(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)

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(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
Lynyrdskynyrd.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedAugust 13, 1973 (1973-08-13)
RecordedMarch 27 – May 1, 1973
StudioStudio One, Doraville, Georgia, U.S.
Genre
Length43:03
LabelMCA
ProducerAl Kooper
Lynyrd Skynyrd chronology
(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
(1973)
Second Helping
(1974)
Singles from (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
  1. "Gimme Three Steps"
    Released: November 1973
  2. "Free Bird"
    Released: November 1974
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic5/5 stars[1]
Robert ChristgauA[2]

(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) is the debut album from American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, released in 1973.[3] The album features several of the band's most well-known songs, including "Gimme Three Steps," "Simple Man," "Tuesday's Gone" and "Free Bird," which launched the band to national stardom.

The album was certified gold on December 18, 1974, platinum and double platinum on July 21, 1987, by the RIAA. The album also peaked at 27 in the Billboard 200 in 1975.

Overview[edit]

Most of the songs on the album had been in the band's live repertoire for some time. The band found a rural rehearsal space near Jacksonville which they nicknamed "Hell House" due to the long hours spent there jamming in the intense Florida heat, and it was there that they composed and ran through the songs endlessly until they were perfected. Producer Al Kooper marveled at how well prepared the band were once they entered the studio; every note was immutable and absolutely no improvisation was allowed.[4]

Bassist Leon Wilkeson left the band early in the album's recording sessions after recording the tracks "Mississippi Kid" and "Tuesday's Gone". Ex-Strawberry Alarm Clock guitarist Ed King had been extremely impressed with the band after an earlier incarnation of Skynyrd had opened for Strawberry Alarm Clock in Florida circa 1970. He told vocalist Ronnie Van Zant to keep him in mind if he ever needed a guitarist, and Van Zant immediately thought of him and he was given an invitation to replace Wilkeson as bassist. Once the recording sessions were wrapping up, Van Zant decided that King would better serve the band as a guitarist, and he visited Wilkeson and convinced him to rejoin. Wilkeson returned to the band and King moved to lead guitar, giving the band what would become their trademark "Three Guitar Army" along with Allen Collins and Gary Rossington.[4]

Drummer Bob Burns was absent from recording for a brief period, and Atlanta Rhythm Section drummer and friend of the band Robert Nix appears on the track "Tuesday's Gone".

As the band worked up "Simple Man" in rehearsal, producer Kooper expressed his feeling that the song was weak and shoudn't be included on the album. The band felt differently on both counts and couldn't change Kooper's mind. Ultimately, Van Zant escorted the producer outside to his car and ordered him to remain there until the song was recorded. The band recorded the song on their own with the producer banned from the studio, and it subsequently became one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's most well known tracks.[4]

American troops returning home from the Vietnam War by plane in the mid-1970s traveled on what became known as the Freebird Express, and it was common for the song "Free Bird" to be played in their honour as they boarded the planes.

The album was re-released in 2001 as an expanded version with bonus tracks, including demos of many of the songs on the album.[1] Sales through 2014 were an estimated 2 million units internationally.[5]

Cover art[edit]

The cover photograph was taken on Main Street in Jonesboro, Georgia and shows, from left to right, Leon Wilkeson (seated), Billy Powell (seated), Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington (seated), Bob Burns, Allen Collins and Ed King. The photo was the last in a long day of shooting for the album cover, and Rossington vomited on the sidewalk seconds after it was taken.[4]

With Ed King's death on August 22, 2018, Rossington is the last surviving member of Lynyrd Skynyrd pictured in this photo.

Reception[edit]

Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd immediately put the band on the rock-and-roll map. Upon its release, rock journalist Robert Christgau acknowledged the quality of the songs and gave the album an "A" rating while referring to Lynyrd Skynyrd as a "staunchly untranscendent band".[2] Producer Al Kooper, a close friend of Pete Townshend's, secured the band a spot opening for The Who on their American tour, and Lynyrd Skynyrd was subsequently exposed to much larger audiences than they'd ever seen before.[4]

In 2003 Rolling Stone magazine ranked the album number 403 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
1."I Ain't the One"Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant3:53
2."Tuesday's Gone"Allen Collins, Van Zant7:32
3."Gimme Three Steps"Collins, Van Zant4:30
4."Simple Man"Rossington, Van Zant5:57
Side two
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
5."Things Goin' On"Rossington, Van Zant5:00
6."Mississippi Kid"Bob Burns, Al Kooper, Van Zant3:56
7."Poison Whiskey"Ed King, Van Zant3:13
8."Free Bird"Collins, Van Zant9:09
Total length:43:03
2001 CD reissue bonus tracks
No.TitleWriter(s)Length
9."Mr. Banker" (demo)King, Rossington, Van Zant5:23
10."Down South Jukin'" (demo)Collins, Van Zant2:57
11."Tuesday's Gone" (demo)Collins, Van Zant7:56
12."Gimme Three Steps" (demo)Collins, Van Zant5:20
13."Free Bird" (demo)Collins, Van Zant11:09

Personnel[edit]

Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Ronnie Van Zant – lead vocals, lyrics
  • Gary Rossington – lead guitar on "Tuesday's Gone," "Gimme Three Steps," "Things Goin' On" and "Poison Whiskey"; rhythm guitar on all others, slide guitar on "Free Bird."
  • Allen Collins – lead guitar on "I Ain't The One" and "Free Bird," rhythm guitar on all others
  • Ed King – lead guitar on "Mississippi Kid," bass guitar on all tracks except "Mississippi Kid" and "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Billy Powell – keyboards
  • Bob Burns – drums except on "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Leon Wilkeson – bass guitar on "Mississippi Kid" and "Tuesday's Gone"
Additional personnel
  • Al Kooper (Roosevelt Gook) – bass, Mellotron and back-up harmony on "Tuesday's Gone," mandolin & bass drum on "Mississippi Kid," organ on "Simple Man," "Poison Whiskey" and "Free Bird", Mellotron on "Free Bird"
  • Robert Nix – drums on "Tuesday's Gone"
  • Bobbye Hall – percussion on "Gimme Three Steps" and "Things Goin' On"
  • Steve Katz – harmonica on "Mississippi Kid"
Technical
  • Al Kooper – Producer, Engineer
  • Bobby Langford – Engineer
  • Rodney Mills – Engineer
  • Thomas Hill – Photography
  • Michael Diehl – Design

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Stephen Thomas Erlewine. "(pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd) - Lynyrd Skynyrd | Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  2. ^ a b "CG: Lynyrd Skynyrd". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2014-07-14.
  3. ^ "Lynyrd Skynyrd". Lynyrd Skynyrd. Archived from the original on 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2012-03-06.
  4. ^ a b c d e If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd, Passion Pictures, Directed by Stephen Kijak, 2018
  5. ^ "500 Greatest Albums of All Time: Lynyrd Skynyrd, 'pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2014-07-14.