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Southern Rock Opera

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Editors’ Notes

The Drive-By Truckers had already delivered three albums before Southern Rock Opera was released in 2001, but this is the effort that turned everyone's heads. Here, over the course of a double-album, the Athens, Georgia-based ensemble gave the finger to overtly ironic indie-rock with an earnest musical tribute to the career of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Oddly enough, it worked. Three electric guitars, tons of raw rock energy, and lyrics that are more inspired than the Skynyrd originals all make for a fun listen. Songs such as "Dead, Drunk, And Naked" and "Let There Be Rock" may not change the world, but they do make for a fitting tribute to the enduring appeal of Southern rock.

Customer Reviews

A concept album worth the concept

There are few concept albums in the history of rock 'n' roll that really, actually, good. The Who "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia", Pink Floyd "The Wall" and... well I can't think of any others right now. But this one is a classic. Disc I starts with "Days of Graduation" setting the scene in the mythological south, haunted by demons and the spirit of Lynyrd Skynyrd, that much maligned and misunderstood American rock band. With detours into politics and small vignettes (many taken from the DBT's own experiences, like Mike Cooley's "Guitar Man Upstairs.) Disc II is more focused on the actual legend of Lynyrd Skynyrd's rise and fall. "Let There Be Rock" shows how arena rock was an escape for young kids growing up in a reckless, alienated environment of the deep south in the late 70s. Disc II concludes with an epic triptych of songs about the actual crash of Skynyrd's plane, en route from "Greenville to Baton Rouge." Ultimately, though, the album is a celebration of life and letting go, because at some point everyone must "shut your mouth and get your ass on the plane." An American classic. Best rock album of the decade so far.

Why is a DL $5 more than a retail version?

Great CD but how can iTunes charge more for a download than I can get this disc at BestBuy or Circuit City?

Download the whole album

Have you ever noticed that there have been a couple of albums (and then CD's) that came through your life that you handled differently? Those few that you treated with a reverence that you never used with most of the rest of your music collection. You didn't have to think about it or try, you were just automatically careful to only touch the edges, and you always had to blow off any traces of dust before you slid them back in the cover. I'm trying to think of the few that I've treated like that. There weren't many. I know Gold & Platinum was one. I treat my "Southern Rock Opera" CD like that. Same reverence. Download these three songs: "72 This Highway's Mean" "Shut Up and Get on the Plane" "Greenville to Baton Rouge" And then, after you buy the whole album, notice how careful you are to make sure you back it up to a CD.


Formed: 1996 in Athens, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Boasting a mix of Southern pride, erudite lyrics, and a muscled three-guitar attack, Drive-By Truckers became one of the most well-respected alternative country-rock acts of the 2000s. Led by frontman Patterson Hood and featuring a rotating cast of Georgia and Alabama natives, the band celebrated the South while refusing to paint over its spotty past. History, folklore, politics, and character studies all shared equal space in the Truckers catalog, which offered up its first blast of gutsy, twangy...
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