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The Essential Lynyrd Skynyrd

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Album Review

Putting together the definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd retrospective would be a daunting prospect to all but the most callous of critics who still deny the group their place at the table of rock & roll heroes and innovators. This two-disc, 25-track anthology makes the perfect introductory set to this Southern rock institution, and one great career overview for longtime fans. All the hits like "Sweet Home Alabama," "Gimme Three Steps," "Saturday Night Special," and "That Smell" are aboard, along with "What's Your Name," "Workin' for MCA," "I Know a Little," and "Free Bird" in both live and original studio versions. Other highlights include great album tracks like "The Ballad of Curtis Loew," "Call Me the Breeze," and "You Got That Right," an acoustic version of "All I Can Do Is Write About It," and early demo versions of "Four Walls of Raiford" and "Comin' Home." If you're planning on only making one Lynyrd Skynyrd entry into your collection, this is certainly the one to get.


Formed: 1965 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Lynyrd Skynyrd was the definitive Southern rock band, fusing the overdriven power of blues-rock with a rebellious Southern image and a hard rock swagger. Skynyrd never relied on the jazzy improvisations of the Allman Brothers. Instead, they were a hard-living, hard-driving rock & roll band -- they may have jammed endlessly on-stage, but their music remained firmly entrenched in blues, rock, and country. For many, Lynyrd Skynyrd's redneck image tended to obscure the songwriting skills of their leader,...
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