To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
This album was made after Free had broken up at the end of their Australian tour in May 1971. 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.
'Again' would seem a more apt title for Free's fifth studio album, having reformed trying to save Paul Kossoff from self-destruction after the band had broken up. Seeming to relish their reunion, Kossoff's lead guitar features more heavily and with a greater sense of freedom than any time since Tons Of Sobs - as if he couldn't contain his excitement at the band being back together. The album sets off in celebratory style with "Catch A Train" and the call-and-response between Koss and Paul Rodgers is about as conversational as could be. Simon Kirke's military drum beat then sets the scene for "Soldier Boy", with Kossoff's guitar wailing and crying on the battlefield. "Magic Ship" is a typically soulful Free track - Koss's guitar wailing on the point of feedback this time before the relative calmness of some sparse piano. Although not a concept album as such, "Sail On" and the rocky "Travellin' Man" continue the album's core theme of moving on. The optimistic upbeat "Little Bit Of Love" (released as a single) would have been very at home on a Bad Company album. At Last then winds down in pensive style with "Guardian Of The Universe", which has Rodgers at his most tender singing to his then unborn baby and "Child" which could be an ode to Kossoff. Beautiful guitar from Koss on both numbers. The last 'proper' Free album (as Andy Fraser would quit for good soon after) ends, prophetically, with "Goodbye" and it would be easy to think this was Rodgers saying farewell to Koss. Despite Kossoff's personal turmoil and long-running friction between Fraser and Rodgers, IMHO this is one of Free's best albums (and I'd say they are all great in their own ways!). 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.
The excellent Free, this album was made at a time of turmoil in the band, but it stands the test of time and is now recognized as a great album, although it wasn't regarded In the same light at the time of release.
Uno degli album tranquilli dei Free. La band tornò a ciò che conoscevano meglio, con Rodgers che metteva a nudo il suo blues-rock anima a Kossof la chitarra elettrica. Tracce come "Sail On", "Soldier Boy" e "Travelling Man" escono in cima come parte del materiale più emotivo della band, dimostrando che la loro rottura nel 1971 non ha avuto alcun effetto reale sulla loro chimica. "Little Bit of Love" è stato pubblicato come singolo nel Regno Unito, raggiungendo il picco al numero 13, mentre l'album si è bloccato al numero 69 negli Stati Uniti. La miscela della band di blues rilassato e grintoso, nudo. Il rock & roll disossato, commovente ed espressivo come lo era in Tons of Sobs o Fire and Water , anche se i problemi di Paul Kossof con le droghe cominciavano ad essere sempre più evidenti. Alla fine, la dipendenza di Kossof ha influenzato l'intera band e la possibilità di andare in tournée per promuovere l'album. Free at Last è l ultimo lp della band degli esordi.