Street Survivors

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Street Survivors
Studio album by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Released October 17, 1977
Recorded Criteria Studios, Miami, Florida, April 1977; Studio One, Doraville, Georgia, July–August 1977; Muscle Shoals Sound Studios, Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Genre Southern rock, boogie rock
Length 35:26
Label MCA
Producer Tom Dowd, Jimmy Johnson & Tim Smith (track 3)
Lynyrd Skynyrd chronology
One More From the Road
(1976)
Street Survivors
(1977)
Skynyrd's First and... Last
(1978)
Original cover
The original cover of Street Survivors
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Robert Christgau (A)[2]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[3]

Street Survivors is the fifth studio album by Southern rock band, Lynyrd Skynyrd, released on October 17, 1977. The LP is the last Skynyrd album recorded by original members Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, and is the sole Skynyrd studio recording by guitarist Steve Gaines. Three days after the album's release, the band's chartered airplane crashed en route to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, killing the pilot, co-pilot, the group's assistant road-manager and three band members (Van Zant, Gaines, and Gaines' older sister, backup singer Cassie Gaines), and severely injuring most who survived the crash. The album performed well on the charts, peaking at #5 (their first top 5 album), as did the singles "What's Your Name" and "That Smell", the former a top 20 hit on the singles chart.

The album was an instant success, achieving gold certification just ten days after its release. It would later go double platinum.

Background[edit]

The album was recorded twice, once with Tom Dowd at the helm at Criteria Studios in Florida, and then at Studio One in Doraville, Georgia five months later. The Doraville recording was used for the initial release of the album. In March 2008, the album was re-issued with these alternate versions of most of the songs. Differences are minor on some songs, with the major difference being a much slower and extended earlier version of "That Smell." Also included are two songs recorded for, but not included on the original album, "Georgia Peaches," and "Sweet Little Missy," with the latter being included twice, in demo and final form. Also included is a version of "Honky Tonk Night Time Man," with Ronnie's alternate autobiographical vocal take, entitled "Jacksonville Kid," which is believed to be the last vocal take he ever recorded in a studio.

The song "One More Time" was added to the album, presumably after it was decided to drop one of the two tracks above. However, this song is the original recording from their 1971 Muscle Shoals demo; it was not re-recorded for this album. Hence it features Ed King, Greg Walker and Rickey Medlocke in place of Steve Gaines, Leon Wilkeson and Artimus Pyle.

Street Survivors was a showcase for guitarist/vocalist Steve Gaines, who had joined the band just a year earlier on the recommendation of his sister Cassie. Publicly and privately, Ronnie Van Zant marvelled at the multiple talents of Skynyrd's newest member, claiming that the band would "all be in his shadow one day." Gaines' contributions included his co-lead vocal with Van Zant on the co-written "You Got That Right" and the guitar boogie "I Know A Little" which he had written before he joined Skynyrd. So confident was Skynyrd's leader of Gaines' abilities that the album (and some concerts) featured Gaines delivering his self-penned blues "Ain't No Good Life" - one of the few songs in the pre-crash Skynyrd catalog to feature a lead vocalist other than Ronnie Van Zant. The album also included the hit singles "What's Your Name" and the ominous "That Smell" - a cautionary tale about drug abuse that was clearly aimed at one of the band members (both Collins and Gary Rossington had serious car accidents which slowed the recording of the album).

Plane crash[edit]

On October 20, 1977, just three days after the release of Street Survivors, and five shows into their most successful headlining tour to date, Lynyrd Skynyrd's chartered Convair CV-300 ran out of fuel near the end of their flight from Greenville, South Carolina, where they had just performed at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium, to LSU in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Though the pilots attempted an emergency landing on a small airstrip, the plane crashed in a forest in McComb, Mississippi.[4] Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, Cassie Gaines, assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick, pilot Walter McCreary and co-pilot William Gray were killed on impact; the other band members (Collins, Rossington, Wilkeson, Powell, Pyle, and Hawkins), tour manager Ron Eckerman,[5] and road crew suffered serious injuries.

Following the crash and the ensuing press, Street Survivors became the band's second platinum album and reached No. 5 on the U.S. album chart. The single "What's Your Name" reached No. 13 on the single airplay charts in January 1978.

The original cover sleeve for Street Survivors had featured a photograph of the band, particularly Steve Gaines, engulfed in flames. After the plane crash killed several band members, this cover became highly controversial. Out of respect for the deceased (and at the request of Teresa Gaines, Steve's widow), MCA Records withdrew the original cover and replaced it with a similar image of the band against a simple black background, which was on the back cover of the original sleeve .[6] Thirty years later, for the deluxe CD version of Street Survivors, the original "flames" cover was restored.

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "What's Your Name" (Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant) – 3:30
  2. "That Smell" (Allen Collins, Van Zant) – 5:47
  3. "One More Time" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:03
  4. "I Know a Little" (Steve Gaines) – 3:26

Side two[edit]

  1. "You Got That Right" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:44
  2. "I Never Dreamed" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 5:21
  3. "Honky Tonk Night Time Man" (Merle Haggard) – 3:59
  4. "Ain't No Good Life" (Gaines) – 4:36

2001 CD reissue bonus tracks[edit]

  1. "Georgia Peaches" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:15
  2. "Sweet Little Missy" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:10
  3. "You Got That Right (Alternate Version)" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:26
  4. "I Never Dreamed (Alternate Version)" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 4:55
  5. "Jacksonville Kid" (Haggard, Van Zant) - 4:03

30th Anniversary Edition CD bonus disc[edit]

  1. "What's Your Name (Original Version)" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:33
  2. "That Smell (Original Version)" (Collins, Van Zant) – 5:29
  3. "You Got That Right (Original Version)" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:19
  4. "I Never Dreamed (Original Version)" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 5:22
  5. "Georgia Peaches" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 3:14
  6. "Sweet Little Missy (Original Version)" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:16
  7. "Sweet Little Missy (Demo Version)" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:11
  8. "Ain't No Good Life (Original Version)" (Gaines) – 5:02
  9. "That Smell (Complete Original Version)" (Collins, Van Zant) – 7:30
  10. "Jacksonville Kid" (Haggard, Van Zant) - 4:09
  11. "You Got That Right (Live)" (Gaines, Van Zant) – 4:41
  12. "That Smell (Live)" (Collins, Van Zant) – 6:05
  13. "Ain't No Good Life (Live)" (Gaines) – 5:01
  14. "What's Your Name (Live)" (Rossington, Van Zant) – 3:28
  15. "Gimme Three Steps (Live)" (Collins, Van Zant) – 5:09

Personnel[edit]

track "One More Time" featuring Ed King (guitar), Greg T. Walker (bass), Rick Medlocke (drums and bk vocals); Tim Smith & Leslie Hawkins (bk vocals).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011). "Street Survivors - Lynyrd Skynyrd | AllMusic". allmusic.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  2. ^ Christgau, Robert (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: Lynyrd Skynyrd". robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  3. ^ Hiatt, Brian (2011). "Lynyrd Skynyrd: Street Survivors [Deluxe Edition] : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". web.archive.org. Retrieved 14 August 2011. 
  4. ^ "Accident report, N55VM (10/20/77)". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 2011-09-14. 
  5. ^ Smashwords — Turn It Up! — A book by Ron Eckerman. Smashwords.com. Retrieved on 2012-12-15.
  6. ^ "The 'Lynyrd Skynyrd' Crash". Check-Six.com. May 2007. Retrieved July 5, 2008.