Southern-rock masters Lynyrd Skynyrd not quite in their prime on Nothing Comes Easy: 1991-2012
There’s no doubt that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s albums in the 70s helped to define the southern rock genre, and those records bear up magnificently today. Nothing Comes Easy brings together four of the albums they released after their re-formation in 1987.
Being brutally honest, none of them stand up against the band’s classic records. However, they shouldn’t merely be dismissed as irrelevant, as all offer some quality.
Lynyrd Skynyrd 1991 shows that vocalist Johnny Van Zandt wasn’t overshadowed by his late brother Ronnie’s reputation. Both this album and 1993’s The Last Rebel work, because the line-up is as close as it could be to the band’s glory days.
2009’s Gods & Guns is the best album Skynyrd have made in the past 30 years. Aided by guest appearances including John 5 and Rob Zombie, it has a very contemporary strut and energy, while still offering traditional southern blues passion. Also included is a six-track bonus EP that has three live performances that prove how strong this version of Skynyrd were.
Finally there’s 2012’s Last Of A Dying Breed. This is the band’s most recent studio album, and once more it shows them not stuck in the past, but striving confidently to compete with young southern rockers like Black Stone Cherry.
It’s informative to revisit these albums. In recent times, on stage Lynyrd Skynyrd have concentrated on playing only material from their golden era. But when you listen to the songs here, many of them deserve more attention.