat Rizzo, Dave Luell (horns); Steve Miller, Chuck Leavell (piano); Dale Betts, Neil Larson (keyboards); Reese Wynans (organ); Bob Keller, Pete Carr, David Brown, Berry Oakley, Lamar Williams, Willie Weeks, Ken Tibbets, David Goldflies (bass); Maynard Portwood, Johnny Sandlin, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe, Bill Stewart, David Warshaw (drums); Maeretha Stewart, Helene Mills, Buck Rambo, Dottie Rambo, Reba Rambo, Don Johnson (background vocals).
Producers include: Dallas Smith, Adrian Barber, Tom Dowd, Johnny Sandlin, Allman Brothers Band.
Compilation producer: Bill Levenson.
Recorded between 1966 & 1988. Includes a 32-page illustrated booklet and liner notes by John Swenson.
Personnel: Dickey Betts (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, dobro); Duane Allman (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, slide guitar, dobro); Gregg Allman (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, piano, electric piano, organ); Scott Boyer (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar); Paul Hornsby (vocals, guitar, piano, organ, keyboards); Elvin Bishop (vocals, guitar); Bob Keller (vocals, harmonica); Chuck Leavell (vocals, piano, electric piano); Buck Rambo, Helene Miles, Stray Straton, Don Johnson, Dottie Rambo, Jesse Willard Carr, Reba Rambo, Maretha Stewart, The Rambos, Berry Oakley, Hilda Harris, Bonnie Bramlett, Cher (vocals); Dan Toler, Les Dudek (guitar, acoustic guitar); John Leslie Hug, Ricky Hirsch, Steve Beckmeier, Warren Haynes, Fred Tackett (guitar); Tommy Talton (acoustic guitar); John Hughey (steel guitar); Jim Essery, Mickey Raphael, Thom Doucette (harmonica); David Luell, Pat Rizzo, Steve Madaio (horns); Johnny Cobb (piano, keyboards); Stephen Miller , Steve Miller (piano); Mike Lawler (electric piano, keyboards); Reese Wynans (organ); Michael Workman, Tom Broome, Tim Heding, Johnny Neel, Neil Larsen (keyboards); Jaimoe Johnson (drums, congas); Butch Trucks (drums, tambourine, timpani, percussion); David "Frankie" Toler, David Walshaw, Donnie Sharbono, Jerry Thompson, Johnny Sandlin (drums, percussion); Maynard Portwood, John Meeks, Bill Stewart , Matt Abts (drums); Chaz Trippy, Bobbye Hall (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: John Swenson; Bill Levenson.
Recording information: A & R Studio (08/1966-06/1988); Atlantic Studio, NY, NY (08/1966-06/1988); Bradley's Barn, Nashville, TN (08/1966-06/1988); Capricorn Studios, Macon, GA (08/1966-06/1988); Criteria Studios, Miami, FL (08/1966-06/1988); FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals, AL (08/1966-06/1988); Fillmore East, NY, NY (08/1966-06/1988); Jacksonville, FL (08/1966-06/1988); Liberty Sound Studios, Los Angeles, CA (08/1966-06/1988); Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, OH (08/1966-06/1988); Mar Y Sol Festival, Vega Baja Puerto Rico (08/1966-06/1988); Pegasus Studios, Tallahassee, FL (08/1966-06/1988); Rock Steady Studios, Hollywood, CA (08/1966-06/1988); Sunset Sound, Hollywood CA (08/1966-06/1988); TK Studios (08/1966-06/1988); TK Studios, Hialeah, FL (08/1966-06/1988); Warner Brothers Stduiso, North Hollywood, CA (08/1966-06/1988); Winterland, San Francisco, CA (08/1966-06/1988); Young 'Un Sound, Nashville, TN (08/1966-06/1988).
Photographers: David Singer ; Bonnie MacLean.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Dickey Betts; Allman and Woman; Second Coming; Gregg Allman; The 31st of February; The Hour Glass; The Allman Joys.
Arranger: Ed Freeman .
Like nearly all box sets, DREAMS has plenty to recommend it-and a few nagging drawbacks. The set's chief shortcoming is its two conflicting goals: providing an overview of the Allmans' history, thus attracting buyers seeking the ultimate hits package, and including enough unreleased tracks and rarities to appeal to the band's most devoted fans. As a result, DREAMS is neither the definitive Allman Brothers collection nor the gift to hardcore fans that, say, THE BOOTLEG SERIES is to Dylan-philes.
DREAMS' strengths are considerable. First and foremost, the box contains nearly five wall-to-wall hours of great music. By including everything from early demos to Gregg Allman and Dickie Betts' solo material, DREAMS does a great job of tracing the group's musical evolution from hippie blues band to kings of Southern rock. And, while the unreleased studio version of "Statesboro Blues" included here isn't definitive, it's still mighty good-as are the set's other rarities. Start your Allman Brothers collection with THE FILLMORE CONCERTS; if that grabs you, DREAMS should also find a welcome place on your CD shelf.