Producers include: Al Kooper, Tom Dowd.
Compilation producer: Andy McKaie.
Engineers include: Al Kooper.
Recorded between 1973 and 1977. Includes liner notes by Joseph Laredo.
This is part of MCA's 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection series.
Liner Note Author: Joseph F. Laredo.
Recording information: Criteria Studios, Miami, FL (03/1973-08/1977); Record Plant, LA, CA (03/1973-08/1977); Studio One, Doraville, GA (03/1973-08/1977).
Photographer: David Gahr.
This compilation, which compiles pretty much all of the group's best-known material, provides the casual fan an excellent entry point into the work of Lynyrd Skynyrd, the quintessential Southern rock band. While Skynyrd was fully capable of writing anthems for the unreconstructed South (the pro-Nixon, Neil Young-baiting "Sweet Home Alabama"), it often transcended the macho breast-beating of its peers. "Gimme Three Steps," for instance, finds the narrator studiously sidestepping a barroom brawl, while "Saturday Night Special" details a blatantly anti-gun stance, about as common in '70s Southern rock as drum machines and hair spray.
Skynyrd's undeniable mastery of Southern boogie is what keeps the whole thing moving. Of course, this collection ends with the ultimate power ballad and bane of cover bands worldwide, "Free Bird"; without this and "Stairway to Heaven," the "classic rock" radio format as we know it might never have existed.