This album review will be liked by every southern rock fan out there, except maybe for the spelling of Ronnie Van Zant`s name. So enjoy!
(Sounds Of The South MCA 363) Import
By Martin Hayman
This group with the rather tricky name hail from the Southern States of America where, as you know, so much good music has already come. Al Kooper says he saw the group playing in a club in Atlanta, Georgia, and promptly signed them up for his new MCA-backed label Sounds of the South. He told me in a recent interview that Lynyrd Skynyrd play “the most real rock and roll you ever heard” and after listening to their first album, which has had astonishingly widespread airplay across the USA, I must agree absolutely. The shock of hearing this music is comparable to that of first listening to Chuck Berry ten years ago: its strength and crude raunchiness just bowls me over. Not only that, but the purity and the originality of the music, coming as it does straight out of the swamps and subjected to no commercial refinement or adaptation, just straight into the studio and record what they had been playing for years together. Lynyrd Skynyrd are seven men plus various additions. Ron van Zaart is their singer and is co-credited with composing all cuts with either guitarist Gary Rossington or Allen Rossington, also guitar (with guitarist Ed King on one song; along with Al Kooper and drummer Robert Burns on another). There are three guitarists in the band and they swop with ease from lead to rhythm and bass, indicating that each one knows the score: rock and roll is based on rhythm instruments. And they show on the strength of this album that there are few groups around who could even hold a candle to them. Perhaps they might sound a little scrappy by comparison with Redwing or Little Feat; But they make both these groups sound effete, combining their grasp of the feel of blues and country with the sheer energy of our own Status Quo. To check this out I would suggest a listen to the album`s last cut “Free Bird”, opening on a doomy note with piano and organ and impressively thunderous tympani introducing a medium-pace drawling blues with beautiful slide guitar work from Allen Collins admirably underscored by measured rhythm section work, which then takes off to a chugging beat and a guitar solo which gets faster and faster and faster. Just rock and roll played as tough and uncomplexed as it can be; enough to make anyone want to disappear back into the wilds and find out what it`s all about.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. Any errors in the text from the original magazine may not have been corrected for the sake of accuracy. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With credits to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of Sounds also contains articles/interviews with these people: Dave Mattacks, David Crosby, The JSD Band, Phil Manzanera, Status Quo, Jerry Shirley, Sutherland Bros. and Quiver, Jo Jo Gunne, Allan Taylor, Geordie.
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