This was a holy grail album for me as a kid, not because I was a massive Skynyrd fan but because it came equipped with its own ghost story. The fact that this cover, depicting the band ablaze , was released only three days before the tragic plane crash that silenced the original band was too much for our little brains. We were sure that somehow the album predicted the deaths of lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gaines, and his sister, back-up singer Cassie Gaines. Steve is the tall fellow in the center of the album cover, which made the photo even more chilling.
I checked the Skynyrd section in every record store I visited just in case by some bizarre coincidence they happened to have an original Street Survivors that had been overlooked, but for years this is all that I found:
The censored cover did its job well, depicting the original band with the respect and solemnity that such a disaster deserves.
Reissues and auction sites have driven the price of the original way down. Depending on condition you can pick up your own spooky piece of music history for five to fifty dollars American.
And if you’re looking for more oddities, drop in on the Controversial Album Cover Gallery.