Eagle Rock [Release date 01.06.15] 2-CD + DVD
One of my abiding gig-going memories is seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd on the cusp of wider UK recognition, playing Liverpool Empire in November 1974. It was the classic line-up three years before tragedy struck, and – not being familiar with their set-piece ‘Freebird’ – it was something of a revelation.
During that period, the same band played Hamburg Musikhalle (in December 1974) and three tracks are featured by way of padding out this three disc release.
The main gig here, though, is much later – Loreley Festival, Germany in 1996 – recorded for the Rockpalast TV show. This was an early outing for present guitarist Rickey Medlocke who at the time had not long rejoined the band. Hughie Thomasson (Outlaws) completed the usual three guitarist assault with the other original member Gary Rossington. Other originals were Leon Wilkeson on bass and Billy Powell (keyboards).
The set list is also familiar, pretty much a well-trodden greatest hits with heavy dependence on their first two, definitive, albums. Of course, you probably won’t really beat the original live album ‘One More From The Road’ with the classic band at the peak of their powers – but this is a good-sounding recording and a band still on form.
The bonus third disc here is a DVD of the original TV concerts, although understandably the 1974 gig is a bit rough visually if not aurally. However it makes a change from the Old Grey Whistle Test footage in 1975 that is invariably rolled out to commemorate ‘Freebird’ or “guitar rock”.
The lack of a decent liner note detracts from an otherwise excellent package and, yes, that triple guitar denouement still sounds sweet, twenty or forty years on. ****
Review by David Randall
David Randall presents ‘Assume The Position’ on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio every Sunday at 22:00 GMT.
Gig review (April 2015)
On Sunday 28 July 2019, David Randall celebrated his 600th show. “Assume The Position” started in June 2007 on UK City Radio before transferring a year later to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio. The show includes tracks played on the first show plus Upton Blues Festival highlights, new music and the regular features “Live Legends” and “Anniversary Rock” which this week celebrates the Island Records label 60th anniversary.
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Power Plays w/c 19 August (Mon-Fri)
BEFORE FIRE Dead Eyes (indie)
SCOTT & MARIA Never Give Up (indie)
CORELEONI Queen Of Hearts (AFM Records)
BERLIN Transcendance (Cleopatra Records)
PHIL CAMPBELL These Old Boots (Nuclear Blast)
PHIL LANZON Blue Mountain (Phil Lanzon Ditties/Cargo Records UK)
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09:00-12:00 SOLEIL MOON Warrior (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 ROXY BLUE Roxy Blue (Frontiers)
14:00-16:00 DREW HOLCOMB & THE NEIGHBORS Dragons (Magnolia Music/Thirty Tigers)
Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)
JAMES STEVENSON Everything’s Getting Closer To Being Over (2013)
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