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The Allman Brothers Band - "Melissa"
on February 20, 2018 | Last updated February 20, 2018
The Allman Brothers BandMelissa
Release Type: User Audio Type: Single-track Reductions: Yes (Auto/CAT) Pitched Vocals: Yes Vocals Gender: Male (1)
A plaintive country-rock ballad, "Melissa" finds the Allman Brothers in melancholy mood on their first outing after the death of founder Duane Allman, the 1972 LP Eat a Peach. Written by Gregg Allman and Stephen Alaimo, the song was an FM radio hit and propelled the album to commercial success. It is a classic rock radio staple to this day.
One of the great soul singers, Gregg Allman sounds absolutely bruised and ravaged on "Melissa." His voice constantly struggles with the pitch on the original recording, the ultimate effect of which is to convey deep vulnerability and weariness. Throughout the entire arrangement, Dickey Betts soars on wistful guitar lines through a slap-back tape-echo effect and a volume pedal that allows the musical runs to float in and out like a pedal steel. He hits some notes that he chooses to leave hanging, sustaining for impossible lengths, saying so much with single notes that fade away. It is one of his career-making performances.