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It's safe to say that Metallica know a thing or two about Lynyrd Skynyrd. In fact, the Southern rock legends are arguably one of Metallica's most important influences: their hallmark anthem Sweet Home Alabama had a subtle influence on Metallica's early anthem The Four Horseman, and the metal icons famously covered Skynyrd hit Tuesday's Gone for 1998's riotously fun covers LP, Garage Inc.
In a new interview for their official podcast, The Metallica Report, Metallica drummer and band founder Lars Ulrich has revealed the five Lynyrd Skynyrd deep cuts that have been on repeat for him recently.
"I've been on two things, which is Lynyrd Skynyrd, the heavier Lynyrd Skynyrd songs, most of them deep cuts," he reveals. "One called On The Hunt, one called Cry For Bad Man, one called Workin' For MCA, which may not be the deepest of cuts, Saturday Night Special, and a song called Searching. Those five songs: incredible, deeper, heavier. People that mostly know Skynyrd from, say, Free Bird or Sweet Home Alabama: there's this, sort of heavier, less mainstream side to them. Great, great, mid-70s hard rock songs. Incredible drumming, singing, soloing. Those songs have definitely stood the test of time."
Workin' For MCA appeared on Skynyrd's second album Second Helping, which was released on April 15, 1974. Both Saturday Night Special and On The Hunt were released on Skynyrd's following album, Nuthin' Fancy, which arrived the following year. Searching and Cry For The Bad Man, meanwhile, appeared on Skynyrd's fourth album, Gimme Back My Bullets, released in 1976.
Skynyrd's first five studio albums, all released between 1973-1977, were instrumental in the Southern rock explosion of the 70s and were particularly inspirational for Metallica frontman James Hetfield. In 2004, the singer/guitarist told Rolling Stone that he considered Free Bird, first released on Skynyrd's 1973 debut album (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd), to be the greatest song ever written. "Nothing tops this workingman's ballad," he argued. "Free Bird fit my life for the first 20 years on the road — not really getting too attached to stuff, living life for the moment and moving on."
You can listen to the latest episode of The Metallica Report below via Spotify, or elsewhere via your usual podcast platforms.