On October 17th, 1977 Lynyrd Skynyrd released their fifth studio album Street Survivors, which would eerily foreshadow one of rock ‘n’ roll’s biggest tragedies.
On its release date, Street Survivors‘ cover sleeve featured a photograph of the band standing on a street engulfed in flames. Three days after the album’s release, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s touring plane crashed on its way to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Frontman Ronnie Van Zant, guitarist Steve Gaines, Gaines’ older sister and the band’s backup signer Cassie Gaines, Skynyrd’s assistant road-manager, the pilot, and the co-pilot were all tragically killed. Out of respect for the band members who were lost on the infamous day, the album cover was replaced with a similar photo of the band, but with a simple black background.
With hits including What’s Your Name, That Smell, and I Know A Little, Street Survivors was a massive success and achieved gold certification within just ten days, and would later go double platinum. Sadly, the band would never be quite the same without Van Zant and Gaines. However, the record marks what a legacy they both left behind with Lynyrd Skynyrd and how they will never be forgotten.
Watch Lynyrd Skynyrd perform That Smell live in 1977 here: