on 19 June 2013
Finally bought it, was a bit aprehensive after hearing some of the sample tracks, but after hearing the album all the way through, i can say that, as a Skynyrd fan - i was not disapointed! There's so much more here than just early and raw versions of some of their biggest tunes - freebird, commin' home, gimmie 3 steps. The songs have a youthful feel to them, Ronnies voice is still finding it's way, yet it's amazingly soft and emotional and in my opinion, slightly more gritty and edgy than on albums after this. Collins guitar work is alive and on fire, he had so much talent and you can hear many Skynyrd riffs from many later tunes running through this album. It's like, they had all the guitar work and the tunes but they were all in a big pile on the floor and needed sorting out, and throughout the next 5 albums, it gets refined and distributed among the later recordings. If you play guitar, you will hear thiis and know what i mean - but also, a true Skynyrd fan would pick up on this too!! And - if you are a true fan, you owe it to yourself to buy this album - this is where it all started!
Essentially an expanded version of the posthumous release 'First and Last',although it should be noted that the versions of 'Wino & Comin Home' on that release are exclusive to it,the remaining 7 tracks are reproduced faithfully here.
The recordings contained on this disc circa 1971'72 are superb and several include future Blackfoot men Ricky Medlocke and Greg T Walker,Medlocke would of course eventually rejoin skynyrd in the 90's albeit on Guitar instead of drums!
Highlights include original album tracks Down South Jukin,the stunning Medlocke vocal on White Dove,Preachers Daughter & The Seasons,another Medlocke vocal.
The alternate versions of Wino & Comin Home included here differ little from those originally found on First and Last.
Early versions of previous tracks include Freebird.again yet different and worthwhile with One More Time/Trust/Gimme 3 Steps and I Aint The one showing early promise.The disc finishes with 2 previously unreleased in any form tracks 'You Run Around & Aint Too Proud Too Pray' both of which sound to me a little like future Blackfoot.
As with all reissues this has an excellent booklet and is another first class release
on 30 August 2008
For any Skynyrd fan, just listen to these recordings, and hear the music in a different light.The music is the same, but slightly different,more raw, just the way it was meant to be.Freebird sounds completely different without the guitar intro.You'll recognise the songs, but not the way you know them !
on 14 October 2009
A very interesting compilation of demo versions! I really appreciate the sound of the earliest Lynyrd Skynyrd... Free Bird, Simple Man, Trust, are great, but there are also other unreleased songs like "Preacher's Daughter" which are really enjoiable... I heartily recommend this CD!
on 5 June 2015
Being a big 'Skynyrd' fan i had heard about this original recorded album they did in 1971 but didnt get signed with and often wondered about if the tracks would be that different to what they later went onto to record as there first proper studio released album a few years later. Throught the delights of YouTube i was able to give the tracks and listen and straight away after hearing track 1 - the original recording of FreeBird with a piano for the opening 4mins i was ordering it immediately! It's stripped down in places but never losing the southern rock they become later famous for, but also the vocals are quite tender, and there's female backing vocals, gospel'esque in small places, and it all adds to what is i think a superb album. Interestingly it was recorded around the same time as the Stones 'Sticky Fingers' and 'Exile on Main Street' and it holds up well to both this albums, infact on par. An amazing lost classic of an unreleased debut.
on 23 April 2014
I love the first Skynrd album, but this one pre-dates by almost two years. There are great versions of songs we all know and some tremendous songs that time had forgotten. It's such a crime that we were deprived of these fabulous recordings by record industry stupidy: nobody wanted to take a chance on a nine minute single. But what did they know? Free Bird is the most played song on FM radio ever, and rightly so. No prizes for foresight there. Great songs, excellent liner notes. If you ever loved Lynyrd Skynyrd do yourself a favour and invest in this wonderful piece of recording history.