Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Extended Versions: Encore Collections
Genres: Pop, Rock, Classic Rock, Metal
Similarly Requested CDs
William Matson | Maine | 05/15/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Lynyrd Skynyrd 'Extended Versions' is a ten track, budget-priced compilation of previously released music. Four of the cuts are live greatest hits taken from the double live set, 'Lyve from Steeltown' (released in 1998). These are "What's your name?", "Free Bird", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "You got that right."
The other six cuts are taken from the 1997 studio album, 'Twenty.' The song selection is good, there is nothing wrong with that. You can't expect many more than ten tracks because the live cuts on here are fairly long. The running time on this 'Extended Versions' collection borders close to an hour. "Free Bird" alone is over twelve minutes long in a live setting.
All of the tracks here are dated 1997 and there is nothing specifying that some of this material is live, so the casual fan might not know any better. That fact alone costs this review a star. The band picture shown is of the later day lineup, circa 1997, so don't expect anything featuring the vocals of original singer, Ronnie Van Zant. This is the Johnny Van Zant-fronted lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd. There is little information on the album sleeve, this contains basic no-frills packaging and liner notes.
One positive point is the reasonable price, which is under $10. It is a fairly economical way to sample two releases from the Skynyrd catalog that would cost significantly more separately. Nonetheless, somebody who makes this purchase and enjoys the music would do well to pick up the two source albums: 'Twenty' (1997, CMC International) and 'Lyve from Steeltown' (1998, CMC International). 'Twenty' is a solid studio effort that has some strong moments. Some of the best cuts are featured right here on 'Extended Versions' but tracks like "Voodoo Lake" and "How soon we forget" (not found here) are also worth hearing. 'Lyve from Steeltown' was recorded on the tour for the 'Twenty' album and is taken from a show in Pittsburgh that showcased the band in fine form. While some of the best moments from that live release can be heard here, there are many other songs missing from this compilation that won't disappoint.
For someone that doesn't have any recent material of this band, 'Extended Versions' isn't a bad place to start, but they might do better looking someplace else first. One has to realize that the label, BMG, is just milking stuff that has already been issued on other releases. There is no new material here, which is enough to lower the review by another star. A die hard Lynyrd Skynyrd fan can totally ignore this cd."
Lyve and recorded latter-day Skynyrd
Erik Victor Braun | Platteville, WI United States | 05/21/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The CD is a mix of live and studio recorded material, recorded by a "latter day" version of the band. It includes Johnny, not Ronnie, Van Zant on Vocals, and other band members who had survived the plane crash of 20-some years latter. Most of the tracks on the album were recorded around the mid-1990's, and do include some of Skynyrd's best, or atleast amongst their most-recognizable material. This includes "Free Bird", "Sweet Home Alabama", and "What's Your Name". It also incldues other tracks, such as; "O.R.R. and "You Got That Right." Tracks four and five; the fore-mentioned "Sweet Home Alabama" and "Free Bird" were recorded back-to-back at a concert in Pittsburgh, PA. Though it is Johnny on vocals, he emulates his famous brother on-stage. This version of "Free Bird" begins with a piano solo, by original Skynyrd member Billy Powell, who would get a second solo between the first and second verse. Soon thereafter the song's tempo picks up, and carries on for several more minutes. For those wishing to learn how the song is played, it's underlying base chords are easily decipherable during the extended guitar solos. This is followed by "Sweet Home Alabama", with the ending drawn out to add effect to the song. Again, during it's extended ending, Mr. Powell's piano expertise is heard, as he plays his way into the song's final couple of minutes. Other tracks of the CD, save for "What's My Name" aren't as well-known, and seem to fill in some of the cracks between the better tracks. One seemingly new addition to the Skynyrd song-list is "Home Is Where The Heart Is." This one resembles some other Skynyrd songs, it tells us that the fast-paced life isn't all that it's cracked up to be. So, in conclusion, I do recommend this CD if you are big on Lynyrd Skynyrd, and especially if you'd like some live cuts on some of their biggest songs. Otherwise, if you're more curious about the band, I'd first recommend a greatest hits CD, so you can get more of a feel of the band. Do note, that their deep southern-blues roots aren't easily distinguishable in this CD, partially because of the live-recorded tracks, and that their "blusiest" material was not chosen for this album."