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The Free Story

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Album Review

Although record sales never went along with it, Free were British rock at its pinnacle. Their studio albums were superb through and through, while the one live release perhaps represented the band at their peak. This best-of features the cream of Free's releases up to 1973. Extending past the easily accessible rock tracks into the realms of the bands quieter acoustic moments, as well as the more experimental areas of Free's material, The Free Story gives the whole picture of what Rogers, Kirke, Fraser, and Kossoff were about. The track selection well shows off the bands musical ability, from Paul Kossoff's vibrato-laden guitar to Andy Fraser's captivating bass playing. Indeed, few bands come close to the overall musicianship of Free. "Free left a legacy of enduring music which became a role model for much of which followed...The Free Story is testament to that heritage," declares the album notes. Few would disagree with that statement.

Biography

Formed: 1968 in London, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Famed for their perennial "All Right Now," Free helped lay the foundations for the rise of hard rock, stripping the earthy sound of British blues down to its raw, minimalist core to pioneer a brand of proto-metal later popularized by 1970s superstars like Foreigner, Foghat and Bad Company. Free formed in London in 1968 when guitarist Paul Kossoff, then a member of the blues unit Black Cat Bones, was taken to see vocalist Paul Rodgers' group Brown Sugar by a friend, drummer Tom Mautner. After deciding...
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