In 1980, the sound of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic guitars would return in a new band called the Rossington Collins Band. The band featured former Lynyrd Skynyrd members Leon Wilkeson on bass, Gary Rossington and Allen Collins on guitar, and Billy Powell on piano. Derek Hess. was brought in to play drums because Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original drummer Artimus Pyle had recently been in a motorcycle accident that prevented him from joining the band. It was basically Lynyrd Skynyrd with a new lead singer and drummer. In order to avoid comparisons with their former band, and of course to pay considerable respect to their fallen bandmates Gary Rossington hired a female single named Dale Krantz to sing lead vocals.
The Rossington Collins Band only recorded two albums. The band broke up for personal reasons surrounding Allen Collins and a tragic accident. Gary Rossington would eventually marry Dale Krantz and release with his new bride, two albums under the Rossington Band name. Allen Collins would also release a couple of solo records. We have included tracks from both of the projects as well as the two original Rossington Collins Band albums. The post Street Survivors Lynyrd Skynyrd family has left a legacy of solo albums and various projects and of course the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd Band with Ronnie’s younger brother Johnny Van Zant on lead vocals. This top 10 Rossington Collins Band list just simply focuses on our favorite Gary Rossington and Allen Collins projects.
# 10 – Getaway
In opening our top 10 Rossington Collins Band Songs list we have chosen the great grooving ballad “Getaway.” The song features the heartfelt soulful vocals of lead singer Dale Krantz. The song was written by Barry Lee Harwood, Dale Krantz, and Billy Powell. “Getaway,” was released on the first Rossington Collins Band album entitled Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere. The album was released in June of 1980. For fans who are first discovering this music, they will find the song “Getaway,” features two great guitar solos in the middle section and an amazing guitar duel at the end by the legendary Gary Rossington and Allen Collins. We just love this band!
# 9 – Three Times As Bad
Turning once again to the first Rossington Collins Band album is a song entitled “Three Times as Bad.” The song starts out with a burning guitar solo that segues into the amazing soulful blues vocals of Dale Krantz. This is Southern Soul at its best. One can hear a bit of Janis Joplin in Dale’s vocals. The song also features a beautiful piano solo by Billy Powell. One can not describe what a Godsend this album was for Lynyrd Skynyrd fans when it was first released back in 1980. “Three Times As Bad,” appeared as the second track on the album behind the album’s scorching opening track “Prime Time,” which is also featured on this top 10 Rossington Collins Band Album.
# 8 – Just Trouble ” Allen Collins Band”
As stated in this article’s introduction, this Rossington Collins Band Songs list will also explore the solo albums released by Gary Rossington and Allen Collins outside of their great two album collaboration. Our first choice outside of the two Rossington Collins albums is a funky Memphis inspired track by the late great Allen Collins entitled “Just Trouble.”
The song was released on Allen Collins’ solo album Here There and Back in 1983. The Allen Collins band featured most of the musicians from the Rossington Collins Band with the exception of course of Gary Rossington and Dale Krantz. The Allen Collins Band only released one studio album and one live album. A few years later in 1987, Lynyrd Skynyrd reformed. Sadly in 1990, Allen Collins passed away at the very young age of only 37 years old.
# 7 – Means Nothing To You
The great Rossington Collins Band song “Means Nothing To You,” was released on their second album. The album entitled This Is The Way was released in 1981. The song “Means Nothing To You,” was the album’s closing track. The song was written by guitarist Barry Lee Harwood. The song’s killer opening guitar riff sounds like vintage old-school Lynyrd Skynyrd. The guitar riffs and pumping Billy Powell piano add to one of rock and roll’s most underrated southern rock songs. Krantz is amazing as usual. This needs to be heard.
# 6 – Love Your Man “Rossington Band”
After the breakup of the Rossington Collins Band, Dale Krantz and Gary Rossington formed a new band simply called the Rossington Band. The Rossington Band edged a lit closer to a more modern 80’s sound, yet they still managed to maintain their southern rock boogie blues roots. There is no better example of their allegiance to their roots than the great number “Love Your Man.”
# 5 – Prime Time
The opening cut to the first Rossington Collins Band album was the great track “Prime Time.” Within a few beats, fans knew that the heart and soul of Lynyrd Skynyrd had returned in a very respectful and authentic way. Just take a listen to those opening guitar lines and deny that you don’t hear the ghost of “What’s Your Name,” in that groove.
The decision to utilize a female vocalist on the album was an incredibly respectful decision aimed at paying respect to their fallen brother Ronnie Van Zant. Gale never tries to imitate Ronnie and finds her own way. The rest of the group are just being who they are, which we all know are proud former members of perhaps the most loved southern rock band of all time.
# 4 – Shame On Me ” Rossington Band”
The most recent song on this top 10 Rossington Collins Band Songs list was released only a few months ago in 2016. According to Dale and Gary, fans at Lynyrd Skynyrd shows have constantly asked both of them if they were ever going to revisit the Rossington Band days. While Gary and Dale were both busy working with the reformed Lynyrd Skynyrd since 87, they always replied that those days were gone.
However, due to fan interest, the two decided to release a new record in November of 2016 entitled Take It On Faith. It was so difficult to choose a song from the album because every track is simply smoking. In the end, we choose “Shame On Me.” After all these years, the legacy of Lynyrd Skynyrd continues to deliver great music that keeps the spirit alive.
# 3 – Don’t Stop Me Now
When listening to the great song “Don’t Stop Me Now,” it’s easy to hear the direction once again that Lynyrd Skynyrd was heading out of the Street Survivors recording. This song has always reminded me of the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd Street Survivors album track “You Got That Right.” Billy Powell’s octave runs on the piano have always played an important role in defining that signature Lynyrd Skynyrd sound. They are all over this track. Gary and Allen are tearing it up as usual and Dale delivers another blues infused pitch perfect vocal. You need to go out and buy this album NOW!!!
# 2 – Everything You Need “Allen Collins Band”
There are some songs that are so perfect, they leave the reviewer almost speechless in defining their brilliance. The amazing performance of Allen Collins on “Everything You Need,” is breathtaking. To quote George Harrison, Allen Collins made the guitar weep like no other. It just does not seem like Allen Collins ever got the credit he deserved. The man should be spoken in the same breath as other guitar gods like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, David Gilmour, and Duane Allman. The great recording of Allen Collins’ “Everything You Need,” was released on the Here, There, and Back album in 1983.
# 1 – Don’t Misunderstand Me
If there is one song that the general public will know from the Rossington Collins Band, it would be their hit song “Don’t Misunderstand Me.” The song was released on the band’s debut album Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere, in 1980. The song’s great bass lines doubled by Rossington and Collins’ iconic guitar riffs made for the perfect FM 80’s style southern-infused classic rock hit. While the band never had another hot as popular as this song, they sure did release two albums of great material that still feels fresh over 35 years later.
Updated October 6, 2023
Top 10 Rossington Collins Band Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2023
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