1. #1

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    Having watched the Lynyrd Skynyrd rockumentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow the other night, I am in the middle of a Lynyrd Skynyrd-a-thon.

    Their first album is certainly of the most self-assured and polished first efforts by any major group. Produced by Al Kooper, the band's sound is fully formed. The rhythm section is a powerhouse and propels the songs, while the vaunted 3-guitar attack is intricate and well synchronized.

    A couple of observations: I thought Allen Collins did most of the solos in their well-known songs, but I just found out that Ed King did the incredible, very concise solos in Sweet Home Alabama.

    Though they were similar to the Allmans in many ways, they were arguably more musically diverse than the Allmans, in their influences and arrangements. What I mean is that while Gregg and Duane got their inspiration from black and country blues and old R&B groups, like Skynyrd, they (Allmans) tended to play everything in a certain bombastic way, kind of the way Santana puts a salsa spin on everything they do. Skynyrd was believe it or not more subtle and varied in their approach. Ballads and R&B screamers and boogie woogie and soft blues shuffles all get equal airplay. Billie Powell was a powerhouse on barrelhouse piano and also set them apart from the other guitar-based groups of the day.

    And Ronnie Van Zandt is certainly a poet of the Southern working class in a way that few other rock musicians were. A band member said if you want to know what Ronnie was like, just listen to any 6 Skynyrd songs at random. He wrote about what he knew and lived.

    I didn't know until just now that the iconic organ work on the original Free Bird was played by the album's producer, Al Kooper, once again showing that he deserves some kind of an MVP award.

    Anyway, here's to good ole Southern redneck rock'n'roll.


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  3. #2

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    I enjoyed this also. What struck me was how hard working those guys were from day 1.

    They really brought out how good Van Zandt was in relating to " the good ole boys " lyrically.

    I thought that when Steve Gaines joined the group it took them to another level. Similar to when Powell played with them on piano. That last album ( Street Survivor ) was incredible.

  4. #3

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    I liked how it brought up the more controversial stuff they did.
    The line about Birmingham's governor, Saturday Night Special and why they flew the Confederate flag. I feel like they don't have to be a guilty pleasure anymore.

  5. #4

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    Ed King played bass on all but two tracks on the first album, as well. He claimed in an interview that Ronnie took him aside and told him he was the worst bass player he'd ever heard and they were going to hire Leon Wilkeson back.

    .
    Last edited by FwLineberry; 10-20-2021 at 11:14 AM.

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    I agree with Keith, Steve Gaines added some stardust to an already great band. I think he would have been up there with the greats had he not been killed in the air-crash. Super song-writer and singer, too.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Having watched the Lynyrd Skynyrd rockumentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow the other night, I am in the middle of a Lynyrd Skynyrd-a-thon.

    Their first album is certainly of the most self-assured and polished first efforts by any major group. Produced by Al Kooper, the band's sound is fully formed. The rhythm section is a powerhouse and propels the songs, while the vaunted 3-guitar attack is intricate and well synchronized.

    A couple of observations: I thought Allen Collins did most of the solos in their well-known songs, but I just found out that Ed King did the incredible, very concise solos in Sweet Home Alabama.

    Though they were similar to the Allmans in many ways, they were arguably more musically diverse than the Allmans, in their influences and arrangements. What I mean is that while Gregg and Duane got their inspiration from black and country blues and old R&B groups, like Skynyrd, they (Allmans) tended to play everything in a certain bombastic way, kind of the way Santana puts a salsa spin on everything they do. Skynyrd was believe it or not more subtle and varied in their approach. Ballads and R&B screamers and boogie woogie and soft blues shuffles all get equal airplay. Billie Powell was a powerhouse on barrelhouse piano and also set them apart from the other guitar-based groups of the day.

    And Ronnie Van Zandt is certainly a poet of the Southern working class in a way that few other rock musicians were. A band member said if you want to know what Ronnie was like, just listen to any 6 Skynyrd songs at random. He wrote about what he knew and lived.

    I didn't know until just now that the iconic organ work on the original Free Bird was played by the album's producer, Al Kooper, once again showing that he deserves some kind of an MVP award.

    Anyway, here's to good ole Southern redneck rock'n'roll.

    "Simple Man" is my favorite song on Skynerd's first album. From what I read years ago, it sounds like the song almost didn't make it on to the album. Al Kooper didn't like the "Simple Man" (he thought it was kind of cheesy), and refused to produce it. So, when it came time to record "Simple Man", they had Al go somewhere else, until they were done with recording it.



    I like the cool story that Gary Rossington has told about his main guitar - a 1959 Les Paul he calls "Bernice". According to Gary, he forgot to put it back in its case after using it from some recording, during the "Street Survivor" album sessions. The guitar spent the night on its stand, and when Gary slung it over his shoulder the next day, to record some more guitar parts, the headstock fell off (it's thought that one of the recording studio's cleaning crew must have knocked the guitar off of the stand it was on). Gary became upset, and declaring the guitar was a lost cause, left the studio, and went for a walk. He was found while walking, and told by the recording studio's maintenance man, that the neck could be fixed. Gary didn't believe it could be done right, and told the guy that he could have the guitar. The next morning, when Gary showed up at the studio to do more recording, he was handed the now repaired Les Paul, and was surprised to find out that the recording studio's maintenance man had done a great job of repairing the headstock break. Gary has continued using "Bernice" to this day, as his main guitar, with headstock repair holding up fine.

    musiccorners.com/gary-rossington-guitar-story-1959-gibson-les-paul-standard

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by FwLineberry
    Ed King played bass on all but two racks on the first album, as well. He claimed in an interview that Ronnie took him aside and told him he was the worst bass player he'd ever heard and they were going to hire Leon Wilkeson back.
    That may be, but the bass on Gimme Two Steps just rocks. GREAT bassline—makes the song.

  9. #8

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    Shall we resurrect once again in what key is SHA?