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Articles Home » 1983 Articles » Collins, Allen (Band) - 1983 Here There And Back
Collins, Allen (Band) - 1983 Here There And Back

ARTIST: Collins, Allen (Band)
ALBUM: Here There And Back
SERIAL: 39000 (LP), MCAD-31324 (CD)
YEAR: 1983


LINEUP: Jimmy Dougherty - vocals * Allen Collins, Barry Lee Harwood, Randall Hall - guitars * Leon Wilkeson - bass * Derek Hess - drums * Billy Powell - piano

TRACK LISTING: 01 Just Trouble * 02 One Known Soldier * 03 Hangin' Judge * 04 Time After Time * 05 This Ride's On Me * 06 Ready To Move * 07 Chapter One * 08 Commitments * 09 Everything You Need

There can be fewer tragic figures in rock history than Allen Collins, an exceptional guitarist who experienced numerous tragedies leading to his untimely death in 1990. At this stage of Collins career he had suffered the horrific plane crash that destroyed his band Lynyrd Skynyrd and only several years later his wife died. Despite this, Collins continued his attempts to revive his career, the first try being with The Rossington-Collins Band who issued two albums in the early eighties, with four of the surviving members of Skynyrd present. When Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz left, Collins and the remaining members simply changed their name and continued where the previous band left off, extending Skynyrd's sound into the 80's, giving a glimpse into what might have been should the band have still existed. Initially the ACB Band was to be renamed Horsepower, but due to legal reasons it wasn't possible, thus the simple moniker was adopted.

The Songs
Rather than take the AOR route that so many Southern bands were opting for at the time, Collins and company kept strictly to the formula that worked so well for them with Skynyrd. 'Just Trouble' features a nifty horn section that adds extra flavour to the foot stomping Southern boogie, with Dougherty's vocals in the best Ronnie Van Zant tradition. 'One Known Soldier' shifts to the epic feel of classics like 'Tuesday's Gone' but 'Hangin' Judge' displays a penchant for some AOR styled keyboard work and melodies, but Powell's piano solo and the righteous southern guitar work put paid to that in all honesty. 'Time After Time' is a good-time romp with some welcome hand claps and banjo soloing, capturing the spirit of what Skynyrd represented, even more almost. Like the Artimus Pyle Band which I recently reviewed, this album also contains huge similarities to 'Street Survivor's' era Skynyrd, 'This Rides On Me' has a guitar tone in the vein of that album, the track a slice of ten ton boogie. The horns return for 'Ready To Move', a dynamic track, the interplay between the horns, Powell's piano and the guitar trio making for melodic listening, a dream for Southern aficionados. It would be nice to hear some quicker tracks among the remaining three choices, but 'Chapter One', 'Commitments' and 'Everything You Need' opt for atmosphere over reckless abandon, all dominated by some passionate soloing from all concerned.

In Summary
A reasonable album that met with some disdain from MCA who dropped the band when sales weren't forthcoming to their liking, the band citing the common lack of promotion as the real reason. From here Collins life went into freefall as three years later while driving drunk he was involved in an automobile accident, killing his girlfriend and causing himself to be paralyzed from the waist down. Collins tragedy was highlighted by Skynyrd's 1987 reunion tour when he took the stage wheelchair bound and immobile, a shadow of the man he once was. Collins died in early 1990 due to complications from his injuries, a sad waste of life and talent. The Allen Collins Band hints at what he was capable of and could have gone on to achieve. This is for the pure Southern rock fan, most of whom I'm already sure are in possession of this excellent recording.

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#1 | whiterook on July 02 2010 18:35:01
My understanding is that this album sold every copy (somewhere in the neighborhood of 200,000) that was
printed by MCA. Then the band was dropped in the MCA
purge of the mid-80's. Anybody who enjoyed this forgotten gem would also enjoy the Alias-Contraband
release that came out in 1979, featuring many of the same players that appear here.
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