Street Survivors [Deluxe Edition]

Street Survivors [Deluxe Edition]

by Lynyrd Skynyrd
     
 

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Sometimes, expanded Deluxe Editions don't seem to have much of a purpose outside of marketing: the second disc will contain a clearinghouse of B-sides and remixes or a live show, not adding much to the story of the original album. That's not the case with the Deluxe Edition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's final album, Street Survivors -- it's a Deluxe Edition that fillsSee more details below

Overview

Sometimes, expanded Deluxe Editions don't seem to have much of a purpose outside of marketing: the second disc will contain a clearinghouse of B-sides and remixes or a live show, not adding much to the story of the original album. That's not the case with the Deluxe Edition of Lynyrd Skynyrd's final album, Street Survivors -- it's a Deluxe Edition that fills out the final chapter of the original band's career by presenting the complete original version of the album, recorded with legendary producer Tom Dowd at Criteria Studios but scrapped when the group's live sound engineer Kevin Elson argued that these versions sounded lifeless. The album was subsequently rejiggered with a mix of re-recording, additional production, and remixing, plus the addition of a couple of older songs to the record ("One More Time" dates from 1971 sessions at Muscle Shoals, while "I Know a Little" is a song guitarist Steve Gaines had before he joined Skynyrd in 1976), all of which helped turn the album into arguably the band's best. The instincts of Elson -- who was supported by Gaines, as revealed in the excellent liner notes by Ron O'Brien on this set -- turn out to be correct, as the Criteria version of Street Survivors is a bit tight and stiff, sounding more like a typical professional arena rock production from 1977 than the finished set, which makes it interesting from an archeological perspective at the very least. Skynyrd do sound well-honed, hitting all the notes precisely, but they lack the full-blown, red-blooded roar that made the original so invigorating. All of this explains why the album was tweaked considerably before its release, and a Deluxe Edition like this serves the historical record well by preserving this -- even if it merely confirms conventional wisdom, it's good to hear it first-hand, plus there is only a limited amount of music recorded by the original band, so it's hard not to value whatever was left behind. And this lineup of Skynyrd was certainly a great band, something that is apparent even on these slightly stilted originals, especially because they're not all slightly stilted: there's an extended guitar workout on the original version of "That Smell," a cheerful blues shuffle called "Georgia Peaches" that didn't make the final cut (it did appear on the previous expanded 2001 reissue), and "Jacksonville Kid," Ronnie Van Zant's brilliant rewrite of Merle Haggard's "Honky Tonk Night Time Man" that is the last song he wrote. There is another set of final recordings here, too: five cuts from a live California show the band gave in August 1977, two months before the release of Street Survivors and before the plane crash that claimed the lives of Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines. These are the last known recordings of the band, and while the audio is a little rough, the group sounds ferocious. Given the strength of these live cuts, it's once again hard not to wish that the band had not been struck down by tragedy, but this Deluxe Edition honors Lynyrd Skynyrd's legacy by offering every aspect of their last year as a band, from the raw live shows to the overly polished original album to the glorious final version of Street Survivors.

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Product Details

Release Date:
03/04/2008
Label:
Geffen Records
UPC:
0602517571662
catalogNumber:
001060802
Rank:
56057

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Lynyrd Skynyrd   Primary Artist
Allen Collins   Guitar
Artimus Pyle   Drums
Steve Gaines   Guitar,Vocals
Billy Powell   Keyboards
Jo Jo Billingsley   Background Vocals
Cassie Gaines   Background Vocals
Leslie Hawkins   Background Vocals
Ed King   Guitar
Rick Medlocke   Drums,Background Vocals
Gary Rossington   Guitar
Ronnie Van Zant   Vocals
Leon Wilkeson   Bass
Greg T. Walker   Bass
Barry Harwood   Dobro
Tim Smith   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Merle Haggard   Composer
Allen Collins   Composer
Ken Perry   Mastering
Tad Bush   Engineer
Peter Doell   Remixing
Tom Dowd   Producer
Kevin Elson   Engineer
Dennis Hetzendorfer   Engineer
Jimmy Johnson   Producer,Engineer
Andy McKaie   Executive Producer
Rodney Mills   Engineer,Special Producer
Gary Rossington   Composer
Barry Rudolph   Engineer
Ronnie Van Zant   Composer,Author
Ron O'Brien   Liner Notes,Reissue Producer
George Osaki   Art Direction
Tim Smith   Producer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Larry Marmorstein   Location Coordinator
Peter Rudge   Management

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