Second Helping

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Second Helping
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 15, 1974
RecordedJune 1973 (track 1)
January 1974
StudioStudio One, Doraville, Georgia (track 1)
Record Plant Studios, Los Angeles, California
  • Sounds of the South
  • MCA
ProducerAl Kooper
Lynyrd Skynyrd chronology
(Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)
Second Helping
Nuthin' Fancy
Singles from Second Helping
  1. "Don't Ask Me No Questions"
    Released: April 1974
  2. "Sweet Home Alabama"
    Released: June 24, 1974

Second Helping is the second studio album by Lynyrd Skynyrd, released on April 15, 1974. It features the band's biggest hit single, "Sweet Home Alabama," an answer song to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man",[2] which reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 1974, as well as drummer Bob Burns' final recordings.

Second Helping reached #12 on the Billboard album charts. The RIAA certified it Gold on September 20, 1974, and Double Platinum on July 21, 1987.[3]


After the success of their debut album, (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), Lynyrd Skynyrd's fan base continued to grow rapidly throughout 1973, largely due to their opening slot on the Who's Quadrophenia tour in the United States. Second Helping features King, Collins and Rossington all collaborating with Ronnie Van Zant on the songwriting, and cemented the band's breakthrough.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA−[5]
Rolling Stone(favourable)[7]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[8]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide[1]
Tom HullB−[9]

Reviewing for Rolling Stone in 1974, Gordon Fletcher said Lynyrd Skynyrd performs a consistent style of Southern music-influenced blues rock similar to the Allman Brothers Band but lacks that group's "sophistication and professionalism. If a song doesn’t feel right to the Brothers, they work on it until it does; if it isn’t right to Lynyrd Skynyrd, they are more likely to crank up their amps and blast their way through the bottleneck." Fletcher concluded that Second Helping is distinct from (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) "only by a certain mellowing out that indicates they may eventually acquire a level of savoirfaire to realize their many capabilities".[7] Robert Christgau was also lukewarm in Creem, saying Lynyrd Skynyrd is "still a substantial, tasteful band, but I have a hunch they blew their best stuff on the first platter."[6]

Christgau warmed to the album later, however, reappraising it in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981); he observed "infectious putdowns of rock businessmen, rock journalists, and heroin", and "great formula" in general: "When it rocks, three guitarists and a keyboard player pile elementary riffs and feedback noises into dense combinations broken by preplanned solos, while at quieter moments the spare vocabulary of the best Southern folk music is evoked or just plain duplicated."[5] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Stephen Thomas Erlewine said Second Helping "replicated all the strengths" of the first album's expert Southern rock "but was a little tighter and a little more professional."[4] Houston Press named it in #2 on its list "Five Essential Boogie-Rock Albums."[10]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Sweet Home Alabama"4:43
2."I Need You"
  • King
  • Rossington
  • Van Zant
3."Don't Ask Me No Questions"
  • Rossington
  • Van Zant
4."Workin' for MCA"
  • King
  • Van Zant
Side two
1."The Ballad of Curtis Loew"
2."Swamp Music"
  • King
  • Van Zant
3."The Needle and the Spoon"
  • Collins
  • Van Zant
4."Call Me the Breeze"J. J. Cale5:09
  • Sides one and two were combined as tracks 1–8 on CD reissues.
1997 CD reissue bonus tracks
9."Don't Ask Me No Questions" (Single Version)
  • Rossington
  • Van Zant
10."Was I Right Or Wrong" (Demo)
  • Van Zant
  • Rossington
11."Take Your Time" (Demo)
  • Van Zant
  • King
  • Track 9 previously released as the band's lead single in April 1974
  • Track 10 is previously unreleased
  • Track 11 previously released on Legend


Lynyrd Skynyrd
Additional personnel


Chart (1974) Peak
Canada Top Albums/CDs (RPM)[11] 9
US Billboard 200[12] 12


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[3] 2× Platinum 2,000,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ a b Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian David (2004). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon and Schuster. p. 505–506. ISBN 978-0-74320-169-8.
  2. ^ Back, Les (2000). "Voices of Hate, Sounds of Hybridity: Black Music and the Complexities of Racism". Black Music Research Journal. 20 (2): 142–143.
  3. ^ a b "American album certifications – Lynyrd Skynyrd – Second Helping". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  4. ^ a b AllMusic review
  5. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: L". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 1, 2019 – via
  6. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (September 1974). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  7. ^ a b Fletcher, Gordon (July 4, 1974). "Second Helping". Rolling Stone.
  8. ^ a b c "Second Helping". Acclaimed Music. Archived from the original on October 26, 2016.
  9. ^ Hull, Tom (April 1975). "The Rekord Report: First Card". Overdose. Retrieved June 26, 2020 – via
  10. ^ "Five Essential Boogie-Rock Albums". Houston Press. April 26, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2019.
  11. ^ "Top RPM Albums: Issue 3872a". RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 22April 2018.
  12. ^ "Lynyrd Skynyrd Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved 22 April 2018.

External links[edit]