One More From The Road
Released: September 1976
Chart Peak: #9
Weeks Charted: 43
Certified Triple Platinum: 7/21/87
"Crossroads," the Robert Johnson-cum-Cream metallic raver included on this live album, deftly encapsulates Lynyrd Skynyrd's influences: Southern blues-rock diced with the sharp blade of British hard rock. Cream was based conceptually upon the guitar as the primary rock manipulator; Skynyrd has secured its large audience by maintaining that notion.
But Skynyrd has always relied more on a solid repertoire of rock material than on instrumental expertise. Their three guitarists -- Steve Gaines has joined to fill Ed King's old slot -- have a solid arsenal of fills and solo ideas, but none of them has ever created a readily identifiable style. Appropriately, the solos in "Crossroads" never stray too far from Clapton's on Wheels of Fire. And ironically, the album's inevitable finale, "Free Bird" -- the jam that make Skynyrd instant FM favorites -- fails to maintain its heavyweight status, because it sounds, after four sides of the same, like just one final exertion of heavy-metal power.
While pianist Billy Powell remains in a largely supportive role, Ronnie Van Zant's singing is always solid -- barroom-tough on rockers, properly vulnerable on two of the set's highlights, "Searching" and "The Needle and the Spoon." The only new song, "Travellin' Man," which is sung with effective and unobtrusive background singers, receives a similarly world-weary interpretation. The album's real surprise though is a rock-out version of "T for Texas."
Skynyrd has never aspired to be more than a tough rock & roll band, and their live set -- which draws more than half its material from their first two albums -- lives up to that. Penny for penny, One More from the Road offers a prime cut of guitar rock.
- John Milward, Rolling Stone, 11-4-76.
This is a well-drilled outfit, and I admire precision of execution in bands, but technique can't make up for pale material. Listening to the first few cuts of this double-disc live album is okay -- you can admire the crispness and zip of the band's delivery -- but shortly thereafter things get dull; the material doesn't improve, and the rendering of it sounds more and more mechanical. At the end of the fourth side, I applauded -- with relief.
- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 1/77.
The high-energy live album has become far more than simply a second greatest hits variation to fill in between studio LPs of new material, with today's stunning quality available from mobile recording equipment. Peter Frampton's live LP, which keeps surging back to the No.1 chart position every few weeks this year, has proven this once and for all. Bands that come off well in live performance are especially effective on live LPs. And this Skynyrd two-disk set cut at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta, the group's adopted hometown where it first broke out of the bar ghetto, is one of the most white-hot live sets imaginable. The group concentrates on songs already strongly identified with it. But under Tom Dowd's sensitive mixing, the blazing energy Skynyrd is capable of onstage comes through with an astonishing absence of barriers. This is what basic, raunchy rock'n'roll is all about. The three lead guitars and vocalist Ronnie Van Zant blast through with demonic energy that wouldn't do injustice to the Stones. One of the most all-out exciting albums of the season. The energy level is unreal. Best cuts: "I Ain't The One," "Tuesday's Gone," "Free Bird," "Gimmie Three Steps."
- Billboard, 1976.
Like I always say, live doubles function mostly as aural souvenirs for benighted concertgoers, and here's a band I never miss. Their hits rock, their covers sidle, and yahoo. A-
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
The height of mid-Seventies Southern rock, served up live and kickin' by the band that earned its reputation doin' it live on the road. Covered among its twelve strong selections (almost totally drawn from their hot first and second album releases, Pronounced Leh-Nerd Skin-Nerd and Second Helping) are "Saturday Night Special," "Sweet Home Alabama," "The Needle and the Spoon," and "Free Bird," each an enduring testament to the power of Ronnie Van Zant's writing and performance. This is definitely a live outing, albeit a well-recorded one. The band and the crowd cook -- this was stirring Southern rock with a gritty edge, but, on record, the studio cuts of these songs remain definitive. The sound is clean, live, obviously lacking in studio sheen and definition, but, nonetheless, a plus. B+
- Bill Shapiro, Rock & Roll Review: A Guide to Good Rock on CD, 1991.
Recorded at Atlanta's Fox Theater and produced by Tom Dowd (Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Allman Brothers), Skynyrd returned to their original three-guitar lineup concept with the addition of Steve Gaines. Some might complain that One More failed to capture the energy of the band's shows, but overall it ranks as one of rock's finest live releases. * * *
- Rick Clark, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
One More From the Road is an awesome live document and includes the famous "What song is it you want to hear?!" "Freeee-bird!!!" dialogue. * * * *
- Alan Paul, Musichound Rock: The Essential Album Guide, 1996.
"What song is it you wanna hear?" is perhaps one of the most famous introductions to a song on a live album, period. Ronnie Van Zandt's question, posed to the thousands packed into Atlanta's Fox Theater on a hot July night in 1976, elicited the massive response "Free Bird!!!," Skynyrd's anthem.
The Southern-influenced rock of Lynyrd Skynyrd touched fans throughout the US, their onstage performances, captured in One More From The Road shows this. From Van Zandt's gritty vocals to the guitar duets of Gary Rossington and Allen Collins, Skynyrd were in their element on this album, recording it live in Atlanta, Georgia. It reached Number Nine in the US, Number 17 in the UK. Songs such as "Sweet Home Alabama," with its by now infamous swipe at Neil Young, through to "Gimme Back My Bullets" and the achingly sweet ballad "Tuesday's Gone" show the range of the band and what might follow in the years to come.
Sadly it was not to be, for a little over a year after the album was released to huge critical and commercial acclaim, Van Zandt, together with Steven Gaines, his sister Cassie and road manager Dean Kilpatrick were killed in a plane crash while the band was on tour.
As of 2004, One More From The Road was the #76 best-selling album of the 70s.
- Hamish Champ, The 100 Best-Selling Albums of the 70s, 2004.
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