Lynyrd Skynyrd 20th Century ­Masters MAG

January 31, 2011
By Nathaniel Cain BRONZE, New York City, New York
Nathaniel Cain BRONZE, New York City, New York
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The fact that a gym teacher (named Leonard Skinner) inspired not just a band but a musical movement is pretty cool. The truth that this movement is sure to affect generations to come is extraordinary.

The band Lynyrd Skynyrd (pronounced Leh‑nerd Skin‑nerd, as one of their album names explains) produced one of the most requested live songs ever, “Freebird.” This only makes “Lynyrd Skynyrd: 20th Century Masters” even better.

The highlight of “Freebird” does not come when singer Johnny Van Zant flies high over the crowd with, “Won't you fly high, Freebird, yeah?” even though his vocals are tremendous. Rather, the climax of this classic song is the epic five minute guitar solo, with three guitars being played to their full extent. From the light-hearted, clean input to the distorted electric setup, the fact that this song was played at the 2005 Grammy Awards is just another example of how it has one wicked solo.

However, “Freebird” is not Lynyrd Skynyrd's most popular song. “Sweet Home Alabama” tops it, but not because of its guitar prowess. “Sweet Home Alabama” is a more universal song, a better mix with the general public. From its piano jamming to its uniquely Southern guitar riffs, this song is widely known around the world.

“Sweet Home Alabama” and “Freebird” make a good mix, and they can both be found on this album, along with eight other great Skynyrd hits. Like a number of rock bands of the ྂs and ྌs, Lynyrd Skynyrd released many “greatest hits” collections, but you can be sure that a “20th Century Masters” collection of any band will best capture that band's skill and potential.

However, Skynyrd's songs, are not for every rock fan. If you are a worshipper of diehard metal, this band is not for you. If you enjoy a song with more rhythm than melody, don't bother adding Skynyrd to your playlist. But for those of you in between, you might want to consider Lynyrd Skynyrd's “20th Century Masters” album. You're in for a wild ride.

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