Not only does this remastered reissue of Skynyrd’s 1973 debut sound better than ever-it is usually expanded to include five demos, three of ’em unreleased! So you get Free Bird; Gimme Three Steps; Simple Man , and the remainder of the original LP plus demos of Mr. Banker; Down South Jukin’; Tuesday’s Gone; Gimme Three Steps , and an improbable 11-minutes-plus version of Free Bird !
Where the Allman Brothers and Marshall Tucker had a more restrained, accomplished rock sound, Florida’s Lynyrd Skynyrd took any other approach, evoking images of whiskey, Confederate flags, hard luck, and greasy dive bars in their music. The like-minded Molly Hatchet and .38 Special couldn’t come with reference to matching the lyrical talent and natural-born rock-and-boogie abilities of Skynyrd. And, of course, no other band can lay claim to essentially the most-requested song within the history of rock music, the anthemic “Free Bird,” the point of interest of this, their 1973 debut. With the exception of spawning countless tomes of bad poetry by pockmarked 15-year-olds in all places with “Free Bird,” they demonstrated a mastery of the rock ballad with the time-tested “Tuesday’s Gone,” any other highlight of this notable first offering. –Lorry Fleming