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The Best Of

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Album Review

Drawing from seven 1967-1973 albums by the Free Design, this 20-song compilation overlaps some with the other Free Design best-of (Varese Sarabande's Kites Are Fun), but each of those anthologies has a good number of songs not on the other. Each one is a reasonable intro to this soft pop/rock band, though, and this does include, naturally, the one song that would be considered essential to any best-of, "Kites Are Fun." The Free Design's world is a never-never land of fluffy good times, albeit with extremely accomplished smooth vocal harmonies. Though some sunshine pop fanatics freak out over this stuff, to many it will be too much sunshine and light at once, veering uneasily close not just to easy listening pap, but also to period late-'60s/early-'70s TV/commercial music at times.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '60s, '70s

The commercial failure of the Free Design remains one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of pop music -- with their exquisitely celestial harmonies, lighter-than-air melodies, and blissful arrangements, the group's records were on par with the work of superstar contemporaries like the Beach Boys, the Association, and the Cowsills, yet none of their singles even cracked the Hot 100. The Free Design originally comprised siblings Chris, Bruce, and Sandy Dedrick, natives of Delevan, NY, whose...
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The Best Of, The Free Design
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