Sweet Home Alabama (4:45)

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Creation and Recording:
At a band practice shortly after bassist Ed King had switched to guitar, King heard fellow guitarist Gary Rossington playing a guitar riff that inspired him (in fact, this riff is still heard in the final version of the song and is played during the verses as a counterpoint to the main D-C+9-G chord progression). In interviews, Ed King has said that, during the night following the practice session, the chords and two main guitar solos came to him in a dream, note for note. King then introduced the song to the band the next day, and a hit was born. Also written at this session was the track that would follow “Alabama” on the Second Helping album, “I Need You.”

A live version of the track on the compilation album Collectybles places the writing of the song during the late summer of 1973, as the live set available on the album is dated October 30, 1973.

The track was recorded at Studio One in Doraville, Georgia, using just King, bassist Wilkeson, and drummer Burns to lay down the basic backing track. Ed King used a Marshall amp belonging to Allen Collins. The guitar used on the track was a 1972 Fender Stratocaster. However, King has said that guitar was a pretty poor model and had bad pickups, forcing him to turn the amp up all the way to get decent volume out of it. This guitar is now displayed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland, Ohio.


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