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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Let me start by saying I'm not a knowledgeable Lynyrd Skynyrd fan. Of course, everyone knows Freebird, the greatest Southern rock anthem of all time, and just about everyone still mourns the loss of original front man Ronnie Van-Zant (as well as guitarist Steve Gaines) in a 1977 plane crash, but my familiarity with the band doesn't go much deeper than this. When I heard this album's title track The Last Rebel, though, I knew I had to have this album. As both a proud Southerner and a man who oftentimes finds himself in a minority of one on certain issues, this song appealed to me on two levels. The music and lyrics combine to evoke vivid images of a Rebel soldier, alone and defeated yet still proud and resilient, leaving the scarred battleground to return home; it's a haunting track that, through front-man Johnny Van-Zant's gritty, hard-driving vocals, evokes a vivid image of that Southern soldier trying to find his way home in a world that has changed forever.
The album as a whole is a little hit-and-miss, in my opinion. There are some really great tracks, but there also some tracks that really just don't seem to do anything for me. The band seems to be going through the motions at times, but when Johnny Van-Zant sings about the South and bemoans a way of life that is quickly disappearing, his voice roils with an angst-filled emotional power that takes the music to a whole new level. Thus are born such winning songs as Can't Take That Away, Outta Hell in my Dodge, Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye, South of Heaven, and Born to Run. What some will call "redneck" songs actually resonate with fans all over the country for their lament for moral decline, the demise of small towns and small town values, and the code of honor that has always been a part of being a Southerner. Can't Take That Away is a particularly timely song today, as it rises up to challenge those who want to denigrate the flag, do away with the Pledge of Allegiance, and take away any association with God from the United States. Those South of Heaven will always fight for the ideals upon which this country was founded, and that is what Lynyrd Skynyrd sings about.
A few tracks on this album seem to take the band away from their origins, and the attempt to inject a more pop-oriented sound into the music finds unhappy results. Good Lovin's Hard to Find and Best Things in Life have an element of "good time sound" to them but really don't speak to me at all. They aren't bad songs, but they become tiresome rather quickly. The album does end on a strong note, however, as Born to Run not only speaks to Lynyrd Skynyrd's core themes but provides plenty of opportunity to Gary Rossington to play his guitar the way he alone can play it. Overall, the positives far outweigh the negatives on this 1993 release.
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on 26 July 2012
I'm a big fan of (pre-accident) Lynyrd Skynyrd so I approached this the 7th studio (the 2nd from the new line-up) with caution but due to the bargain price (£2.99) it was being offered at I thought I would take the plunge.

Well I'm glad to say that I'm pleased to have taken that plunge as "The Last Rebel" is a good album by a very good band!

Ok so it's not a patch on the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd albums but that said it does represent a nice slice of "Southern Rock" and lesser bands would kill to have it on their CV!

Track listing

"Good Lovin's Hard to Find" - (Johnny Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Ed King, Robert White Johnson)
"One Thing" - (Johnny Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Ed King, Dale Krantz-Rossington, Kurt Custer)
"Can't Take That Away" - (Michael Gerald Lunn, Robert White Johnson, Johnny Van Zant)
"Best Things in Life" - (Gary Rossington, Keifer, Johnny Van Zant)
"The Last Rebel" - (Gary Rossington, Robert White Johnson, Johnny Van Zant, Michael Gerald Lunn)
"Outta Hell In My Dodge" - (Johnny Van Zant, Randall Hall, Ed King, Robert White Johnson)
"Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye" - (Ed King, Johnny Van Zant)
"South Of Heaven" - (Michael Gerald Lunn, Robert White Johnson, Gary Rossington, Johnny Van Zant)
"Love Don't Always Come Easy" - (Ed King, Johnny Van Zant)
"Born to Run" - (Johnny Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Ed King, Donnie Van Zant)

BG's Verdict : 3.5 out of a possible 5.0 (Rounded up to 4 stars for Amazon)
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on 26 January 2008
The brand continues....sweet southern music for big hats. Not just a straight ahead guitar album, with shades of light and dark. Definitely a case of giving the punters what they wanted. No suprises but no disappointments either. A fine addition to the collection. The South will rise again, have no fear. Of it's time but timeless.
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on 30 August 2015
A prequel..??Discovered this one by accident,but it feels and sounds like"God & Guns",or "Last of a dying breed"....,but pre-dates both by a considerable timespan....all the same sentiments,but from earlier decades,seems the malaise runs longer and deeper in the South..great album,well produced,played with spirit,and somehow bad..:/
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 2 October 2010
an absolutely stunning disc,superior in every way to the previous 1991 album,Barry Beckett's production lifting the bands music to the heights it deserved and touching your soul.

Ten excellent tracks which augmented with horns sometimes stray towards Country and at others reminiscent of the Street Survivors' album.

From the slow burning title track,thru the rockier 'Born To Run',the lighter in the sky ballad 'Love Dont Always...' to the emotional,heart on sleeve anthems 'Good Lovins Hard...' & 'Kiss Your Freedom Goodbye' ,singing about American Life,themes that would be reprised on 2009's 'God and Guns' disc.

Without a doubt the best post 1977 album until the aforementioned God and Guns.

Typically,Atlantic dispensed with their sevices and the band would spent the next few years in the wilderness.
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on 29 September 2013
I heard the title song on Planet Rock and thought it was pretty damn good so bought the album, and have not been disappointed.

Good songs, great guitar work. Sounds good in the deep south.

If you like a bit of grit to your blues/rock you will like this to a band that have created their own sound.
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on 7 September 2013
You always know what you're getting with Skynyrd - their songs have a bit more depth to the lyrics than most bands in the same genre and there's always that killer guitar work to keep you interested. I only started building up my collection of LS albums recently (known 'em for years, never got round to buying them) and I've never been disappointed with any of their work.

If you've liked any of their other stuff, buy this as well: if you didn't like what you've already heard, then they're probably not the bad for you.
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on 12 February 2011
As a confirmed pre-crash Skynyrd fan, I've not really enjoyed the later work of the band anywhere near as much. This album does however get very close for me and I would rate it as the best post-crash album. The title track has the power and depth of the earlier band and is definitely the show-stopper on the album. A recommended buy.
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on 13 July 2015
Without doubt this is the very best of all the Skynyrd new releases, since the band got back together in 1991. This is a criminally overlooked album and it is up there with the best of the bands output from the seventies. The late great Billy Powell thought so. It amazes me that this recording from 1993 has never been lauded as classic Skynyrd. Look at theband line up playing on this album and give it a few listens. You will love it, it's classic Lynyrd Skynyrd at their very best! I told you so!
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on 26 October 2012
Having owned most of the bands output from the original line up, thought I might take a punt on a later album. The Last Rebel from 1993 turned out to be (in this listeners ears) a quality choice. Perhaps not all the tracks quiet reach the mark we had come to expect, but most do, and dare I say surpass! The Last rebel and Born to run are possibly the best. I would not like to comment on the one or two weaker tracks in case putting anyone off buying what is a very good album. The overall sound is a full band with backing vocals and even a bit of brass here and there, but it all works very nicely. Enjoy!
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