February 12, 2015

The Hour Glass & The Power of Love ~ Allman Brothers 'n Paul Hornsby beginnings, Pt. 2

The Hour Glass
reel-to-reel tape box spine
photo by Styrous®

This is an addition to the article, 101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 92, Pt. 1     

The Allman Brothers and Paul Hornsby recorded their very first two albums as the group called, The Hour Glass. The two albums were: The Hour Glass (1967) and Power of Love (1968), were both released on Liberty Records which was founded by Max E. Youngstein of United Artists in 1957 initially to distribute records of its movie soundtracks, though it soon branched out into recording music of a number of different genres.

This is the compilation of those two studio albums which was released by United Artists Records in 1973. 

- the following is from Wikipedia

The Hour Glass was a 1960s rhythm and blues band based in Los Angeles, California between 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). 

reel-to-reel tape box photos
photo by Styrous®

 History of the group

Formed from the ashes of two disbanded rival groups that had played the same southern circuit, The Allman Joys (based in Florida) and the Men-its (based in Alabama), the group was booked in early 1967 into a month-long engagement in St. Louis, Missouri, where they met members of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, whose manager, Bill McEuen, arranged for them a contract with Liberty Records.
Moving to Los Angeles, they were soon opening for groups like The Doors and Buffalo Springfield and recording their eponymous debut album, full of lighthearted poppy soul that was quite contrary to what the group was performing in various clubs and theatres in California such as the Fillmore West and Troubadour, picked out by the label from a pool of songwriters including Jackson Browne and Jimmy Radcliffe whose song "Nothing But Tears" was the plug for their initial single. The album flopped, perhaps because the group, aside from Gregg Allman, was sparsely used in the studio.

Onstage, the group rarely performed tracks from the album, preferring original material by Greg Allman alongside covers of Otis Redding and Yardbirds songs. Over the next few months, however, the group lingered, unable to perform outside of southern California due to label constraints. Eventually losing bassist Mabron McKinney, they soldiered on, performing concerts and recording a second album, Power of Love, which featured bassist Pete Carr. However, like their debut, Power of Love, which also featured the songwriting skills of Gregg Allman and material that fit the group much better than the material on their debut, flopped.

Pulling out one last-ditch effort by leaving Los Angeles to work at the legendary FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the group recorded a handful of tracks that, for once, showed their full potential in the studio. After these tracks were rejected by the label, the group became dejected and broke up. The group over, Duane and Gregg Allman went to Jacksonville, Florida where they jammed with folk-rockers The 31st of February, featuring drummer Butch Trucks. The others went to do session work in Muscle Shoals. 

Liberty Records threatened to sue the group for disbanding. Consequently, Gregg Allman gave them the rights to a solo album to prevent their doing so. However, tracks for the album were only issued twenty-five years later when they were released as bonus tracks on the compact disc reissues of the group's two albums. With his brother back in Los Angeles, Duane Allman temporarily joined his bandmates in Muscle Shoals, eventually forming The Allman Brothers Band, enticing his brother back from Los Angeles. 

reel-to-reel tape box spine details
detail photos by Styrous®

reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®

History of the album

Hour Glass was 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.  

The 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.  

The album is currently available on the Hour Glass anthology. The 1992 reissue on EMI, rife with bonus tracks, has fallen out of print, the bonus tracks now available on the 2004 album Southbound. There is also a November 2001 BGO (Beat Goes On) version (B00005NILR) with 23 tracks and sleeve notes by Neil Young.

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 album is currently available on the Hour Glass anthology. The 1992 reissue on EMI, rife with bonus tracks from the aborted sessions for a Gregg Allman solo release, has fallen out of print. The bonus tracks are now available on the 2004 album Southbound.

Track listing:  

Side 1: The Hour Glass  

  1. "Out of the Night" (Alex Moore, Bob Welch) - 1:57
  2. "Nothing But Tears" (Jimmy Radcliffe, B. J. Scott) - 2:28
  3. "Love Makes the World Go 'Round" (Deon Jackson) - 2:42
  4. "Cast off All My Fears" (Jackson Browne) - 3:31
  5. "I've Been Trying" (Curtis Mayfield) - 2:40
  6. "No Easy Way Down" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 3:20
  7. "Heartbeat" (Ed Cobb) - 4:52
  8. "So Much Love" (Gerry Goffin, Carole King) - 2:57
  9. "Got to Get Away" (Gregg Allman) - 2:14
  10. "Silently" (Dan Bourgoise, Del Shannon) - 2:48
  11. "Bells" (Edgar Allan Poe, arr. Peter Alin) - 2:24  


  • Gregg Allman – organ, piano, vocal
  • Duane Allman – guitars, vocal (tracks 1-13)
  • Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, vocal (tracks 1-13)
  • Johnny Sandlin – drums (tracks 1-13)
  • Mabron McKinney – bass (tracks 1-13)
  • Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass, banjo, keyboards and percussion
Side 2: The Power of Love 
  1. "Power of Love" (Spooner Oldham, Dan Penn) - 2:50
  2. "Changing of the Guard" - 2:33
  3. "To Things Before" - 2:33
  4. "I'm Not Afraid" - 2:41
  5. "I Can Stand Alone" - 2:13
  6. "Down in Texas" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 3:07
  7. "I Still Want Your Love" - 2:20
  8. "Home for the Summer" (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:44
  9. "I'm Hanging Up My Heart For You" (John Berry, Don Covay) - 3:09
  10. "Going Nowhere" - 2:43
  11. "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney) - 2:59
  12. "Now Is The Time" - 3:59
  13. "Down in Texas" (alternate version) (Marlon Greene-Eddie Hinton) - 2:21
  14. "It's Not My Cross to Bear" - 3:36
  15. "Southbound" - 3:41
  16. "God Rest His Soul" (Steve Alaimo) - 4:02
  17. "February 3rd" (Composer Unknown) - 2:56
  18. "Apollo 8" (Composer Unknown) - 2:37
  • All songs by Gregg Allman, unless noted.
    • Tracks 1-12 constitute the original album.
      • Tracks 13-18 from the 1969 sessions for Gregg Allman's unreleased first solo album for Liberty (present on 1992 re-release only).


  • Gregg Allman – organ, piano, guitar, vocal (all tracks)
  • Duane Allman – guitars, electric sitar (tracks 1-6, 8-12)
  • Paul Hornsby – piano, organ, guitar, vocal (tracks 1-12)
  • Johnny Sandlin – drums, guitar, gong (tracks 1-12)
  • Pete Carr – bass guitar, guitar (track 7), vocal (tracks 1-12)
  • Several unknown studio musicians on horns, guitars, backing vocals, drums, bass guitar, keyboards and percussion (tracks 13-18)
  • Bruce Ellison - Engineer (all tracks)
- from Wikipedia

The Hour Glass & The Power of Love ~ Allman Brothers 'n Paul Hornsby beginnings, Pt.1

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