"People that mostly know Skynyrd from Free Bird or Sweet Home Alabama: there's this heavier, less mainstream side to them." Metallica's Lars Ulrich reveals the five Lynyrd Skynyrd deep cuts that everyone needs to hear

Lars Ulrich in 2019, and Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1976
(Image credit: Ulrich: Bruce Glikas/WireImage ; Lynyrd Skynyrd: MCA/Chris Walter (via Getty Images))

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.

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.