Lynyrd Skynyrd – Christmas Time Again (2000)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain FCIt’s a long way from Jacksonville, Florida, to the North Pole, but first generation Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd put antifreeze in the old touring van and set a course for Santa’s workshop with this seasonal outing. The band, which now consists of three founders and a handful of later recruits, mix Yule warhorses (“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Greensleeves”) and more recent fare (“Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin’,” “Run Run Rudolph,” Eddie C. Campbell´s customized-for-Christmas take on “Messin’ with the Kid”) with a smattering of originals. Guests Charlie Daniels and 38 Special check in with one song apiece, giving the whole project a kind of TV variety-show feel–that is, if you can picture a bearded Perry Como with a stack of Marshall amps at his back. (by Steven Stolder)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain CoverIllustrationPersonnel:
Kenny Aronoff (drums)
Rick Medlocke (guitar, vocals)
Billy Powell (keyboards)
Gary Rossington (guitar)
Dale Krantz-Rossington (vocals)
Hughie Thompson (guitar, background vocals)
Leon Wilkeson (bass)
Johnny van Zant (vocals)
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Carol Chase (background vocals)
Charlie Daniels (fiddle, vocals on 05.)
38 Special (on 10.)

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgainPromoSingleFCPromo single frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Santa´s Messin´ With The Kid (Campbell) 3.15
02. Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (Marks) 2.31
03. Christmas Time Again (Medlocke/Rossington/Rossington/Thomasson/v.Zant) 4.34
04. Greensleeves (Traditional) 2.18
05. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town (Coots/Gillespie) 3.08
06. Run Run Rudolph (Bridue/Marks/Medlocke) 3.34
07. Classical Christmas (Medlocke/Rossington/Rossington/Thomasson/v.Zant) 2.09
08. Hallelujah, It´s Christmas (Barnes/Chauncey/v.Zant) 4.01
09. Skynyrd Family (Medlocke/Rossingtgon/Thomasson/v.Zant) 3.00

LynyrdSkynyrdChristmasTimeAgain CD*
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Lynyrd Skynyrd – One More From The Road (2001)

FrontCover1In the following days I will present some of my brother´s most important albums … Now his chemotherapy starts and I hope …

I will start with southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd:

Double live albums were commonplace during the ’70s, even for bands that weren’t particularly good in concert. As a travelin’ band, Lynyrd Skynyrd made their fame and fortune by being good in concert, so it made sense that they released a double-live, entitled One More from the Road, in 1976, months after the release of their fourth album, Gimme Back My Bullets. That might have been rather quick for a live album — only three years separated this record from the group’s debut — but it was Live01enthusiastically embraced, entering the Top Ten (it would become one of their best-selling albums, as well). It’s easy to see why it was welcomed, since this album demonstrates what a phenomenal catalog of songs Skynyrd accumulated. Street Survivors, which appeared the following year, added “That Smell” and “You Got That Right” to the canon, but this pretty much has everything else, sometimes extended into jams as long as those of the Allmans, but always much rawer, nearly dangerous. That catalog, as much as the strong performances, makes One More from the Road worth hearing. Heard here, on one record, the consistency of Skynyrd’s work falls into relief, and they not only clearly tower above their peers based on what’s here; the cover of “T for Texas” illustrates that they’re carrying on the Southern tradition, not starting a new one. Like most live albums, this is not necessarily essential, but if you’re a fan, it’s damn hard to take this album off after it starts. (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

Live02

Personnel:
Allen Collins (guitar)
Steve Gaines (guitar, background vocals)
Billy Powell (piano)
Artimus Pyle (drums)
Gary Rossington (guitar, keyboards)
Ronnie Van Zant – vocals
Leon Wilkeson (bass)
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Cassie Gaines (background vocals)
Leslie Hawkins (background vocals)
Sam McPherson (harmonica, background vocals)

Live03

Tracklist:

CD 1:
01. Introduction / Workin’ For MCA (King/v.Zant) 5.32
02. I Ain’t The One (Rossington/v.Zant) 3.47
03. Saturday Night Special (King/v.Zant) 5.39
04. Searching (Collins/v.Zant) 4.00
05. Travellin’ Man (Wilkeson/v.Zant) 4.37
06. Simple Man (Rossington/v.Zant) 6.56
07. Whiskey Rock-A-Roller (Powell/King/v.Zant) 4.48
08. The Needle And The Spoon (Collins/v.Zant) 4.35
09. Gimme Back My Bullets (Rossington/v.Zant) 4.01
10. Tuesday’s Gone (Collins/v.Zant) 8.25
11. Gimme Three Steps (Collins/v.Zant) 5.10
12. Call Me The Breeze (Cale) 5.50
13. T For Texas (Rodgers) 9.14

CD 2:
01. Sweet Home Alabama (King/Rossington/v.Zant) 7.28
02. Crossroads (Johnson) 4.16
03. Free Bird (Collins/v.Zant) 14.18
04. Introduction / Workin’ For MCA (alternate take) (King/v.Zant) 5.37
05. I Ain’t The One (alternate take) (Rossington/v.Zant) 3.52
06. Searching (alternate take) (Collins/v.Zant) 4.13
07. Gimme Three Steps (alternate take) (Collins/v.Zant) 4.42
08. Call Me The Breeze (alternate take) (Cale) 5.43
09. Sweet Home Alabama (alternate take) (King/Rossington/v.Zant) 7.25
10. Crossroads (alternate take) (Johnson) 4.46
11. Free Bird (alternate take) (Collins/v.Zant) 14.55

CD1CD 1:
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CD 2:
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Lynyrd Skynyrd – Winterland (1976)

LynyrdSkynrdWinterland1976FCAfter years of life on the road and with their role models, the Allman Brothers Band, struggling to survive the deaths of two of its most distinctively talented members, today Lynyrd Skynyrd has become the quintessential Southern Rock band. Under the leadership of frontman and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, the group’s melodic lyric driven ballads and power driven hard rockers would catapult the group into one of the most popular touring bands in the world. The group’s distinctive guitar attack, combined with an overtly defiant and rebellious attitude, gave them a cultural identity that would help make songs like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Free Bird” into anthems of American rock music and staples of FM radio right up to the present day.

Headlining a bill that also featured the Outlaws, this Winterland recording captures Lynyrd Skynyrd following the release of their fourth album, Gimme Back My Bullets. This was during a transitional phase for the band, following the departure of guitarist Ed King, but prior to his replacement, Steve Gaines, coming on board. The band was carrying on as a six-piece unit, augmented by the Honkettes on backing vocals.

This is an interesting time to hear the band live, as their trademark three-guitar attack was reduced by one guitar, leaving more room for keyboardist Billy Powell. On the ballads, like “Tuesdays Gone” and the pre-jam verses of “Freebird,” Powell displays great creativity and expands the keyboard’s role in these songs.

Otherwise, the band rocks as hard as ever, with a good selection of their most popular songs, sampling a bit from all four of their studio albums. The group’s defiant Southern swagger, combined with an infectious guitar and piano driven groove, creates an irresistible combination that resonated far beyond the Southern states. Two of the standouts on this show are both well chosen covers, which the band redefines as their own; J.J. Cale’s “Call Me The Breeze” and Jimmy Rogers’ “T For Texas.” Both of these are rearranged in classic Skynyrd style, with the latter closing the set and clearly displaying the root sound of the band at its best.

The audience demands an encore and the band obliges with a monumental “Free Bird.” It begins as a plaintive slow ballad, with Van Zant’s distinctively sad vocals over the melodic keyboard playing of Powell and delicate slide guitar ornamentation from Rossington. However, it is the second section, which becomes an up-tempo guitar boogie, that really hits home. Here the guitarists cut loose to create one of the most distinctive solos of all time. Rossington and Collins turn this section into a soaring jam that also features impressive melodic bass playing from Wilkeson and furious keyboards from Powell. Following a brief reprise of the song, they turn on a dime back into the groove of the jam before bringing it to a climactic close.

“Free Bird,” more often than not, sarcastically, would become the most requested song of all time. For musicians, this inevitable request has become so tiresome, that the act of requesting it has become universally known as “the mantra of the moron.” Still, this only goes to prove just how deeply this song has permeated American culture and is a testament to its enduring popularity, making it one of the true landmark rock songs of twentieth century music.

LynyrdSkynrdWinterland1976Personnel:
Allen Collins ( guitar)
Billy Powell (keyboards)
Artimus Pyle (drums)
Gary Rossington (guitar)
Leon Wilkinson (bass)
Ronnie Van Zant (vocals)
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JoJo Billingsley (background vocals)
Cassie Gaines (background vocals)
Leslie Hawkins (background vocals)

LynyrdSkynrdWinterland1976AlternateFCAlternate frontcover

Tracklist:
01. Cry For The Bad Man (Rossington/Collins/v.Zant) 5.36
02. Saturday Night Special (King/v.Zant) 5.35
03. Searchin´ (Collins/v.Zant9 3.53
04. I Got The Same Old Blues (Cale) 4.28
05. Gimme Back My Bullets (Rossington/v.Zant) 4.22
06. Tuesday´s Gone (Rossington/Collins/v.Zant) 7.46
07. The Needle And The Spoon (Collins/v.Zant) 4.49
08. Gimme Three Steps/Call Me The Breeze (Collins/v.Zant/Cale) 10.07
09. Sweet Home Alabama (King/Rossington/v.Zant) 6.27
10. T. For Texas (Rodgers) 11.23
11. Free Bird (Collins/v.Zant) 12.58

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