There was a time when I would have enjoyed writing a HUGE piece about Free.
However they’ve now become one of those acts who, since moving to and living in America, I have just heard FAR too much of on the (excuse for) radio over here. Subsequently I’ve grown a little sick of them.
It seems like every time I tune into one of our pathetic “classic rock” stations it’s either Bob Seger or Free blaring out of the car speakers.
Plus – and this might seem strange to some – I’ll admit that whilst I still consider Paul Rodgers to be one of the finest blues/rock vocalists of all-time, his decision to join Brian May and Roger Taylor in some ugly bastardised reformation of Queen put me right off him.
None of this is to say “The Free Story” is a bad album. Far from it.
It is a double album compilation that came at the end of a brief (for a band of their stature) career which had begun in 1968. For me the high spots are undoubtedly “I’m a Mover“, “Fire & Water“, “The Stealer“, “Mr Big” and “My Brother Jake“, but there really isn’t a bad cut on it, regardless of my personal feelings about the band now.
For all the compilations of Free material there’s ever been (and since 1972 there’s ludicrously been about a dozen more) I think this remains the VERY best primer for anyone interesting in ‘getting into’ the band.
It got me into them enough to then go and buy their penultimate studio album, “Free at Last“, the last to feature troubled guitarist Paul Kossoff.
It too has high spots, “Catch a Train” especially, but like “The Free Story”, I have a hard time listening to it these days … perhaps for all the WRONG reasons?
I guess in my own little 2010 world Free are FAR from all right now.
See what I did there?
Yes, I apologise.