This one's a tough call in many respects. First, there is the notion of 30 years. Of that time period, only a very short chunk of it produced the tracks listeners consider Lynyrd Skynyrd classics today -- the earliest period when the band was fronted by the late Ronnie Van Zant. Lynyrd Skynyrd may have been influenced by the Allman Brothers with their guitar attack (three and sometimes four guitars would stalk a Skynyrd stage), but rather than try to imitate the Allmans (a blues band that was such a singular entity anyway and can hardly be termed "Southern rock"), they created their own identity as a rock & roll band. It was Skynyrd who invented the Deep South's redneck rock genre, and they spawned so many imitators it became a parody. However, these cats could play and write. Of these two discs, the lion's share of the material is devoted to the original band, whose string of hits is dizzying to consider even today. All of the expected material is here -- from "Free Bird" and "Tuesday's Gone" to "Gimme Back My Bullets," "That Smell," and "Sweet Home Alabama." Also included, for better or worse, is the Lynyrd Skynyrd that carried on some years after Van Zant's death and have been carrying on with Johnny Van Zant
fronting the band, looking like a carbon copy of his older brother. This may piss off a lot of purists, but it needn't -- as this material is solid, rocking, and drenched in blues, if lacking originality a bit in the writing department. Fans of the band already have what they need and this is no prize on that level in any way. Newcomers may be tempted by the price point, but would do better with All Time Greatest Hits
as a proper introduction.