Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd (1973 us, classic debut album, Al Kooper production, bonus tracks remastered issue)

The Allman Brothers came first, but Lynyrd Skynyrd epitomized Southern rock. The Allmans were exceptionally gifted musicians, as much bluesmen as rockers. Skynyrd was nothing but rockers, and they were Southern rockers to the bone.

This didn't just mean that they were rednecks, but that they brought it all together -- the blues, country, garage rock, Southern poetry -- in a way that sounded more like the South than even The Allmans. And a large portion of that derives from their hard, lean edge, which was nowhere more apparent than on their debut album, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. Produced by Al Kooper, there are few records that sound this raw and uncompromising, especially records by debut bands.

Then again, few bands sound this confident and fully formed with their first record. Perhaps the record is stronger because it's only eight songs, so there isn't a wasted moment, but that doesn't discount the sheer strength of each song. Consider the opening juxtaposition of the rollicking "I Ain't the One" with the heartbreaking "Tuesday's Gone." Two songs couldn't be more opposed, yet Skynyrd sounds equally convincing on both. If that's all the record did, it would still be fondly regarded, but it wouldn't have been influential.

The genius of Skynyrd is that they un-self-consciously blended album-oriented hard rock, blues, country, and garage rock, turning it all into a distinctive sound that sounds familiar but thoroughly unique. On top of that, there's the highly individual voice of Ronnie Van Zant, a songwriter who isn't afraid to be nakedly sentimental, spin tales of the South, or to twist macho conventions with humor. And, lest we forget, while he does this, the band rocks like a motherf*cker. It's the birth of a great band that birthed an entire genre with this album.
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1. I Ain't The One (Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant) – 3:53
2. Tuesday's Gone (Allen Collins, Rossington, Van Zant) – 7:32
3. Gimme Three Steps (Collins, Van Zant) – 4:30
4. Simple Man (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:57
5. Things Goin' On (Rossington, Van Zant) – 5:00
6. Mississippi Kid (Al Kooper, Van Zant, Bob Burns) – 3:56
7. Poison Whiskey (Ed King, Van Zant) – 3:13
8. Free Bird (Collins, Van Zant) – 9:18
9. Mr. Banker (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant, King) – 5:23
10.Down South Jukin' (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant) – 2:57
11.Tuesday's Gone (Demo) (Rossington, Collins, Van Zant) – 7:56
12.Gimme Three Steps (Demo) (Collins, Van Zant) – 5:20
13.Free Bird (Demo) (Collins, Van Zant) – 11:09

Lynyrd Skynyrd
*Ronnie Van Zant – Lead Vocals, Lyrics
*Gary Rossington – Lead Guitar , Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar
*Allen Collins – Lead, Rhythm Guitar
*Ed King – Bass, Lead Guitar On "Mississippi Kid”
*Billy Powell – Keyboards
*Bob Burns – Drums
*Leon Wilkeson – Bass Guitar
Additional Musicians
*Al Kooper – Bass, Mellotron, Back-Up Harmony, Mandolin, Bass Drum, Organ, Mellotron
*Robert Nix – Drums On "Tuesday's Gone"
*Bobbye Hall – Percussion On "Gimme Three Steps", "Things Goin' On"
*Steve Katz – Harmonica On "Mississippi Kid"

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  1. Another unmissable post. Marios your blogs are simply the best since the sad closure of the phrock blog. Thank you so much

  2. Produced by Al Kooper, Lynyrd Skynyrd debut shows influences from hard rock to blues and country. It also introduced legendary three guitar attack to the world and went on to sell more than two million copies in the US alone. Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd is Lynyrd Skynyrd´s classic debut album from 1973. It contains several classic tracks that became staples at Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts, mainly straightforward boogie-blues of "Gimme Three Steps”, “Simple Man” with Ronnie Van Zant's edgy lead vocals and timeless southern rock classic "Free Bird", a song that, over time has become one of the most requested rock songs in the history of radio.
    Back in the day when british bands ruled the music scene, there was a birth of a band in america and no i'm not talkin' 'bout the rock and roll legends Aerosmith but rather the greatest southern rock band ever, Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1973, there were plenty of landmark releases such as Dark Side of the Moon and Houses of the Holy, but Lynyrd Skynyrd were just the new kids in town and the chances of their debut album being as strong as anything else released that year seemed unlikely. But Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd did just that and a little more. Featuring some of Skynyrd's greatest and most well known songs such as the serious toned "Simple Man" to the ballad "Tuesday's Gone" and the epic "Free Bird" that features one of the greatest solos of all time. Also, "Gimme Three Steps" and "I Ain't the One" contain some strong hooky riffs while "Things Goin' On", "Mississippi Kid" and "Poison Whiskey" just proove why this band is the greatest southern band ever. Now that you've had the run down, let me give you the details 'bout these rockin' songs...

  3. 1. I Ain't the One (3:53)
    Starting out with a stomping drum beat the song turns into a hard rockin' kick your butt all over the place show. The vocals are quite aggressive while spitting out the lyrics which seem to be about a situation gone wrong. The guitar riff chugs along with some sweet lead guitar playing throughout the song. Again, I must say that the drums are excellent on this track and probably the best on the album and just 'bout any other Skynyrd song around. A really great way to start the album for sure! 5/5

    2. Tuesday's Gone (7:32)
    The next song should be quite familiar to you considering it's been used in a lot of movies such as Dazed and Confused and Happy Gilmore. Anyways, "Tuesday's Gone" is the ballad from the album and I must say it's an amazing song. Van Zant sings with a lot of emotion and the guitars just add the perfect feel to the song. The lyrics are simple but effective and to this day, "Tuesday's Gone" remains one of Lynyrd Skynyrd's premier songs. 5/5

    3. Gimme Three Steps (4:30)
    Right off the bat with two lead guitars laying down one groovy riff, Lynyrd Skynyrd show off a song formula that they will come to use a few more times in their career. From the groovy southern riff to Van Zant's serious yet playful singing, this band shows again and again why they're the defenitive southern rock band. The lyrics are amazingly catchy from the verses to the chorus and anything in between. Well, not much more to say 'bout this awesome song, another Skynyrd gem to be heard. 5/5

    4. Simple Man (5:57)
    My favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd track of all time! The band shows a lot of energy and power in this song and remain hard edged throughout the course of the song. The vocals are perfect and the lyrics are some of the Skynyrd's best for sure. There is a nice little solo in the bridge towards the end of the song but the chorus and the riff in the verses are what make this song come alive. I really don't need to say more, this song rocks and that's really all you need to know! 5/5

  4. 5. Things Goin' On (4:59)
    Some nice guitar playing starts this one out until it kicks into the chicken picking riff that's present throughout the entirety of the song. With some interesting lyrics sung in a playful manner by 'ol Ronnie and some great lead guitar licks by the boys, Skynyrd pulls off another southern rocker that's sure to please all the fans. Although it's a fine song, it's not as good as some of the other tracks on here like "Gimme Three Steps" and "I Ain't the One". 4/5

    6. Mississippi Kid (3:56)
    This song is a neat little addition to the already superb album. Created and played mostly by the guys in the studio rather than the band members themselves. Van Zant sings with a little southern accent and towards the end of the song you'll hear a cool little harmonica that adds a little something to the song. All in all, not Skynyrd's best by any means but that ain't saying it's bad or anything, because it's a really fun little tune to enjoy. 4/5

    7. Poison Whiskey (3:13)
    The shortest song on the album, gets back to the hard rockin' and is probably the most underated tune on the album. The lyrics are catchy and the vocals are done to perfection again. Rossington and Collins make for an excellent guitar duo and provide some great leads in this song. There is also some nice paino work to be found and really, you just can't not like this song, it rocks! 4/5

    8. Free Bird (9:18)
    Now for the grand finale! "Free Bird" is one of the best songs of all time and i'm goin' to tell you exactly why! It has two major parts, from the beginning to about halfway into the song it's quite similar to "Tuesday's Gone", it's very ballad like and slow moving. The lyrics are sung perfectly with such lines like; "And this bird you cannot change, lord knows I can't change". After about halfway into the song it all changes, the tempo, the beat, everything! The lyrics end quickly and the guitars kick in and you're about to hear one of the greatest solo's ever. From duo leads and constant change offs, this is easily Skynyrd's call up to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven". Gary Rossington and Allen Collins prove that they're worthy of being considered some of the best, especially in the southern rock scene. Well, that's that! Amazing song, oh and you can keep your "I'm still listening to Free Bird" stereotypical jokes to yourself! But anywho, like I already said, classic song without a doubt! 5/5

    Well there you have it! Lynyrd Skynyrd's debut and what a debut I must say...from "I Ain't the One" to "Free Bird", Lynyrd Skynyrd define what's hard rockin' and lean groovin' southern rock! Also, this album has been remastered and what not in the past years and there was five songs added such as three demo's of "Tuesday's Gone", "Gimme Three Steps" and "Free Bird" along with two old tracks "Mr. Banker" and "Down South Jukin'". If you're a Skynyrd fan and don't have this album yet, I recommend you go get it as soon as possible, classic album with classic songs.

    Thanks so much, Marios!

  5. hi marios, when you have time please fix links for this one... thankyou very much!