Lynyrd Skynyrd's 2000 compilation All Time Greatest Hits
suffers from the same ailments that plague many compilations of its time, but there is one problem in particular that hurts it: instead of offering all of the "all time greatest hits" on one disc, the compilers pulled their punches, overlooking a few big songs while occasionally substituting live or acoustic versions for the original studio versions. That means that this is a Skynyrd compilation without the famed original recording of "Free Bird" -- a live version is here instead. It doesn't really matter that it's a good version, taken from 1976's One More from the Road
, or that the live version actually charted in the Top 40; nor does it matter that "All I Can Do Is Write About It" is a good acoustic version originally released on the eponymous 1991 box set, because this is a collection made for a general audience. It should, therefore, have the versions that a general audience knows best. Apart from that, and the usual nitpicking over songs that should have been included ("Workin' for MCA," "Don't Ask Me No Questions," etc.), this remains a solid collection, containing most of the Skynyrd material that a casual follower could want. If the double-album Gold & Platinum
remains the greater compilation, that's because it captures the essence of the band better. This includes most of the best-known songs on one disc, and that's noteworthy in its own right; it may even be preferable for some listeners.