Second Helping (Bonus Track Version)
No one better defined Southern Rock in the 1970s than Lynyrd Skynyrd. Spearheaded by singer-songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, a three guitar attack, and a rhythm section that could play a tight, crunchy groove, a foot-stompin’ back porch shuffle or a lazy, wasted vibe without losing their personal identity, Lynyrd Skynyrd had an abundance of weapons at their disposal. But in the end it’s their songs that have enabled their legend to live on. Second Helping is, as its title implies, the group’s second album. It doesn’t stray much from the hard rocking foundation of the debut, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd. Both were produced by Al Kooper, who discovered the group, and feature no nonsense arrangements that ensure tunes such as “Sweet Home Alabama,” “Workin’ For MCA” and J.J. Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze” have a timeless, undated quality. The band could also be counted on for affecting adult tales (“The Ballad of Curtis Lowe,” “The Needle and the Spoon”) that showed Van Zant’s empathy towards his fellow man. Bonus editions of the album feature an essential demo version of Van Zant’s haunting “Was I Right or Wrong,” in case anyone needed further convincing of his extraordinary songwriting talents.