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Box Set (3CD) Box set, Best of


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Product Details

  • Audio CD (Nov. 15 1991)
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Format: Box set, Best of
  • Label: Universal Music Group
  • ASIN: B000002OHV
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #70,861 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Free Bird (Demo)
2. Junkie (Demo)
3. He's Alive (Demo)
4. One More Time (Original Version)
5. Gimme Three Steps (Original Version)
6. Trust (Original Version)
See all 15 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. Sweet Home Alabama
2. Was I Right Or Was I Wrong?
3. Workin' For MCA
4. Don't Ask Me No Questions
5. Swamp Music
6. The Ballad Of Curtis Lowe
See all 17 tracks on this disc
Disc: 3
1. Gimme Back My Bullets (Live)
2. Searchin' (Live)
3. Simple Man (Live)
4. Crossroads (Live)
5. T For Texas (Live)
6. Whiskey Rock-a-roller
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description

It was only fitting that the ultimate Southern rock institution, Lynyrd Skynyrd -- certainly one of the more tragic stories in rock & roll history -- should be one of the first bands to benefit from a comprehensive box set. Following the format of the highly successful Led Zeppelin box set, this three-disc, 47-song anthology provides a near-perfect career retrospective, complete with a carefully researched booklet with meticulous historical essays and rare photos for the new and rabid fan alike. The latter will probably be most interested in disc one, which features a number of early demos dating back as early as 1970 and not featured in prior collections, as well as an embryonic demo of "Freebird" minus its extended-jam coda. The nine-minute version from the band's milestone debut, Pronounced is also featured here, of course, as is most of the material from the group's next album, Second Helping, generally regarded as their career peak. Disc two alone could serve as a greatest-hits set, as classic after classic is rattled off in mind-blowing succession. And even when the creative fires finally begin to wane somewhat as the set approaches the Nuthin' Fancy and Gimme Back My Bullets material (recorded at a time when the band was plagued by overwork and escalating drug abuse), the set wisely offers alternate versions and live renditions to keep things interesting. The first half of disc three alternates never-before-heard concert performances with other, equally inspired live versions. Its second half is dominated by the unintentional swan song Street Survivors. Released only three days before the fateful plane crash, the album saw a re-energized Skynyrd achieving a new level of maturity, power, and purpose. Although most box sets tend to be a bit too much for the casual fan to swallow, this one feels just right

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Nov. 14 1999
Format: Audio CD
The Lynyrd Skynyrd box set suffers from the schizophrenia many box sets do - it doesn't know whether to cater to the serious or casual fan. It contains lots of hits that all serious fans already have, but it leaves off several key tracks in favor of "alternate takes" or "demos" that pale in comparison the fiery released versions. If you are a true fanatic, go ahead. If you are a more casual fan, get the band's first five albums (all recently remastered), "Pronounced", "Second", "Nuthin'", "Gimme", and "Street". These five discs by the original band show Skynyrd not to be the hick boogie band of popular lore (Freeeee Biirrd!), but instead a group of talented musicians with an original and - yes - southern point of view. Not that there's anything wrong with that... By the way, most of the other "best of" CDs suffer from the same problem as the box.
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Format: Audio CD
As I imagine many people were, I was exposed to Lynyrd Skynyrd years before I ever truly knew who they were through their immortal classic "Sweet Home Alabama." Much later, I had the good fortune to hear that song again while riding with a buddy. This time, though, I got to hear a lot more than just "Sweet Home." This time, I heard, in its full glory, the full virtuosity of a band which deserves every word of praise ever given to it and then some. Even though I am not given to buying box sets, I knew that Lynyrd Skynyrd was not a band I could hear in it's true glory with just one disc. I had to get that box.
One of the greatest things about Skynyrd is the incredibly broad range of styles they cover. Rock, Country and Blues all have a home in the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd and they certainly knew how to meld the styles to craft a singularly unique and brilliant sound. Their music is played with an energy and honesty that very very few other musicians can match.
I was very impressed with the arrangement of this box set. Yes, it flows in chronological order, but it the order is so good, I could swear sometimes that each song was carefully selected as the perfect follow up to that which proceeded. Also, each disc seems to have a very distinct feel to it. The first CD is rather laid back, with ballads like "Free Bird," "Comin' Home," and "Tuesday's Gone." There are some uptempo numbers, like "Give Me Three Steps" and "Poison Whiskey," but they are nicely in tune with the slower numbers, keeping the flow of the CD. The second disc gets a little edgier, with the powerful rocker "Workin' For MCA" and "Saturday Night Special." Of course, there are still some beautiful numbers, like the great "Ballad of Curtis Lowe," which help this CD to fall in a nice spot between really gritty and really relaxed.
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Format: Audio CD
This box set stands as a testament to the diversity and quality of Lynyrd Skynyrd's music. From the spare blues of "Mr. Banker" and "Four Walls of Raiford" to the balladry of "Tuesday's Gone" and "One More Time" to the hard rock of "On the Hunt" and "Saturday Night Special", this set demonstrates that the boys from Florida excelled in a wide variety of musical styles. If you are a casual fan, the hits are all here from "Freebird" to "Sweet Home Alabama". For the Skynyrd enthusiast, Disc 1 is a treasure-trove of very enjoyable demos that makes this box set a must.
I do have a few complaints though. First, the songs have not been remastered for this box set which is rather unfortunate since Lynyrd Skynyrd's classic albums were not graced with great production quality. Second, though I appreciate the live songs on Disc 3, I feel we should have been offered the studio versions of "Gimme Back My Bullets", "Searchin", "Simple Man", and "Whiskey Rock-A-Roller" as well. "Simple Man" in particular is one of Skynyrd's all-time classics and no career retrospective box set should be without the original studio version of this song. Still, there are some great moments in the live songs included here too - who doesn't enjoy it when Ronnie tells the crowd he's gonna "sik an Okie" on them in the intro to "T For Texas"?
If you've ever been a fan of southern rock in general or Lynyrd Skynyrd in particular, you need this box set in your collection. I've had it for 10 years now and continue to derive a great deal of enjoyment from it - I'm quite confident you will too.
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Format: Audio CD
Andy Gill, the official critic above, is obviously not a fan of either Skynyrd or southern rock. Skynyrd are often misunderstood and easily dismissed due to the corner they have been painted into by the ubiquitousness of "Free Bird" and a few of their other hits. But to any healthy rock fan who listens to one of their albums, it will be obvious that someone who believes "Street Survivors" is a "rotten LP" has no business being a professional music critic. There's just no question these guys are worthy of a retrospective of this size, and they fill it out sensationally. This is obviously not the first Skynyrd purchase one should make (I don't think any box set is a wise first buy), but for those who are already aware of the amazing strength and consistency of this band's catalogue, I say buy this set immediately. "Junkie" and "He's Alive" on disc 1 are truly amazing songs that I haven't heard elsewhere. In addition, the demos of previously released tracks offer well-chosen peaks into the band's creative process that I enjoy listening to as much as the finished versions. Fantastic booklet, too, with informative writing and great pics.
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