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

To hear the full audio of the interviews I did with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke subscribe to my Patreon page, where you can also eavesdrop on my uncut, one-on-one conversations with:

Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1993
Derek Trucks of Tedeschi Trucks, 2012
Fernando von Arb of Krokus, 1984
Gary Holt of Exodus, 1985
Dizzy Reed of Guns N’ Roses, 1992
Scott Ian of Anthrax, 2012
Gary Lee Conner of Screaming Trees, 1992
Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran, 1985
David “Honeyboy” Edwards, 2003
Rudolf Schenker of Scorpions, 1992
Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick, 2001
Jeff Keith of Tesla, 1988
Doyle Bramhall II and Charlie Sexton of Arc Angels, 1992
Marc Bonilla, 1992
Mike Smith of Sandbox (and Trailer Park Boys), 1996
Dewey Bunnell of America, 1983
Robert Randolph of the Family Band, 2003
Keith Strickland of the B-52s, 2008
David Johansen of the New York Dolls, 2005
Nathan Followill of Kings of Leon, 2003
Todd Kerns, 2016
Bill Payne of Little Feat, 2002
Tommy Shannon of SRV & Double Trouble, 1998
Alejandro Escovedo, 1997
Billy Duffy of the Cult, 1989
Dave Martone, 2020
Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, 2006
Joss Stone, 2012
Glenn Tipton of Judas Priest, 2005
Jack Blades of Night Ranger, 1984
Vivian Campbell of Def Leppard, 1992
Colin James, 1995
Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, 1998
Tom Cochrane of Red Rider, 1983
Ed Roland of Collective Soul, 1995
Taj Mahal, 2001
Tom Wilson of Junkhouse, 1995
Mike McCready of Pearl Jam, 2003
David Lindley, 2002
Marty Friedman of Megadeth, 1991
John Hiatt, 2010
Nancy Wilson of Heart, 2006
Jeff Golub, 1989
Moe Berg of the Pursuit of Happiness, 1990
Todd Rundgren, 2006
Chad Kroeger of Nickelback, 2001
Steve Earle, 1987
Gabby Gaborno of the Cadillac Tramps, 1991
Terry Bozzio, 2003
Roger Glover, 1985
Matthew Sweet, 1995
Jim McCarty of the Yardbirds, 2003
Luther Dickinson of North Mississippi Allstars, 2001
John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls, 1995
Steve Hackett from Genesis, 1993
Grace Potter, 2008
Buddy Guy, 1993
Steve Lynch of Autograph, 1985
Don Wilson of the Ventures, 1997
Gordie Johnson of Big Sugar, 1998
Trevor Rabin of Yes, 1984
Albert Lee, 1986
Yngwie Malmsteen, 1985
Robert Cray, 1996
Tony Carey, 1984
Ian Hunter, 1988
Kate Bush, 1985
David Gilmour from Pink Floyd, 1984
Jeff Healey, 1988
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1996
Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi, 1993
Colin Linden, 1993
Kenny Wayne Shepherd, 1995
Justin Hayward of the Moody Blues, 1986
Elliot Easton from the Cars, 1996
Wayne Kramer from the MC5, 2004
Bob Rock, 1992
Nick Gilder, 1985
Klaus Meine of Scorpions, 1988
Jason Bonham, 1989
Tom Johnston of the Doobie Brothers, 1991
Joey Spampinato of NRBQ, 1985
Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers, 2003
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash, 2003
Steve Kilbey of the Church, 1990
Edgar Winter, 2005
Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde, 1990
Randy Hansen, 2001
Dan McCafferty of Nazareth, 1984
Davy Knowles of Back Door Slam, 2007
Jimmy Barnes from Cold Chisel, 1986
Steve Stevens of Atomic Playboys, 1989
Billy Idol, 1984
Stuart Adamson of Big Country, 1993
Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, 1992
Warren Haynes of Gov’t Mule, 1998
John Bell of Widespread Panic, 1992
Robben Ford, 1993
Barry Hay of Golden Earring, 1984
Jason Isbell, 2007
Joey Belladonna of Anthrax, 1991
Joe Satriani, 1990
Vernon Reid of Living Colour, 1988
Brad Delp of Boston, 1988
Zakk Wylde of Pride & Glory, 1994
John Sykes of Blue Murder, 1989
Alice Cooper, 1986
Lars Ulrich of Metallica, 1985
John Doe, 1990
Shannon Hoon of Blind Melon, 1992
Myles Goodwyn of April Wine, 2001
John Mellencamp, 1999
Mike Campbell of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, 1999
Kenny Aronoff, 1999
Doyle Bramhall II, 2001
Jon Bon Jovi, 1986
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1992
Randy Bachman, 2001
Little Steven, 1987
Stevie Salas, 1990
J.J. Cale, 2009
Joe Bonamassa, 2011
Tommy Emmanuel, 1994
John Petrucci of Dream Theater, 2010
Alex Van Halen, 1995
Eric Johnson, 2001
Stu Hamm, 1991
Gene Simmons of Kiss, 1992
Ace Frehley from Kiss, 2008
David Lee Roth, 1994
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
John Mayall of the Bluesbreakers, 1988
Tony Iommi of Heaven and Hell, 2007
Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1996
Geoff Tate of Queensryche, 1991
James Hetfield of Metallica, 1986
Stevie Ray Vaughan, 1990
Rick Richards of the Georgia Satellites, 1988
Andy McCoy and Sam Yaffa of Hanoi Rocks, 1984
Steve Morse, 1991
Slash of Guns N’ Roses, 1994
Brian May from Queen, 1993
Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, 1991
Jake E. Lee of Badlands, 1992
John Fogerty, 1997
Joe Perry of Aerosmith, 1987
Rick Derringer, 1999
Robin Trower, 1990
Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, 1994
Mick Ronson, 1988
Geddy Lee of Rush, 2002
Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, 1997
Michael Schenker, 1992
Vince Neil of Motley Crue, 1991
Vinnie Paul of Pantera, 1992
Joan Jett, 1992
Sebastian Bach of Skid Row, 1989
Rob Halford of Judas Priest, 1984
Bill Henderson of Chilliwack, 1999
Paul Rodgers, 1997
R.L. Burnside, 1999
Guthrie Govan of the Aristocrats, 2015
Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe, 1985
Carlos Santana, 2011
Walter Trout, 2003
Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot, 1983
Tommy Aldridge, 2001
Donald “Duck” Dunn, 1985
Mark Farner of Grand Funk, 1991
Chris Robinson of Black Crowes, 1990
Jennifer Batten, 2002
Mike Fraser, 2014
Leo Kottke, 2002
Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead, 2002
David Gogo, 1991
Booker T. Jones, 2016
Link Wray, 1997
James Reyne from Australian Crawl, 1988
Mike Rutherford of Genesis, 1983
Buddy Guy, 1991
Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers, 1990
Mike Cooley of the Drive-By Truckers, 2016
Lindsay Mitchell of Prism, 1988
Buddy Miles, 2001
Eddie Money, 1988
Tom Hamilton of Aerosmith, 1983
Gaye Delorme, 1990
Graham Bonnet of Alcatrazz, 1984
Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac, 2016
Doc Neeson of Angel City, 1985
Rik Emmett of Triumph, 1985
Sonny Landreth, 2016
Tosin Abasi of Animals as Leaders, 2016
Jeff Beck, 2001
Albert King, 1990
Johnny Ramone of the Ramones, 1992
Peter Frampton, 1987
Otis Rush, 1997
Gord Downie of the Tragically Hip, 1989
Leslie West of Mountain, 2002
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, 1983
Uli Jon Roth, 2016
Poison Ivy of the Cramps, 1990
Greg Lake of ELP, 1992
Robert Plant, 1993
Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson of AC/DC, 1983
Warren Zevon, 1992
Tal Wilkenfeld, 2016
Steve Clark of Def Leppard, 1988
Roy Buchanan, 1986
Gary Moore, 1984
Ronnie Montrose, 1994
Danny Gatton, 1993
Alex Lifeson of Rush, 1992
Ann Wilson of Heart, 1985
J.J. Cale, 1990
Yngwie Malmsteen, 2014
Chris Cornell, 2008
Long John Baldry, 1985
Allan Holdsworth, 1983
Kim Mitchell, 1984
Warren Haynes of Allman Brothers, 1994
Derek Trucks, 1998
Susan Tedeschi, 1998
Joe Satriani, 2018
B.B. King, 1984
Albert Collins, 1985
Ronnie James Dio, 1985
Tony Iommi of Black Sabbath, 1984
Dick Dale, 2000
Greg Allman, 1998
Dickey Betts, 2001

…with hundreds more to come

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