Lynyrd Skynyrd – “That Smell”

Track #2 off of Street Survivors, 1977

Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Street Survivors has an ominous history and while never released as a single, “That Smell” is the epitome of it all. It’s written about abusing drugs and alcohol and it’s quite explicit with vivid imagery and lines such as “the smell of death surrounds you” and if that wasn’t spooky enough, three days after the album was released, the band was involved in a plane crash that killed numerous members and left the surviving ones seriously injured. Despite the generally morbid lyrical content of the track, however, it’s possibly one of the catchiest songs on the entire project with soaring guitar riffs and an upbeat tempo the entire way through. It doesn’t stop to take a single break throughout the entire almost six minutes it runs and it basically makes you feel like you’re under the influence of something once it’s over. The tone of it might come off as a bit ironic but it’s very strange how it’s foreshadowed what as to come, making it a standout track for reasons past just the general sound of it. 

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