As with just about any classic rock band, it's only a matter of time until the vaults are combed for demos and previously unreleased tracks. And it was Lynyrd Skynyrd's turn to get the rarities nod in 2005, with Poison Whiskey. Focusing solely on material demoed by the early Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup (and spanning a time period of October 1970 through January 1974), this 12-track collection contains several nuggets that hardcore Skynyrd-heads will be interested in. While it's interesting to hear early run-throughs of such soon to be Skynyrd classics -- "Free Bird," "Gimme Three Steps," "I Ain't the One" -- there are several tracks that seem to have been all but forgotten beneath the sands of time. Tops on the "just waiting to be rediscovered list" would be the tracks "Junkie" (doesn't it seem like every band of the early '70s had a song about -- or included the word "junkie" -- in a title?) and the bluesy "Mr. Banker." Interestingly, most of these tracks were previously issued on 1991's Lynyrd Skynyrd box set, but if you're looking for a more affordable way of getting all these early demos on a single disc, Poison Whiskey is recommended.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato