From The Morton Blog

Now Available: Lynyrd Skynyrd - Sweet Home Alabama (Live at Rockpalast 1996)

By , Contributor
Over the summer, Lynyrd Skynyrd fans were treated to the first-ever release of the band's 1996 Rockpalast concert in the form of Sweet Home Alabama. Eagle Rock Entertainment has issued the June 23, 1996 Loreley Festival performance as a two-disc CD set (and also as a digital download). If you love Skynyrd and you haven't snagged this one after it dropped this past June (nearly in time for the 19th anniversary of the show itself), this one should be in your collection.

Of course, being that this was taped in 1996 it goes without saying this isn't the original line-up. Following the tragic 1977 plane crash that claimed the lives of Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines, and Cassie Gaines, the band seemed to come to an end. A reunion with key surviving members was initially meant as a one-off tribute, but over the years we've gotten a lot more music from various configurations of Lynyrd Skynyrd. The '96 show features a lineup consisting of: Johnny Van Zant (vocals), Gary Rossington (guitar), Rickey Medlocke (guitar, vocals), Hughie Thomasson (guitar), Billy Powell (keys), Leon Wilkeson (bass), Owen Hale (drums), Dale Krantz-Rossington and Carol Chase (backing vocals).

The really cool bonus, however, arrives near the end of the second disc: three live cuts recorded at the Hamburg Musikhalle on December 5, 1974. From this rare show we hear "Workin' for MCA," "Free Bird," and "Sweet Home Alabama." Though the fidelity isn't equal to the crystal clear audio from the '96 show, the historical import is evident. This original lineup included: Ronnie Van Zant (vocals), Gary Rossington (guitar), Allen Collins (guitar, vocals), Ed King (guitar), Billy Powell (keys), Leon Wilkeson (bass), and Bob Burns (drums).

Sweet Home Alabama Tracklist:

Disc One: 
“Workin’ for MCA” 
“I Ain’t the One” 
“Down South Jukin’” 
“Double Trouble” 
“I Know a Little” 
“Saturday Night Special” 
“Swamp Music” 
“What’s Your Name” 
“That Smell” 
“Simple Man” 
“Gimme Three Steps” 
“Call Me the Breeze”

Disc Two: 
“Sweet Home Alabama” 
“Free Bird” 
(1974 bonus tracks) 
“Workin’ for MCA” 
“Free Bird” 
“Sweet Home Alabama"

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Chaz Lipp is a Seattle-based freelance writer whose focus is music and film. As “The Other Chad,” he has written for the online magazine Blogcritics since 2008. When he’s not writing, Chaz can be found trolling jazz clubs, attempting to find somewhere to play his sax (whether anyone wants to hear…

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