Free At Last
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Audio CD, Collector's Edition, Import, 14 April 2015
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- Product Dimensions : 13.49 x 13.49 x 0.61 cm; 45.93 Grams
- Manufacturer : CULTURE FACTORY
- Original Release Date : 2015
- Label : CULTURE FACTORY
- ASIN : B00TPVW6L6
- Number of discs : 1
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Digitally remastered edition in mini-LP sleeve that reproduces all the components of the original album and are their exact replicas in compact-disc size (5.3 x 5.3 inches). After their breakup in 1971, the British hard rock pioneers reunited a year later and went right back to what they know best, with Paul Rodgers bearing his blues-rock to Paul Kossof's gloomy electric guitar. Tracks like "Little Bit of Love," "Soldier Boy," and "Travelling Man" come out on top as some of the band's most emotive material, proving that the initial break-up had no real effect on their chemistry.
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The band reformed to make this album in early 1972, partly in an effort to save Paul Kossoff who was taking Mandrax, swallowing them "by the handful" as his friends attested. His drug addiction had to some degree been caused by the break-up of the band.
Kossoff himself described his feelings as follows (the quotes given here are taken from the CD album liner notes)
"I'd spent years being one fourth of a whole personality which was Free. When the band broke up I was on my own. I didn't know what to do"
So the band reformed to make this album, partly to try to help Kossoff, as Rodgers put it "The point was, Koss, my freind, was in need".
The songs on this album reflect those feelings.
This is no good time rock and roll album, the songs are deep, soulfull and moving.
Just to listen to "Child" which seems to be Rodgers speaking to his freind and trying to save him.
I listened to this again today and I found myself asking this.
Can a four piece band with simply guitars, drums, vocals and piano ever communicate deep and heartfelt emotions better than this?
I my opinion this is the best album Free ever made and it represents for me, one of the pinnacles of what a four piece rock and roll band can ever achieve.
The expanded remaster has 5 bonus tracks, the most interesting of which is "Burnin' (Molten Gold)" - a slightly different version appeared later on Paul Kossoff's solo album Back Street Crawler. Honky Tonk Women is a studio warm-up jam, which puts you in the control room as the band gets ready to create something special. The great 8-page booklet has track recording details, photos and an interesting essay, giving some background to the album.