Album review: LYNYRD SKYNYRD – Live at Knebworth ‘76

Lynyrd Skynyrd “Live at Knebworth ‘76”

Eagle Rock Entertainment [Release date  .21]

“Live at Knebworth ‘76” is the recently released live film and soundtrack from legendary Southern rock royalty Lynyrd Skynyrd. Whilst clips have been released from the film over the years, most notably in the 1996 “Freebird.. The Movie”, this new edition is like watching, and listening to, a different gig. Now available in its entirety, and nicely restored, this is well worth the wait.

On August 21st 1976, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic line-up were part of a bill headlined by an in form Rolling Stones, rumour had it that this was to be the bands final gig and so the official crowd number may have been 120.000 but estimates put the crowd at anywhere between that and 300,000 on the day.

Skynyrd were immense that day, I doubt many bands would have wanted to follow them onstage, and it is fair to say that they blew the Stones away that afternoon.

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s story is a well told one and it is hard to imagine what would have followed for the band had the tragedy of the following year not have unfolded, no doubt the band would have been a stadium act in the same way as the Stones and Aerosmith.

But back to 1976 and a field in Hertfordshire, where Ronnie Van Zant, Gary Rossington, Allen Collins, Steve Gaines, Leon Wilkeson, Artimus Pyle and Billy Powell run through an eleven song setlist that reads like a greatest hits collection.

Watching this line up perform the likes of “Gimme Three Steps”, “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Saturday Night Special” and “Freebird” just feels right and I am sure that there is not one person reading this that needs me to tell them how good these songs sound.

“Live at Knebworth ‘76” is available in several formats, my favourite being the double vinyl where “Freebird” takes up the whole of side D. The Blu-ray includes the bonus 2018 documentary “If I Leave Here Tomorrow: A Film About Lynyrd Skynyrd”, which is an in depth look at the music and history of Lynyrd Skynryd. This release is one for the collection of all fans of the band.  *****

Review by Nikk Gunns

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