Gregg Allman – I’m No Angel

So I might steal your diamonds, I’ll bring you back some gold

This was a surprise hit for Gregg Allman. The Allman Brothers broke up in 1982 because the 1980s were a hard time for older rock bands…especially bands that jammed a lot on stage and were nowhere near New Wave. Gregg was also going through severe substance abuse problems at the time.

When I read Gregg’s autobiography I was shocked that Gregg didn’t write this song. He and Dickey Betts were the main songwriters of the Allman Brothers. The song described Gregg perfectly. It was written by Tony Colton and Phil Palmer. The song helped revive Allman’s standing with rock and pop audiences.

The song peaked at #1 in the US Album Rock Tracks Billboard charts and #49 in the Billboard 100 in 1987.

Allman spent three days in jail for drunk driving a few weeks before the I’m No Angel album was released. He had been arrested in September 1986 after failing a roadside sobriety test in Belleview, Florida.

 

From Songfacts

This was the title track from Gregg Allman’s fourth solo album. Most of the ’80s were a tough time for Allman: He was in a drug-induced funk for much of the decade, but came out of it long enough to record this album.

This was an appropriate song for Allman, who endured years of alcohol and drug problems and five failed marriages. In the song, he explains that with him, you have to take the good with the bad. He’s a classic dangerous rebel type, complete with tattoos and a dark side. He’s letting the girl know that she’ll love him anyway, even as he drives her crazy.

Gregg Allman wrote most of his own songs and had a hand in composing most of the Allman Brothers catalog, but he didn’t write “I’m No Angel.” The song was written by Phil Palmer and Tony Colton; Palmer is a British session guitarist who recorded with Dire Straits and Eric Clapton; Colton was in a band called Head Hands and Feet with Albert Lee in the ’70s before moving on to songwriting and production work. They submitted the demo to Allman, who immediately identified with the song and decided to record it.

Cher opened her 1988 concerts with this song. Her tumultuous marriage to Allman lasted 1975-1979.

Allman never became a video star, but he did make a foray into the MTV age with his video for this song, where he and his band break down in front of a dilapidated saloon. Conveniently, there are instruments set up, so they start playing while ghosts appear from the bygone days of the Old West. Allman’s avatar is hanged, but not before he kisses his comely executioner.

Jeff Stein, who also did Tom Petty’s “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell,” was the director.

This was one of only two hits for Allman as a solo artist; in 1974 his song “Midnight Rider,” originally recorded with his band The Allman Brothers, reached #19 after he included it on his first solo album and issued it as a single.

I’m No Angel

No I’m no angel
No I’m no stranger to the street
I’ve got my label
So I won’t crumble at your feet

And I know baby
So I’ve got scars upon my cheek
And I’m half crazy
Come on and love me baby

So you find me hard to handle
Well I’m easier to hold
So you like my spurs that jingle
And I never leave you cold
So I might steal your diamonds
I’ll bring you back some gold

I’m no angel, no I’m no angel
No I’m no stranger to the dark
Let me rock your cradle
Let me start a fire with your spark

Oh come on baby
Come and let me show you my tattoo
Let me drive you crazy
Come on and love me, baby

So you don’t give a darn about me
I never treat you bad
I won’t ever lift a hand to hurt you
And I’ll always leave you glad
So I might steal your diamonds
I’ll bring you back some gold
I’m no angel

No I’m no angel
No I’m no stranger to the dark
Let me rock your cradle
Let me start a fire in your heart

Oh come on, baby
Come and let me show you my tattoo
Let me drive you crazy
Come on and love me baby

Oh come on, baby
Drive me crazy
Drive me crazy
Oh come on, baby
Oh come on, baby
Oh come on, baby

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

25 thoughts on “Gregg Allman – I’m No Angel”

  1. As you know, I’m a big Allman Bros. fan. I also really like Greg Allman’s Laid Back album a lot. I much prefer his solo version of Midnight Rider to the Allman Bros. I love the R&B vibe that Allman gives the solo effort as opposed to the more country version of the Bros.
    I’m surprised that Allman didn’t write I’m No Angel too–and a little disappointed. Anyway, part of being a good recording artist is having an ear for a hit. Allman had it. Good tune.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. His Midnight Rider is much better than the Allman Brothers. It’s more defined.
      It really shocked me that he didn’t write it. It was him…or to me it sounded like him.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. lol…
        The fun part was when they toured together… he said half the audience were in tuxedos and the other half in blue jeans…then the crowd would fight!

        Like

  2. After “ignoring” the Allman Brothers for many years, I finally decided to explore them six years so. I quickly liked what I heard – thank goodness! It was literally just in time, and I saw them live in the summer of 2016, only months prior to their final show in New York.

    Here’s the somewhat strange thing. I’ve really come to dig Gregg Allman – nothing strange about that. But when he passed, it really got to me. Of course, whenever an artist I like dies, I feel sad. But not to the extent I did for Gregg. Not quite sure why. I still can get emotional when listening to his final album “Southern Blood.” It’s such a great record.

    And then there is this in-studio footage of Allman and his band performing “Just Another Rider,” which is from 2011’s “Low Country Blues” album. I’m sharing this in case you haven’t watched this yet. I have a feeling you will like it just as much as I do!

    Gregg’s singing and of course the Hammond are great. And man, does this band sound sweet. I read Gregg was really proud of them. It’s not hard to see why!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That video is sweet…I could listen to him all day. Thanks for the video!
      I’m jealous Christian…I missed them and never got to see them live. Anything Gregg sang…he owns it after that. I heard him do Tuesday’s Gone…it sounded so natural. That is no disrespect to Ronnie Van Zant but Gregg just had that touch.
      Like you, I didn’t get into them until later….whenI read Gregg’s autobiography “My Cross To Bear” and I started to listen to everything after that…Their story is really interesting. They are a band I respect so much because of the musicianship. They jammed on stage a lot and it wasn’t a weak jam…they were intense.

      Here is Tuesday’s Gone

      Liked by 2 people

    1. You are NOT alone man. I couldn’t believe it. To know the history of the song and the two bands and that song is just so beautiful. Ronnie Van Zant would be proud no doubt.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The character in the song is a bad boy of the worst kind for women. Just enough good to keep you hanging on, but oh the price that is paid. Excellent tune and I can see where it would fit Gregg Allman.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ah there’s just something about this guy that I can’t get on with. Didn’t mind the third song too much but not the first two…I have his book on scribd ready to go but I need to find something he’s done that resonates — what would you recommend listening to?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Midnight Rider, Dreams, One Way Out…Man look up some interviews with him…As I told you I didn’t like them either but when I read the book…I wish I could have met the man. When he was a total shit…he admitted he was a total shit…much like Keith.
      The book’s narrator has someone with a southern drawl…you feel like you are on a back porch with Gregg talking to you. He is a terrific singer.

      Like

      1. Once I heard the background of the songs…everything clicked. The history they had with Jackson Browne and others…odd combinations. The brothers were…as the saying goes…”country as cornbread” but very sophisticated about music. Gregg learned from an old blues guy on how to breathe and sing etc….Oh …. listen to the song Melissa also

        Like

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