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Southern Rock Opera

Southern Rock Opera

24 Sep 2001
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Southern Rock Opera
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Disc 2
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was my first Drive By Truckers purchase, after seeing them on Jools Holland and thinking how they reminded me of early Steve Earle, so I had to buy. So, what did I think? For one thing, I wish I`d discovered them before as this a fantastic release; not just in simple terms of value for money with two full length CDs, but the quality is so high throughout and doesn`t dip off. It`s a great mixture of a heartfelt and genuine (and overdue) tribute to the original freebirds of southern rock (Lynyrd Skynyrd), but also addresses the fascinating link between Ronnie Van Zant and Neil Young and the controversial politics and polemics of many times-governor George Wallace.

Both CDs are fantastic. There are not many songs I don`t like, and some of them are fantastic - "Ronnie and Neil" and "Icons" particularly from Act One, also "Guitar Man Upstairs", which essentially uses the music from Skynyrd classic "Gimme Three Steps". Act Two is a little more downbeat, as it has to be, as it ends describing the tragic events of Baton Rouge in 1977 through the beautiful song "Angels and Fuselage", but even the shift in mood can`t hide the gems that are "Plastic Flowers On The Highway", "Let There Be Rock", and the Steve Gaines-inspired "Cassie`s Brother".

Great idea, great music.
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By A Customer on 14 Oct. 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
..A brilliant, intelligent homage to southern rock. Musically the Truckers put me in mind in different moments of Skynard, Green on Red, Neil Young, Tom Petty, Steve Earle - a growly, dirty southern rock style. There are different singers too which keeps things varied and intersting but still sounding consistent. If I had one contention its that the live production style muddies some of the dynamics of the three guitars. But its a minor niggle as the quality of the songwriting is quite superb - stylistically varied and with lyrics full of genuine feeling, reflection, insight and humour.
The CD is really nicely packaged in a gatefold sleeve with lots of artwork and lyrics and you can just tell that its a real work of love which seems a rare thing for a record these days. If you like the southern rock thing, this CD is essential.
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Format: Audio CD
I like Lynyrd Skynyrd and it was this that drew me into buying this CD. Thank you to the Sunday Times for bringing this album to my attention. This is a concept album but the Drive By Truckers don't let the concept get in the way of the songs. The loose concept is the story of a rock fan growing up in the southern US and the linked story of Lynyrd Skynyrd, here disguised as Betamax Guillotine. The Truckers have three guitarists on this album, just like Lynyrd Skynyrd at their peak and the sound is awesome. This is not commercial, radio friendly rock, it is far superior to that and if you like Skynyrd you won't regret buying this.
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Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
If you liked "God and Guns" by Skynyrd,then you'll probably like most albums by this band.Each and every track nothing like the previous,or following,song.A real eclectic mix of southern rock,story telling sublime,and politically incorrect home truths, ancient and modern.Strong lyrics,sometimes mixed with un-self conciously delivered expletives.Many a'normal' person has puzzled at the sight of a beard
ed,greying, outpatient, 50+ ,with a mile-wide grin!Seriously clever music!
P.S.Buy it,Or Y'all Goin To Hell....Love, Jinx
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By therealus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 18 Dec. 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
After recording Pizza Deliverance, DBT quit their day jobs and embarked on a frenetic musical road trip, during which they composed Southern Rock Opera and became a different band. They transformed from hayseed burlesque into a true power with something serious to say about the world and a serious delivery mechanism.

Nominally the story of the fictional band Betamax Guillotine, mostly the opera is a dedication to legendary southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, and most of the songs are about, or contain references to, them.

Thematically there's something of Bat Out Of Hell about the opening track, Graduation Days, with the wreck on the highway; and the image of the girl screaming with her body embedded in the dashboard ranks high in rock's League of the Macabre. The masterstroke though is the way the teen rumour machine proceeds to create the myth that Lynyrd Skynyrd's Freebird is still playing as the emergency services arrive on the scene. It is, Patterson Hood's narration asserts, a very long song (in reality about nine minutes, so not long enough given the story's timeline).

The Skynyrd story is developed, telling of the connection with Neil Young and all that went with that relationship, culminating in The Three Great Alabama Icons. This peroration by Patterson Hood alone is worth the money and, contrary to some opinion, deserves repeated listening, a little like some of Steve Earle's narrations. It is a reminder of a time when the American South stood for bigotry and segregation, personified by Governor George Wallace.
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Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
I will not review the content of this album, other than to say I think it is a great recording in the roots rock tradition and one of the best albums of the new millennium.

However, having received the double vinyl from Amazon, I am utterly appalled at the quality of the pressing from Lost Highway. After my first copy was defective, Amazon quickly replaced it, but my second copy was just as bad. In both cases, both records of the set were incredibly warped. They were playable with a heavy tracking weight, but I suspect on some turntables the amount of warping would be enough to throw the needle out of the groove. Given this occurs on 2 sets of 2 discs, this has to be a manufacturing error and a quick scan on the internet shows that this issue is far from isolated to just myself. It is disgraceful that the quality control at Lost Highway records would allow this to occur and it reflects badly on the band that their music is presented in such a shoddy manner.

What is more frustrating is that visiting the band's website, they actually recommend the vinyl as being the best way to hear this album. I would concur - the warm guitars and naturalistic recording are well served by the analogue medium, but only if the finished product is up to spec.

Additionally, I was disappointed with the packaging. The double gatefold is pretty unimaginative, with two separate images on the inside (being a vinyl traditionalist I prefer a gatefold to present a single broad design covering both `pages'). Also, there was nothing in the way of booklet, insets or even picture sleeves (only plain paper sleeves). Considering the amount of artwork available on the CD release this smacks of cheap cost-cutting by the record label.
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