Here's a short history of Free ("Hard Rock Pioneers") Rolling Stone - we've got their third key album at just 4.99GBP!

We think Free are rather overlooked in the annals of history.

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At Rock Review we feel Free capture an essential 60's/70's sound - raw, stripped back, little production... they just played. For many they are one of those bands where we know the songs like "All right now" but don't know the band. We've all heard of Led Zeppelin, most us Cream, but Free, like their name are often left floating more freely! Their first gig was at The Nag's Head pub in Battersea, April 19th 1968 when they were in their teens. They have claim to fame.They sold 20 million albums and Rolling Stone felt they were "Hard Rock Pioneers" with Rodgers being recognised by Rolling Stone as the 55th best singer, ever. Their biggest breakthrough came in 1970 when they played in the UK at The Isle of Wight Festival. 

The band formed in 1968 in London and broke up in 1973. Free's original lineup included drummer Simon Kirke, bassist Andy Fraser, lead vocalist Paul Rodgers and Paul Kossoff. Kirke and Kossoff were heavily influenced by American blues artists and, as teenagers, joined in R&B band called Black Cat Bones. Kossoff's guitar playing is "sinewy" and Rodgers vocals were highly charged. Kossoff was classically trained. By 1971 the band were in trouble largely due to Kossoff's drug problem and inability to turn up. This led to Andy Fraser leaving the band.  The remaining members recruited Japanese bass player Tetsu Yamauchi and keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick, who had worked with Kossoff and Kirke during Free's initial split, recording Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit and what would be Free's final album, Heartbreaker. 

Paul Rodgers talks about the songs on the breakthrough album "Fire and Water"

Paul Rodgers talks about some of the songs on his breakthrough album "Fire and Water". "Don't say you love me" was inspired by Otis Redding. It's' a classic love song. Mr Big is a song about "people who think they can control you". I'm sure we've all experienced this and it's Rodgers take on the feeling of "Big" people trying to manipulate him. "Oh I wept" was one of the few songs where a tune dictated the lyrics, it's just beautifully melancholic - it's "kinda blues with a twist". With the tune in his head Rodgers got on a train and that's where the lyrics came from - "It came from the freedom of youth." 

At 4.99, if you want to explore Free it's a great place to start. Buy Fire and Water

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