(4 / 5)
Ill-fated legendary Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd first formed in 1964, when this fledgling bunch of Jacksonville, Florida rockers were playing colleges before graduating to local bars.
Lynyrd Skynyrd were primed for international success with their debut record in 1973, but their career was cut short in October 1977 when their plane crashed at the outset of their ‘Street Survivors’ tour.
The surviving members regrouped in 1987 for the Lynyrd Skynyrd Tribute Tour, fronted by Johnny Van Zandt, younger brother of inimitable Skynyrd singer and front man Ronnie Van Zandt.
Johnny was joined by original band members Gary Rossington on guitar, Ed King on guitar, Leon Wilkeson on bass, Billy Powell on keyboards and Artimus Pyle on drums for “Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991”.
Guided by legendary producer Tom Dowd, and signing to Atlantic Records, “1991” – disc one of this set – kicks off with single “Smokestack Lightning”. This new five-disc box set includes the single edit of “Keeping The Faith” as a bonus track.
1993’s “The Last Rebel”, their seventh album and second for Atlantic – found on this set as CD two – included the singles “Good Lovin’s Hard To Find” and “Born To Run”. The three bonus tracks included here are “The Last Rebel” (Edit) “The Last Rebel” (Acoustic) and “Born To Run” (Edit).
Their thirteenth record “Gods & Guns” came out in in 2009 on Roadrunner Records. Found here as disc three. It included guest spots from John 5 and Rob Zombie, and produced by Bob Marlette. Their highest charting release since 1977’s “Street Survivors”, peaking at #18 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
By this time, southern rock legend Ricky Medlocke had been a fully paid-up member of Skynyrd for more than twenty years.
Kicking off with the singles “Still Unbroken” and “Simple Life”, it marked the final album to feature keyboard player Billy Powell, who sadly passed away at the beginning of 2009.
The fourth CD here, gives us “Guns And Gods” bonus tracks: “Bang Bang”, “Raining In My Heartland”, “Hobo Kinda Man”, plus three live tracks recorded at the Freedom Hall in Louisville, Kentucky: “Red White & Blue’ (Live)”, JJ Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” (Live) and the stone cold classic, “Sweet Home Alabama” (Live).
The fifth of disc of this set is the band’s 2012 album, their 14th studio album, “Last Of A Dyin’ Breed”. That was a hit record, peaking at #14 on the US chart.
Again, produced by Bob Marlette and released on Roadrunner Records, the title track was released as the lead single.
After the original 11 album tracks, this set also includes six bonus tracks: “Poor Man’s Dream”, “Do It Up Light”, “Sad Songs”, “Low Down Dirty”, “Skynyrd Nation” (Live) and finishing off with a live rendition of “Gimme Three Steps”, a track from their 1973 debut.
A bumper 61 tracks across five discs for around £25. What’s not to like? Play it LOUD!
By Christopher Weston
(2 / 5) ‘OK Zone’
(3 / 5) ‘Decent Zone’
(4 / 5) ‘Super Zone’
(5 / 5) ‘Awesome Zone’