Along with the Allman Brothers Band, Lynyrd Skynyrd is the most important group that southern rock has known, a musical style based on the emulsion of blues rock, country, boogie, honky tonk and rock ‘n’ roll, and in a personal good looks that underlines its telluric-confederate roots, with a reinvigorating and playful purpose. As much as it can be pointed out as one of the most important bands in the North American territory, Lynyrd Skynyrd has a painful and tragic biography. The group, who shaped what would come to be known as southern rock in the 1970s, conquered the world with their first album hits “Simple Man” and “Free Bird” – and even saw the song “Sweet Home Alabama” turn one of the main anthems of their country in the following years. However, heavy losses put the future of the group in check, especially during its heyday.
We Look Back At The Best And Worst Albums Of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Career:
14. ‘Christmas Time Again’ (2000)
The late Ronnie’s brother, Johnny, is in charge of vocal duties. It’s not Ronnie, okay, but it more than delivers. As original members we have Gary Rossington on the six strings, Billy Powel on the keys, Leon Wilkeson on bass and Rickey Medlocke, although known for his career at the head of Blackfoot, he was one of the original members of the band, dissociating himself from this before their first album in 1973 and returning to it in 1996. The rest of the cast is composed of Hughie Thomasson, the frontman of the legendary and highly recommended southern rock band The Outlaws. He was a part of Lynyrd Skynyrd from the mid-nineties until his death. Yet another tragedy within this band…
13. ‘God & Guns’ (2009)
“God & Guns” blasts through, sparkling guitars – a lucid Rossington and an insightful Medlocke blaze, while Matejka is not far behind – those lyrics of self-awareness and criticism. In short, “God & Guns”, even more than “Last of a Dyin’ Breed ”, is the quintessential sample of Southern Rock reminiscent of Hard / Blues in these years. Incomparable with the past they carry, Van Zant does not end up being dazzled at any time, personifying himself on the stage of each couplet with a heart of fire.
12. ‘Vicious Cycle’ (2003)
The historic southern-rock band celebrates thirty years of activity with “Vicious cycle”, which contains fourteen songs written by the band plus a bonus track: a new version of “Gimme back my bullets” recorded with the participation of Kid Rock.
11. ‘Edge of Forever’ (1999)
Edge of Forever is the tenth studio album by American southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, released on August 10, 1999. All tracks by Rick Medlocke, Gary Rossington, Hughie Thomasson and Johnny Van Zant.
10. ‘Twenty’ (1997)
After the popular success of their work and the tragic passing of some of their original members, the group continued to publish albums, although much inferior to those recorded in its glorious first stage that helped to establish and popularize the fundamental keys of southern rock. One of these records was “Twenty” (1997).
9. ‘The Last Rebel’ (1993)
The Last Rebel was their last notable album. Though is not comparable to their initial one, few are those who can reach that level, but it is a long way from all its later production. From the outset, it is a deeply southern album, not only in the musical aspect but in the total concept of it. It is palpable in the title (The Last Rebel), on the cover with a solitary Confederate soldier with his horse in the forest and in the theme of his lyrics, which refers to the importance of family, religion, the rural environment, daily life in those small cities that populate its geography and disenchantment at the gradual loss of those values, present in the proverbial character of the natural pride of the southern states, due to the passage of time and the natural evolution of society.
8. ‘Last of a Dyin’ Breed’ (2012)
Last of a Dyin ’Breed is passionately anchored to the trends we see today, but without neglecting that southern feel that they inject their Rock with great enthusiasm. The music attached here lends itself to exhilaration, tranquility, and thrill. The compositions make you imagine walking through the plains, deserts and forests, on a journey from Arizona to Georgia, crossing a considerable number of towns where we understand how to interact with each other. An excellent guitar, arid, but also elegant, very well executed, between Mr. Rossington, compadre Rickey Medlocke (black panther of the six strings, founder of none other than BLACKFOOT and member of the band since 1996) and the no less remarkable Mark Matejka, along with a Johnny Van Zant that shines without barely dropping an intonation. We also have new members, like Peter Keys on piano and keyboard, as his work does not detract from a large part of our attention when we turn to him. Even John 5 is around here, another lover of the name LYNYRD SKYNRD.
7. ‘Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991’ (1991)
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 is the first studio album after the reunion of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 did not get good reviews from the critics.
6. ‘Endangered Species’ (1994)
There is nothing new here from the point of view of music, but everything is done as it should be. Sort of like an unplugged album – half of the album includes acoustic takes of old Skynyrd tracks.
5. ‘Gimme Back My Bullets’ (1976)
“Gimme Back My Bullets” (1976) presented for the first time the absence of Al Kooper as a producer, incorporating the prestigious Tom Dowd, who had collaborated with the Allman Brothers and Black Oak Arkansas. The album is a good work, but in the absence of King, many recordings suffer from the resonance caused by the triad of guitarists.
4. ‘Nuthin’ Fancy’ (1975)
For their third big album, “Nuthin’ Fancy ”(1975), and before the departure of drummer Bob Burns, the group recruited Artimus Pyle. The LP continued with its constant instrumentals but invigorating its sound. The most brilliant compositions on the album, within a formulaic logic that led them to success and that pleased their fans, are “Saturday Night Special” and “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller”.
3. ‘Street Survivors’ (1977)
“Street Survivors” (1977), an album that originally featured the band engulfed in flames on its cover. This phenomenal album, with great songs like “You Got The Right”, “That Smell”, “I Know a Little” or “What’s Your Name?”, Had to change the cover when a few days after its appearance on the market, On October 20, 1977 (the LP had hit stores on October 17), Ronnie Van Zant (age 29), Steve Gaines (age 28), Cassie Gaines (age 29), and manager Din Kilpatrick all passed away. Cause of a plane crash when the group was flying from Greenville to Baton Rouge.
2. ‘Second Helping’ (1974)
Opening for the Who expanded Lynyrd Skynyrd’s following, who massively bought their second LP, the great “Second Helping” (1974), again with Kooper as producer. This album contains excellent songs such as “The Ballad Of Curtis Loew”, “Working For MCA”, the anti-drug theme “The Needle And The Spoon” and their most popular song, “Sweet Home Alabama” (number 8 in charts), composed in response to Neil Young’s attacks on the supposed racist and conservative spirit of southern citizens (here the good and always vindictive Neil generalized too much), which he had shown on songs like “Southern Man” from “After The Gold Rush” or in “Alabama” from “Harvest.”
1. ‘(Pronounced ‘Leh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)’ (1973)
The talent of vocalist Ronnie Van Zant in composing with texts of self-affirmation ‘redneck’ in which there was room for humor, nostalgia, glee or feeling, and the triplet of guitarists made up of Ed King with his Fender Stratocaster, Allen Collins with his Gibson Firebird, and Gary Rossington with his Gibson Les Paul, were the basis for his first LP, “Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd” (1973), a southern rock masterpiece produced by Al Kooper himself.