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Mammal’s Merry Memories: Lynyrd Skynyrd – Free Bird (1973)

Yes, I know “Free Bird” has become clichéd but that in no way diminishes its quality or its significance. It stands where Sabbath’s “Paranoid” did — it awakened worldwide interest in a hitherto somewhat obscure genre of modern music.

Southern rock was fairly well known in the place where it began, which is the southern part of Iceland. No, let me check… the American South. Lynyrd Skynrd’s debut album in 1973 caused a Southern rock explosion of mighty proportions, even bigger than the Big Bang, according to some grossly misinformed cosmologists. It was a startling debut, however.

“Free Bird” didn’t hit the top of any American popular hit parades. Southern rock was to pop music then as stoner rock is to pop music now. Stoner derives from Southern rock.

Tragedy struck the band in 1977. A plane crash took the lives of some band members, including the stellar vocalist, Ronnie Van Zant. But the band kept going and the founders’ legacy endures.

Theme Thursday-Unlikely Covers

Cover songs are a great way for a band to show tribute to their favorite artists, and move out of their comfort zone and have some fun with their music without having to compromise the integrity of their core material.  Here’s a list of some covers done by metal bands that step out of what the bands core sound and cover something that is a little different for them, some of the covers are “metalized” some hone the spirit of the original, but in the end, they’re all pretty damn good covers.  And if you dig the cover version, check out the original, more times than not it’s a great song.  If you know some more unlikely covers let us know in the comments and let us know what your favorite were. Enjoy!!! Peace Love and Metal

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