THE HOUR GLASS
Hour Glass were a 1960s rhythm and blues band based in Los Angeles, California in 1967 and 1968. Among their members were two future members of the Allman Brothers Band (Duane Allman and his brother Gregg) and three future studio musicians at the world-renowned Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama (Pete Carr, Johnny Sandlin and Paul Hornsby).
Hour Glass is the debut album by the group of the same name, issued in October 1967 on Liberty Records, the first of two by the group that featured the namesakes of The Allman Brothers Band. The album was recorded by a group saddled by a producer unable to quite realize the group's potential. Dallas Smith, a formulaic producer noted for his work with Bobby Vee, knew the group was from the South. He knew they had formed from the ashes of groups that had performed liberal amounts of blues covers. And he heard soulful qualities in the voice of nineteen-year-old Gregg Allman. Therefore, he referred to them as a "Motown band", much to the chagrin of the group. Hour Glass was recorded with an emphasis on lead vocalist Gregg Allman's voice and dispensing with nearly all original material. Of the eleven tracks on the original LP, only one was penned by a group member, Gregg Allman's "Got To Get Away". The remaining ten were written by songwriters running the gamut from Curtis Mayfield and Jackson Browne to Del Shannon and the Goffin-King team. The Hour Glass performed the basic tracks, which were overdubbed by Smith with layers of vocals and instrumentation. The album was a failure in both sales terms and in properly showcasing the group. On the follow-up, 1968's Power of Love, the group would be given a bigger role in the making of the album.
Power of Love was the second studio album by Hour Glass, issued in March 1968 on Liberty Records, the final by the group with the namesakes of The Allman Brothers Band. After the failure of their first album, Liberty Records allowed a greater independence for the group, who had been virtually shut out of the decision making for their first album by the label and producer Dallas Smith. However, with the label's decision to retain Smith as producer, the group, especially Duane Allman, once again felt constricted by their label's expectations for the album. With Smith behind the boards, Gregg Allman was still the focus. The younger Allman, who had seen only one of his compositions on the previous album, contributed seven of the twelve tracks. The remainder were two from Marlon Greene and Eddie Hinton and one each from the teams of Spooner Oldham and Dan Penn, John Berry and Don Covay, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney. The group performed all of the instrumentation, with Duane Allman adding electric sitar to their cover of The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", a staple of their live act. Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield wrote the liner notes, describing his experience sitting in on the session for the album track "To Things Before", watching Gregg Allman leading the group through the number.
THE HOUR GLASS - Southbound (2004)
Southbound is a compilation record by Hour Glass, featuring outtakes from each of the group's two albums for Liberty Records, Hour Glass (1967) and Power of Love (1968) as well as material recorded by Gregg Allman in 1968 and 1969 with session musicians in order to prevent Liberty Records from suing the group due to their disbanding. All of the material has been previously released on the 1992 EMI reissues of Hour Glass and Power of Love, both now out of print.
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