Gregg Allman: 20 Essential Songs

Southern rock pioneer fused country blues with San Francisco-style extended improvisation, creating a template for countless jam bands

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"Dreams" (1969)

This Allman original was, Gregg has said, the first song of his that his bandmates truly took to. "Let me tell you, they joined right in," he says of an early rehearsal where he showed them the song. "It was in, brother. They loved it." The lyrics—"I'm hung up on dreams I'll never see/Ah, help me baby/Or this surely will be the end of me"—were textbook blues. But from its jazzy feel (partly inspired by Miles Davis) to its swirly, swampy arrangement, this track from The Allman Brothers Band debut also demonstrated Gregg wasn't a dull traditionalist in any way.

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