Skynyrd's Street Survivors album was released on October 17,
1977, and three days later several band members were killed in a
plane accident. The
original album cover that is shown above with the fire, was
subsequently replaced with a new cover without the flames.
I remember buying a copy when it first came out with the original
cover art that I still have. Truly a sad day in rock and roll
Survivors is the first and only studio album that features Steve
Gaines on guitar, and what a contribution he made!
This is, by far, their best studio album.
The two most popular songs “What’s Your Name?,” and
“That Smell” songs are both great, but not the best songs on the
album. A few of the
many other exceptional moments are the cover version of Merl
Haggard’s “Honky Tonk Night Time Man” and the Steve Gaines
original “I Know a Little”; both suit Lynyrd Skynyrd style
perfect, and are essential components of a Lynyrd Skynyrd
collection. The album
also includes the song “I Never Dreamed,” which has a nice Clapton
like guitar solo in the middle of the song, and a typical Skynyrd
style guitar extravaganza to finish the song off.
We can only dream of the awesome music that would be
forthcoming from this revitalized line-up.
The track “You Got That Right” with the dueling vocals
and nice instrumental show the likely direction.
remastered version of Street Survivors includes five
additional tracks. Lynyrd Skynyrd have several super albums, but
this their strongest. Seven
of the eight tracks from the original album are included on Lynyrd
Skynyrd’s Box Set.
by Barry Small ©
Grade A +
In March of 2008, a Deluxe Edition of Street Survivors
was released. I haven't yet heard the release.
to the liner notes of Lynyrd
Skynrd's Box Set, in April 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd along with legendary
producer Tom Dowd. There were some disagreements over the mixing of
the material. The group then hit the road, a date that included A
Day on the Green on July 2 & 4, 1977, with Peter Frampton, Santana, The Outlaws.
When the band returned to complete the album, Tom Dowd had
commitments in Toronto to a Rod Stewart project.
sent engineer Barry Rudolph as his representative. In the end, Dowd
was not asked to return. Barry, convinced the band to record Merle
Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man," and re-record,
"You Got That Right," and "That Smell." Then,
Ronnie, Rodney Mills, and former former roadie/now Skynyrd soundman
Kevin Elson put the final touches on the album. No producer credit
was listed on the original album release.
the second disc include the Tom Dowd versions, plus additional
material like outtakes, five live tracks, which are rumored to be of mediocre
Dowd produced other Skynyrd recordings, Allman Brothers
Band, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane, Cream, and numerous other
musical legends. He is the mainstay producer from Criteria Studios
in Florida. There is a movie about him entitled, Tom Dowd & the language of music,
which is worth viewing.
Clapton's self titled album took a similar approach with its Deluxe
Edition of using an alternate mix, along with some additional tracks.
I have a handful of Deluxe Editions and tend to enjoy when the
second discs are live performances. A few that come to mind are
Muddy :Mississippi" Waters Live, Allman Bothers Band, Eat a Peach, and
Skynyrd have a few other Deluxe Editions, none of them are musts
over the original release. Their live classic, One More from the Road
added a handful of additional tracks, and Gimmie Back My Bullets
includes a live DVD featuring a performance from the band's November 1975 performance on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test.
A two guitar line-up.