Friday, 13 January 2012

CD Review: Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd, by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973)

Formed under a different name back in 1964, it took Lynyrd Skynyrd nine long years to record their first studio album, and in many ways the wait was worth it. Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd is a cultured album, representing a band seasoned by endless touring and already close to their peak

The mix of southern rock with strong shadings of metal is potent. Free Bird is a remarkable track, an eternal classic and one of the earliest examples of what a metallic heaven might sound like. The instrumental back-end of the song, more than five minutes of shredding metal magic, is a cornerstone of the genre, unleashing the power of what can be created when rock drops its structures and crosses into metal's gloriously darker terrain.

There is strong support on the album in the form of the dynamic opener I Ain't The One, the soulful Tuesday's Gone, and Poison Whiskey, which exudes animated danger festering at rock's far reaches. All three are solid examples of the best elements of southern rock reaching for the solidity of metal, the vocals of Ronnie Van Zant perfectly suitable for stretching into metal, and the guitars of Gary Rossington and Allen Collins more than willing to follow.

Unfortunately, Pronounced Leh-nerd Skin-nerd does sag in the middle, the four central tracks meandering between average and annoying, Mississippi Kid finally venturing out into the black bayous and disappearing into the land of the toothless.

But the good material succeeds in outweighing the bad, and the greatness on the album is pronounced Free-Bird.


Ronnie Van Zant - Vocals
Gary Rossington - Guitars
Allen Collins - Guitars
Ed King - Bass
Billy Powell - Keyboards
Robert Burns - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. I Ain't The One - 8
2. Tuesday's Gone - 8
3. Gimme Three Steps - 7
4. Simple Man - 7
5. Things Goin' On - 6
6. Mississippi Kid - 5
7. Poison Whiskey - 9
8. Free Bird - 10

Average: 7.50

Produced by Al Kooper.
Engineered by Bob Langford, Rodney Mills, Danny Turbeville and Al Kooper.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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