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Album Review

Known simply as Pronounced by most enthusiasts, this is the debut long-player for Southern rock gurus Lynyrd Skynyrd. This edition has been expanded to include five demos, three of which are available here for the first time. Likewise, Pronounced would introduce several seminal entries into the Skynyrd catalog: "Gimmie Three Steps" and "Simple Man," as well as their most enduring contribution, the epic rocker "Free Bird." Lynyrd Skynyrd had in fact released several 45s dating as far back as 1968 on the regionally distributed Shade Tree label out of their hometown of Jacksonville, FL. Not only was Pronounced their debut album, it also contained notable contributions credited to Roosevelt G**k, who was in reality Al Kooper. After spotting the band in an Atlanta, GA, bar called Funochio's, Kooper signed them to his MCA Records-distributed vanity label, Sounds of the South. The influence that Kooper had on the band has infinitely more to do with presentation than style, as Lynyrd Skynyrd's own distinct brand of sonic Southern comfort pervades every note of this swamp-rocking release. Even the lilting and melodic arrangements worked up by Kooper for "Tuesday's Gone" and "Mississippi Kid" can't disguise Ronnie Van Zant's edgy lead vocals and the punchy, aggressive fretwork of Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, and former Strawberry Alarm Clock member Ed King. Although normally relegated to bass, King's distinctive lead guitar licks on "Mississippi Kid" prove beyond doubt he was a master blues player as well as a thumping bassist. This expanded edition deserves high marks for the infinite improvement in sound quality — going so far as to best even the pricey gold-disc version. No longer does the orchestrated synthesizer accompaniment in "Tuesday's Gone" sound harsh and brittle. Likewise, the unmistakable opening guitar riff to "Gimmie Three Steps" now sounds clean and raw with the attack delivered with previously unheard precision. The bonus demos — recorded with the advance monies given to the band from MCA — were also produced by Kooper with a more hands-off approach needed to accurately assess the band's strengths and weaknesses. Standout performances include non-album tracks "Down South Jukin'" and "Mr. Banker." The latter was actually released as a B-side on the 45 rpm issue of "Free Bird." Enthusiasts interested in other primitive Lynyrd Skynyrd recordings should check out Skynyrd's First: Complete Muscle Shoals Album as well as Skynyrd Collectybles — which contains a not-to-be-missed live six-song radio simulcast from WMC-FM on October 30, 1973.

Customer Reviews

Who's that?

Well the first time I heard this, that was it, it hit me like a baseball bat. Went to Harmony House and got the album, put on cassette and gave it to my Friends. This started my love for skynyrd.

Free Bird

Into classic rock? This album contains one of the most legendary classics ever written.


This album is what gave me my love for rock music and still have that passion today. My father grew up watching this band live and listening to their music. My memories of this album were in our family Nova while taking me to daycare and rocking out to this album. Simple Man is still to date my favorite song of all time. Not only because of the melodies but because of the message. Lynyrd Skynyrd was one amazing group of musicians and I genuinely miss that type of energy and creativity in music today. Long live Skynyrd. Classic classic album.


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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