The Allman Brothers "Win, lose or draw" - Album -
  • The Allman Brothers "Win, lose or draw" - Album -

The Allman Brothers "Win, lose or draw" - Album -


Win, Lose or Draw is the fifth studio album and sixth overall by American rock group the Allman Brothers Band. Produced by Johnny Sandlin and the band themselves, it was released on August 22, 1975 in the United States by Capricorn Records. It was the last studio album to feature bassist Lamar Williams and pianist Chuck Leavell. The band had previously released Brothers and Sisters in 1973 to critical and commercial success. ...


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Win, Lose or Draw was recorded from February to July 1975, in sessions that were described as "noncohesive." Tensions had risen to all-time highs within the group. Allman arrived a day late to a rehearsal early on in the recording process, leading the other members to "pummel" him with inquiries about his future with the group and decision to move to Los Angeles, as well as his relationship with Cher. In truth, the tension stemmed not from his relationship or relocation to Los Angeles, but from his and Betts's respective solo albums. The tension was amplified by numerous drugs the band were constantly using. "In the end I probably did spend too much time out in California," Allman said. "But at that point it was easy to run; those sessions were the worst experience I ever had in a studio." Sandlin flew to Los Angeles to record Allman's vocals at the Record Plant. Cher did not appear on the album in any guest role, however. Sessions typically began at 9pm, and oftentimes barely started because band members would not show up. Previous Allman Brothers albums were cut live to tape, but Win, Lose or Draw primarily found the members piecing it together. While Jaimoe and Leavell seemed to be in high spirits, the rest of the band members' issues "become out in the open in the studio." Rehearsals typically consisted of just Jaimoe, Leavell and bassist Lamar Williams, who started joking that they should form a band named We Three. Even Jaimoe was not present a couple of times, leading Sandlin and Bill Stewart to perform the drums on two tracks, "Louisiana Lou and Three Card Monty John" and "Sweet Mama". The group spent considerable time recording the album's Betts instrumental, "High Falls", named after High Falls State Park north of Macon, so much so that when Trucks was given PCP instead of cocaine at a bar, he had a multiple-hour hallucinogenic nightmare about playing "High Falls". Allman later wrote that it appeared as though Betts only cared about his compositions, and tried to "dictate the entire process." In the spring, Allman fell off his motorcycle and broke his right wrist. Betts used this as ammunition, accusing him of injuring himself on purpose so that the Allman Brothers could not tour. In addition, the relationship between him and Trucks had soured. "We'd taken time off, but that had only exaggerated the problems between our personalities. With each day there was more and more space between us; the Brotherhood was fraying, and there wasn’t a damn thing any of us could do to stop it," said Allman. Sandlin called Win, Lose or Draw the hardest record he ever produced. "It was so weird. It wasn't fun at all. It was rough for me, and it was rough for them. […] It was just sad."

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