The Definitive Lynyrd Skynyrd Collection is a must-have for hardcore Skynyrd fans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1991

By Steve Newton

I know, I know—you can’t win. Just when you’ve finally replaced all your cherished Lynyrd Skynyrd LPs with half a dozen CDs, along comes a 3-CD box set that covers the entire course of the classic southern rock band’s ill-fated career. Well, don’t sweat it, and hang onto those discs, because the new Skynyrd collection isn’t so much a replacement for past purchases as a companion-piece. And it’s definitely more suited to the real die-hard fan than the casual, “Oh, aren’t they the band that does ‘Sweet Home Alabama’?” type.

While sporting its fair share of radio hits like “Alabama” and “Saturday Night Special”, this collection offers the serious fan a number of previously unreleased demo versions from the early ’70s that really display the countrified roots of Jacksonville, Florida’s favourite sons. Hearing Ronnie Van Zant singing sweetly on a rough, 1970 demo of “Free Bird” (don’t worry, the 1973 Pronounced version is included, too) tugs at the heartstrings for the big-hearted fellow who died—along with guitarist Steve Gaines—in that tragic ’77 plane crash.

Some previously unreleased live tracks and alternative versions round out this package, which also includes a nifty booklet that sports some vintage photos and reveals some little-known facts about the legendary band’s history.

Disc 1 (1970-1973)

  1. “Free Bird” (Demo) (Allen Collins, Ronnie Van Zant) – 4:07
  2. “Junkie” (Demo) (Collins, Van Zant) – 3:48
  3. “He’s Alive” (Demo) (Collins, Van Zant) – 3:09
  4. “One More Time” (Original version) (Gary Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:02
  5. “Gimme Three Steps” (Original version) (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:08
  6. “Trust” (Original version) (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:12
  7. “Comin’ Home” (Collins, Van Zant)– 5:29
  8. “Mr. Banker” (Ed King, Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:18
  9. “Down South Jukin'” (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 2:53
  10. “Truck Drivin’ Man” (King, Van Zant) – 5:15
  11. “I Ain’t the One” (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:46
  12. “Poison Whiskey” (Demo) (King, Van Zant) – 3:08
  13. “Tuesday’s Gone” (Collins, Van Zant) – 7:32
  14. “Things Goin’ On” (Rossington, Van Zant) – 4:58
  15. “Free Bird” (Collins, Van Zant) – 9:09

Disc 2 (1974-1976)

  1. “Sweet Home Alabama” (King, Rossington, Van Zant) – 4:43
  2. “Was I Right Or Wrong?” (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:08
  3. “Workin’ for MCA” (King, Van Zant) – 4:46
  4. “Don’t Ask Me No Questions” (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:24
  5. “Swamp Music” (King, Van Zant) – 3:31
  6. “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:50
  7. “The Needle and the Spoon” (Collins, Van Zant) – 3:52
  8. “Call Me the Breeze” (J.J. Cale) – 5:06
  9. “Saturday Night Special” (King, Van Zant) – 5:08
  10. “Made in the Shade” (Van Zant) – 4:39
  11. “Am I Losin’?” (Rossington, Van Zant) – 4:33
  12. “On the Hunt” (Collins, Van Zant) – 5:26
  13. “(I Got the) Same Old Blues” (Cale) – 4:07
  14. “Double Trouble” (Live) (Collins, Van Zant) – 3:03
  15. “Roll Gypsy Roll” (Collins, Rossington, Van Zant) – 2:49
  16. “All I Can Do Is Write About It” (Acoustic version) (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:20
  17. “Four Walls of Raiford” (Undubbed demo) (Carlisi, Van Zant) – 4:12

Disc 3 (1976-1977)

  1. “Gimme Back My Bullets” (Live) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:37
  2. “Searchin'” (Live) (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:00
  3. “Simple Man” (Live) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 6:48
  4. “Crossroads” (Live) (Robert Johnson) – 4:17
  5. “T for Texas (Blue Yodel #1)” (Live) (Jimmie Rodgers) – 8:42
  6. “Whiskey Rock-A-Roller” (Live) (King, Billy Powell, Van Zant) – 4:16
  7. “Ain’t No Good Life” (Steve Gaines) – 4:38
  8. “What’s Your Name?” (Alternate mix) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:38
  9. “Georgia Peaches” (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:12
  10. “What’s Your Name?” (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:31
  11. “I Never Dreamed” (Gaines, Van Zant) – 5:19
  12. “I Know a Little” (Gaines) – 3:26
  13. “Honky Tonk Night Time Man” (Merle Haggard) – 4:02
  14. “That Smell” (Collins, Van Zant) – 5:47
  15. “You Got That Right” (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:45

 

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