Despite all I've said about Weird Harold, there was one thing you could really count on - - Great Road Music. In this recurring segment, we're going to relive a bit of those tunes that took us across the Great American Prairie at over a hundred miles an hour.
I don't claim that this is the best music ever made, or even that it's superior to other songs produced at the same time. All I'm saying is that it sounded fantastic in Harold's rolling stereo system at a crystal clear 105 decibels (measured for clarity at many stereo contests).
A couple things you need for great road music: Anthems and brilliant vocals. Lynyrd Skynyrd gave both of those in quantity. Every song was an anthem and Ronnie Van Zant was hands-down the best Southern Rock Vocalist.
We listened to the Greatest Hits Album so many times that the lyrics are burned into my subconscious. My lips start syncing as soon as a song begins, not one of them is unfamiliar. Hate Freebird as much as you'd like – make fun of it, hold up a lighter and scream it out, but it's indelibly ingrained on a generation.
We hit the entrance ramp to the “one-two-three” and the opening chords of Sweet Home Alabama. It's the first song I remember where an open challenge from one musician to another is made. Canadian Neil Young is also a fantastic singer, but Van Zant takes him to task for putting down the band's home state:
Well I heard mister Young sing about
Well, I heard ole Neil put her down
Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
A Southern man don't need him around anyhow