The Top 7 Most Under-Appreciated Lynyrd Skynyrd Songs Of All Time
The evolution of the greatest southern rock band in the land from high school boys jammin’ in the backyard of Jacksonville, FL to rockin stages all over the world has been a complete blessing for the members and the fans, and still is to this day.
Counting at least 42 different albums of iconic southern music, Lynyrd Skynyrd is and always will be one of the most successful rock bands in history.
Although we love every single song, whether Ronnie or Johnny took lead vocals, we have selected some very special songs that we feel cast their own shadow in the bright light of the band’s success that deserve a second, third, 54th or a 108th time listenin’ to; hopefully it won’t be your first..
Yes, there are the all-time greats and mainstream hits like “Simple Man,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Freebird,” “What’s That Smell” and countless others that will last until the end of time, but we value the genius in each of the songs below for countless reasons that each member brought to the individual ballads.
From 1974 album Second Helping, housing “Sweet Home Alabama” and other iconic songs, “Swamp Music” rests on Side 2 of the track at #6 as an upbeat, funky masterpiece about a southern man’s preference of country life over the city.
The trip down to the local swamp features what southerns do: hunt, fish and enjoy the marshland and all of its glory. As the album rose to #12 on the Billboard album charts, “Swamp Music” fell by the wayside under the large shadow of “Sweet Home” but it always rang true in our hearts.
I Need You
From same album Second Helping, Track 2 “I Need You” reveals a slower paced, vulnerable Ronnie Van Zant professing his undying love to the one he holds close at night.
Certain songs throughout the band’s history highlighted the raw beauty of Ronnie’s voice, as “I Need You” was one of those special, gradual melodies that pulled out every inch of his incredible vocal reach.
I Know A Little
Stemming from Street Survivors, Skynyrd’s 1977 album, “I Know A Little” is that fun, fast-paced honkey tonk tune that you can’t help but kick your feet up to and dust the dance floor with.
As guitarist Steve Gaines wrote this funky, southern ballad, it is one of the many examples of his indispensable contribution to the rock band that features some seriously killer piano playing by Billy Powell.
Was I Right Or Wrong
“Was I Right Or Wrong” was originally recorded in 1972 but due to unclear complications, the quality and clarity of the disc became compromised which delayed the demo’s release until the re-recording of Second Helping in 1974.
As an extremely personal story, “Was I Right Or Wrong” exposes the consequences of pursuing a musical career on the road as pro’s and con’s of leaving family behind are contemplated throughout the musical expression.
I Never Dreamed
As heartbreak ballad, “I Never Dreamed,” from album Street Survivors functions as a hauntingly beautiful melodic composition done by Steve Gaines about losing love in the worst circumstances.
As the lyrics show Ronnie begging for his woman to come back, his father’s advice rings in his head to move on and let go; although the heartbroken individual struggles with the desired strength.
“Michelle” was originally recorded in 1968 and was eventually released in 2000 on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Collectybles album that featured early, unreleased demos, live recordings and tracks from 1968-1977.
Written from a father’s perspective watching his beloved daughter growing, as his love for her grows, Ronnie’s influence and inspiration for this touching ballad was the love he had for daughters, Melody and Tammy Van Zant.
As a still unfinished song, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Cottonmouth Country” is the southern jam without an end, waiting to be completed upon the modern day Lynyrd Skynyrd’s door step.
From the Nuthin’ Fancy sessions in 1974/1975, “Cottonmouth Country” is the definition of blues with deep tones, twang and a sweet beat that makes your body rock from side to side.
As the band has “teased” and hinted toward finishing and wanting to release the southern masterpiece, we have yet to see this grace any of the band’s albums thus far.
What do you think about our choices….?