THE CONTROVERSY: The fifth album from the legendary Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, Street Survivors, was, sadly, the last album recorded by founding members Ronnie Van Zant and Allen Collins, as well as new guitarist Steve Gaines. On October 20, 1977, just three days after the album was released, a chartered plane carrying the three bandmates crashed in Louisiana, taking seven lives in all. The album cover featured a photograph — shot at Universal Studios — of the band engulfed in flames: an image that was hard to ignore as an unfortunate and macabre premonition of the tragedy that soon followed.
WHAT HAPPENED AFTERWARDS: At the request of the band’s families, the fiery picture was moved to the back of the album, and a new photo from the same shoot — with the band placed against a black background — was used on the cover. A 30th-anniversary re-issue, released in 2007, restored the original image back on the front.
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