Hard Rock Music Time Machine – 12/14/17
Each Thursday, Hard Rock Music Time Machine takes a journey back in time to feature a variety of songs that date back as far as the ’70s.
In addition to appearing on the embedded YouTube playlist below, all songs featured on Hard Rock Music Time Machine can be listened to individually by clicking on the hyper-linked song titles above each review.
ADAM WALDMAN – (Publisher, Hard Rock Daddy)
LYNYRD SKYNYRD – “Sweet Home Alabama” (1974)
If you didn’t know any better, you’d swear that the writers of one of the most iconic songs in the history of southern rock were proud Alabamans. However, most Lynyrd Skynryd fans are well aware of the fact that Ronnie Van Zant and Gary Rossington both hail from Jacksonville, FL. Lesser known is that the third writer (Ed King) is from Glendale, CA. So why the Alabama pride?
“Sweet Home Alabama” is thought to be a direct response to Neil Young’s views of southerners, as expressed in his hit song from 1970, “Southern Man.” While this is common knowledge for rock fans, what many may not realize is that the response may have been even more inspired by Young’s 1972 song, “Alabama.”
Young has admitted that he got what he deserved in the response from Skynyrd. In his 2012 autobiography (Waging Heavy Peace), Young stated the following…
“My own song ‘Alabama’ richly deserved the shot Lynyrd Skynyrd gave me with their great record. I don’t like my words when I listen to it. They are accusatory and condescending, not fully thought out, and too easy to misconstrue.”
Van Zant has been quoted as saying that “we thought Neil was shooting all the ducks in order to kill one or two.”
It’s hard to believe at this divisive moment in time, but it was once possible to have civil discourse with differing opinions. The fact that this particular difference gave the world two timeless rock and roll classics is icing on the cake.
Is it a coincidence that I chose to feature “Sweet Home Alabama” on the heels of one of the most high-profile elections in the state’s history? No, it is not! Until the events of the day unfolded, this song was not on my mind at all. However, it seemed appropriate to give some props to the people of Alabama for (narrowly) averting a disaster that would have further torn at the already threadbare fabric of today’s America.
NEIL YOUNG – “Southern Man” (1970)
Was Ronnie Van Zant right about “Neil Young shooting all of the ducks in order to kill one or two?” Based on Young’s own misgivings about his song “Alabama,” Van Zant might be correct. However, he doesn’t believe that “Southern Man” was the main inspiration for “Sweet Home Alabama.”
As far back as 1976, Young showed appreciation for “Sweet Home Alabama,” stating that he was proud to have his name in a song like that. The outspoken legend has even played the song in concert occasionally. Van Zant also showed that there were no hard feelings by wearing a Neil Young Tonight’s The Night shirt when performing “Sweet Home Alabama.”
Just because both sides were able to appreciate each other’s songs doesn’t mean that there weren’t differences of opinion. As I mentioned above, once upon a time, this was perfectly acceptable. These days, not so much. Social media and the 24/7 news cycle has (sadly) all but done away with civil discourse.
Although I find it disappointing, it doesn’t mean that I don’t feel the need to stand my ground when my beliefs are challenged as well. In my mind, the Alabama election that grabbed the headlines for several weeks shouldn’t have been much of a story. I believe that common decency should have prevailed by a much wider margin. Based on how much support there was for an extremely flawed individual, you have to wonder if Young will be inspired to relight the fuse that he lit almost five decades ago.
KEVIN GRAYSON – HRD Music Scout
CRITICAL SOLUTION – “Gods Of Anarchy” (2013)
When we went through all those years patiently waiting for a new Metallica Record to come out, I would trick my friends into believing that this was new material from them. What you have here is a band that has a love for Metallica, and sounds so close to the real band, that everyone believed my story. “God of Anarchy” is off their album, Evil Never Dies, (produced by King Diamond). The album includes a really good cover of “Seek and Destroy.” Critical Solution’s most recent release is 2017’s Barbara The Witch.
WARRIOR – “Fighting For The Earth” (1985)
Warrior is an American heavy metal band from Los Angeles, California that formed in 1982. The band went through many lineup changes throughout the years, with singers that included Rob Rock and Mark Storace (Krokus). If you do a Wiki search, you will find that this band had many connections to so many talented musicians over the years. Even though Warrior was a big name in the ’80s, they seem to have faded with the times. Still, they should never be forgotten.