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