Thursday, August 9, 2012

Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping (1974 us, classic 2nd album, 24karat Gold CD and japan expanded edition)

Lynyrd Skynyrd wrote the book on Southern rock with their first album, so it only made sense that they followed it for their second album, aptly titled Second Helping. Sticking with producer Al Kooper (who, after all, discovered them), the group turned out a record that replicated all the strengths of the original, but was a little tighter and a little more professional. 

It also revealed that the band, under the direction of songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, was developing a truly original voice. Of course, the band had already developed their own musical voice, but it was enhanced considerably by Van Zant's writing, which was at turns plainly poetic, surprisingly clever, and always revealing. 

Though Second Helping isn't as hard a rock record as Pronounced, it's the songs that make the record. "Sweet Home Alabama" became ubiquitous, yet it's rivaled by such terrific songs as the snide, punkish "Workin' for MCA," the Southern groove of "Don't Ask Me No Questions," the affecting "The Ballad of Curtis Loew," and "The Needle and the Spoon," a drug tale as affecting as their rival Neil Young's "Needle and the Damage Done," but much harder rocking. 

This is the part of Skynyrd that most people forget -- they were a great band, but they were indelible because that was married to great writing. And nowhere was that more evident than on Second Helping. 
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

1. Sweet Home Alabama (Ed King, Gary Rossington, Ronnie Van Zant) - 4:43
2. I Need You (King, Rossington, Van Zant) - 6:55
3. Don't Ask Me No Questions (Rossington, Van Zant) - 3:26
4. Workin' For Mca (King, Van Zant) - 4:49
5. The Ballad Of Curtis Loew (Allen Collins, Van Zant) - 4:51
6. Swamp Music (King, Van Zant) - 3:31
7. The Needle And The Spoon (Collins, Van Zant) - 3:53
8. Call Me The Breeze (J. J. Cale) - 5:09
9. Don't Ask Me No Questions (Single Version) (Rossington, Van Zant) - 3:31
10.Was I Right Or Wrong (Demo) (Rossington, Van Zant) - 5:33
11.Take Your Time (Demo) (Van Zant, King) - 7:29
Bonus tracks 9-11, appears only on the Japanese edition.

Lynyrd Skynyrd
*Ronnie Van Zant - Lead Vocals
*Gary Rossington - Rhythm,  Acoustic Guitar
*Allen Collins - Guitar
*Ed King - Guitar, Slide Guitar, Rhythm Guitar,  Bass
*Billy Powell - Keyboards, Piano On "Sweet Home Alabama"
*Leon Wilkeson - Bass
*Bob Burns - Drums Except "I Need You"
Additional Musicians
*Mike Porter - Drums On "I Need You"
*Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews - Background Vocals On "Sweet Home Alabama"
*Merry Clayton And Friends - Background Vocals On "Sweet Home Alabama"
*Bobby Keys, Trewor Lawrence ,  Steve Madiao - Horns
*Al Kooper - Backing Vocals, Piano

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  1. As good as or even better than the first album. Thanks Marios !!

  2. "Second Helping" was the opening chapter in what many fans hail as the start of a golden era in Lynyrd Skynyrd's catalogue. According to Mojo magazine, this landmark release was "The first fruit of Wonder's new sound… a pretty essential acquisition," and according to Q, featured "music of the highest standard: a burst of creativity few other '70s artists, save Bowie, could match." What's even more remarkable was that with the exception of a guitar solo on the single 'Superwoman' and trombone on 'Love Having You Around', Wonder played every instrument himself; a record that he also wrote, arranged and produced too.

    A year, after releasing their landmark debut album, Lynyrd Skynyrd followed their success up with another strong release in Second Helping. Their first album contained a group of eight songs structured professionally containing strong lyrical pieces and hooky guitar riffs. Second Helping follows the same great formula and although it's certianly a superb follow up and great album, it may come a little short of matching the success of their first album. They did land a classic hit in "Sweet Home Alabama" , an answer song to Neil Young's "Alabama" and "Southern Man",which became a rock radio staple and a song you couldn't go without hearing if you lived anywhere near the south. The song reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in August 1974.
    "Don't Ask Me No Questions" shows a close resemblance to "Gimme Three Steps" while "I Need You" is almost the perfect mix between "Tuesday's Gone" and "Simple Man". Also, "Call Me the Breeze", "Workin' for MCA", "The Ballad of Curtis Loew" and "The Needle and the Spoon" continue Skynyrd's excellence in southern rock while "Swamp Music" may be a little, well...swampy....This was the first Lynyrd Skynyrd album to feature the band's trademark triple guitar attack. The album reached #12 on the Billboard album charts. It was certified Gold on 9/20/1974, Platinum and 2x Platinum on 7/21/1987 by the R.I.A.A.

  3. 1. Sweet Home Alabama (4:43)
    Ahhh...southern pride anyone? Well, Lynyrd Skynyrd's got it and this song is the essential southern anthem, or atleast I think so! But back in the day, there was an artist named Neil Young and he had a little song demoting the southern man, well, that didn't flow well with Skynyrd and well here you have it! "Sweet Home Alabama" of my favorite lines is in this song you know the; "Well I heard mister Young sing about her, well, I heard 'ol Neil put her down, well, I hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don't need him around anyhow". I love it when those lines are sung, easily some of the best lyrics on the album. Now that i've mentioned all of that let me tell you that this song has a great guitar riff and a sweet solo to go along with it. A piano comes into the song towards the end and adds some spice to an already classic song. Well...need I say another word 'bout this treasure? 5/5

    2. I Need You (6:55)
    On to the next song and like i've already said before, this song is like a perfect mix between "Tuesday's Gone" and "Simple Man". It has a ballad feel to it yet it's deep toned and serious and moves along slowly and lasts for almost seven minutes. The guitars play together perfectly and although this ain't a very catchy tune at first, give it a listen and you'll be wondering why it doesn't get the credit a lot of other Skynyrd songs get. I nominate this song the most underated tune on the album and always makes for a good listen. 5/5

    3. Don't Ask Me No Questions (3:26)
    An almost little brother to "Gimme Three Steps", it doesn't have the same type of riff but something that you might find similar, especially in the tone of the guitars. It has a catchy little chorus that works well with the rest of the song. The lyrics I believe are about the media bothering the band so much they don't get much time to theirselves. Speaking of lyrics, Van Zant spits them out with a commanding voice and the song ends on a rockin' note. 5/5

    4. Workin' for MCA (4:49)
    This song seems to be a more straight forward rock and roller and let me tell you it does a great job of rockin', oh yes. I really like the riff and the growl you hear in the intro adds a little attitude to the song. It's easy to figure out what this song is 'bout obviously and probably the best thing about this song is the awesome driving tune it makes for sure. 4/5

  4. 5. The Ballad of Curtis Loew (4:51)
    I find this song to be quite underated as well, with it's beautiful guitar riff and some serious and heartful words sung perfectly by Ronnie. About a black man and his love for the blues as you can tell, the lyrics describe the character well and the rest of the lyrics are great as well. There is a nice little solo to be found and I find this to be a true Lynyrd Skynyrd classic. 5/5

    6. Swamp Music (3:31)
    "Swamp Music" is easily the worst song on the album, but hey! It ain't bad or anything, I just know a lot of people don't care for it, I don't mind it but it does get repetitive and really goes nowhere at times. The guitar riff can be annoying and is quite goofy but adds a little variation to the album too. The chorus is kind of weak but I think i've pissed on this song enough,'s an alright song. 3/5

    7. The Needle and the Spoon (3:53)
    This song gets Skynyrd back on track with its catchy guitar riff and perfectly sung lyrics about what seems to be drugs and what not. There is a break and in comes a well done solo then the song returns back to the good 'ol riff until it reaches the end. I do think this song is a bit underated as well, actually I think this whole album is underated but that's just me. Anyways, a great song to be heard, I think any fan would really like this track. 4/5

    8. Call Me the Breeze (5:09)
    On the last album, "Free Bird" was the grand finale and it lived up to be a sure classic. "Call Me the Breeze" is no "Free Bird", but don't get me wrong, it's a great track nothingless. With some energetic guitar riffs and excellent leads this song is just another great song to enjoy. There is a great piano solo as well that adds a lot to the song and really, Lynyrd Skynyrd couldn't of ended this album on a better note if you ask me. 5/5

    Well, by the release of their second album, I think Lynyrd Skynyrd had put the nail in the coffin as the greatest southern rock band ever and I still think they own that title to this day. Although I wouldn't say Second Helping is as strong as their debut, it's still an excellent album and worht picking up especially if you're into this type of music. Also let me tell you just like most of their albums, Second Helping has been remastered in the past years and includes some extra songs such as the excellent "Was I Right or Wrong", "Take Your Time" and alternate outtake of "Don't Ask Me No Questons". Well there you have it and I ain't got nothin' more to say!

    Thanks so much, Marios!

  5. Hi,
    Can you re-up this nice second Lp,the links are gone,I don't know where? .Thanks again.

  6. .....Lynyrd Skynyrd - Second Helping...ReUp.....