Lynyrd Skynyrd Albums Ranked

Lynyrd Skynyrd Albums

Photo: MCA Records, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Our Lynyrd Skynyrd albums ranked article takes a look at the entire discography of the legendary band Lynyrd Skynyrd. When we first began putting this article together we were kind of torn between whether or not we should include the Lynyrd Skynyrd albums that were released after the tragedy of the 1977 airplane crash that took the lives of Lynyrd Skynyrd members Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Casie Gaines along with the band’s assistant road manager Dean Kilpatrick and the pilot and co-pilot Walter McCreary and William Gray. We all thought that was the end of Lynyrd Skynyrd but Ronnie Van Zant’s younger brother Johnny put the band back together 10 years later.

Of course the Lynyrd Skynyrd with Johnny Van Zant with lead singer sounded like a very different band. However, original Lynyrd Skynyrd members Gary Rossington, Leon Wilkeson, Billy Powell, Artimus Pyle and Ed King and Dale Krantz Rossington revitalized the group for old fans and the ones yet to come. The reunion of the band that was initially supposed to be just a one-time thing, but it turned out that it felt right for the musicians and they continued on to this day. So out of respect for all versions of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd, we have listed all the Lynyrd Skynyrd albums on this list.

# 14 – Endangered Species

We open up Our Lynyrd Skynyrd albums ranked article with the  band’s eighth studio album entitled Endangered Species. The album was released in 1994. This was an album of acoustic versions of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic songs. The lineup on the album included Johnny Van Zant on vocals, Gary Rossington on guitar and acoustic guitar, Mike Estes on guitar and acoustic guitar, Leon Wilkeson on bass, Billy Powell on piano Owen Hale on drums and Ed King on guitars

# 13 – God & Guns

God & Guns  was released on September 29, 2009. It was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s thirteenth studio album. Only Gary Rossington and Billy Powell remained from the original band on this album.

# 12 – Last of a Dyin’ Breed

Last of a Dyin’ Breed  is the final studio album released by Lynyrd Skynyrd as of this writing in 2021. The album was released in 2012. Only Gary Rossington remains from the original band. The lineup on this album included Johnny Van Zant on Lead vocals, Gary Rossington on guitars Rickey Medlocke of Blackfoot on guitars, Mark Matejka on guitars, Peter Keys on Keyboards, Mike Brignardello on bass and Greg Morrow on drums.

# 11 – Edge Of Forever

Edge of Forever was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s tenth studio album. The record was released in 1999. This is probably the most polished of all the post 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd albums with session legend Kenny Aronoff  playing drums on the entire album.

# 10 – Vicious Cycle

The Lynyrd Skynyrd album Vicious Cycle was released in 2003. The album contained one of the most popular songs the post 1977 version of the band ever released in the song “Red White and Blue.”

# 9 – The Last Rebel

The Last Rebel was a really strong post 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd album. It was the band’s second album released after they reformed in 1991. The Last Rebel was released in 1993. It set the tone that the new reformed version of Lynyrd Skynyrd was here to stay.

# 8 – Twenty

The Twenty title of this great Lynyrd Skynyrd album stood for the band’s twentieth anniversary of that sad day in 1977 when the band lost Ronnie Van Zant, Steve Gaines and Cassie Gaines in the plane crash. It also marked a new period in the band with the addition of two well known southern rock musicians in Rickey Medlocke who was the frontman for Blackfoot and who was actually Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original drummer before they were famous and Hughie Thomasson of the great southern rock band The Outlaws. The addition of these two great musicians had a positive impact on the sound of the band injecting a renewed energy into the group. You can hear it easily on this fabulous album.

# 7 – Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991

The Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 album was the band’s first new studio album since Street Survivors. It was both joyous and bittersweet for fans when Lynyrd Skynyrd released this album. Younger brother Johnny Van Zant brought his own style of singing into the group with a much rougher voice than Ronnie’s. It was smart to try and not imitate his brother because the fans would not have accepted that. Johnny did an amazing job on the album which featured all the original members of Lynyrd Skynyrd with the exception of Allen Collins who passed away in 1990 and of course those the band lost in the 1977 plane crash. This was a really good album as it just felt good to hear these great musicians playing together again on record.

# 6 – Gimme Back My Bullets

Lynyrd Skynyrd sounded pretty heavy on this great album released by the band in February of 1976. Standout track on this one included the fantastic title track “Gimme Back My Bullets” and the song “Searching.” The guitar work between Gary Rossington and  Allen Collins is outstanding on this album.

# 5 – Nuthin’ Fancy

Nuthin’ Fancy  was Lynyrd Skynyrd’s third album release. The record hit the stores in March of 1975. Nuthin’ Fancy would become the band’s first top 10 album as it was eagerly anticipated as the follow up to Second Helping which contained the big hit “Sweet Home Alabama.” Many Lynyrd Skynyrd classic were given birth on the Nuthin’ Fancy album including the songs Saturday Night Special,” “Am I Losin'” and “Whiskey Rock-a-Roller.”

# 4 – Lynyrd Skynyrd (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd)

Southern Rock and even just basic rock and roll were handed a great new band in 1973 when Lynyrd Skynyrd released their debut album entitled Lynyrd Skynyrd (Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd) . The album’s great cover showcased the entire group that in many ways symbolized that this was a total band effort. The album presented the studio version of “Free Bird “that would be soon blown away by the stunning live version released in 1976 on the One More For The Road album. There were so many sensational songs on the record like Tuesday’s Gone” “Simple Man,” and “Gimme Three Steps.” The album was produced by Al Kooper who would go on to produce the next set of Lynyrd Skynyrd albums.

# 3 – Second Helping

As we start to close in on the number one spot on our Lynyrd Skynyrd albums ranked list we present the band’s second studio album entitled Second Helping.  The album was released on April 15th 1974. It was with the release of the band’s second album that Lynyrd Skynyrd became pretty much a household name in the United States because of the hit single “Sweet Home Alabama.” The band simply sounded great on the record as they always pretty much had a live feel on their studio albums which is why people just love them so much, they were just simply so genuine.

The Second Helping album also contained some other songs that would become standard Lynyrd Skynyrd repertoire including “Call Me The Breeze,” “The Needle and the Spoon, the original debut single from the album “Don’t Ask Me No Questions,” and of course the classic song “Workin for MCA.”

# 2 – One More from the Road

We don’t usually put live albums on these best of album lists but we’re going to make an exception with this one. Lynyrd Skynyrd’s amazing live album One More For The Road stands as really as one of the greatest live albums of all time. The album was released on September 9th 1976 as a 2 record set. The concert’s was captured live over three nights at the legendary Fox Theater in Atlanta Georgia. The crown jewel of this album was the 11-minute version of the song “Free Bird.” I can’t tell you how many times the song was played on the radio in 1976. Everyone went nuts over the live version of Freebird. However, there was so many more great recordings released on the One More for the Road album. This is one you have to have.

The record opened up with a great version of “Workin for MCA.” The first side closed with an incredible version of Tuesday’s Gone. Side two opened with a killer live recording of Saturday Night Special  and closed with a slamming version of “Sweet Home Alabama.” The live album also contained an awesome version of the Robert Johnson classic “Crossroads,” which was placed  just before the final track on side four entitled “Free Bird.” The album also featured the band’s newest guitarist Steve Gaines along with Ronnie Van Zant on vocals, Allen Collins on guitar, Gary Rossington on guitar, Leon Wilkeson on base, Artimus Pyle on drums the great Billy Powell on keyboards, and on backing vocals were JoJo Billingsley, Cassie Gaines and Leslie Hawkins.

# 1 – Street Survivors

In the number one spot on our Lynyrd Skynyrd albums ranked article we  present the band’s legendary Street Survivors album. This is a bittersweet album. Just three days after Street Survivors was released the band endured that tragic airplane crash. The original album cover had the band in flames which was pulled immediately. That original album cover would eventually return on CD issues many years later. The Street Survivors album stands as their strongest record. It defined a maturity in the band from a musical standpoint due to the arrival of new guitarist Steve Gaines. Songs like “That Smell,” “You Got That Right,” and “I Never Dreamed,” defined a whole new level a songwriting skills then what the band had previously released. From the lyrics, the melodies the chord changes and the musicianship the Street Survivors album served as a preview for a band taking that next step and  becoming even greater than they already were.

Lynyrd Skynyrd Albums Ranked article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021

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