Started listening to Free today... WOW!

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by Stratoben127, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. Stratoben127

    Stratoben127 Member

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    I've always known about them and I've liked the songs I've heard but didn't really think about it until I put a greatest hits album on my phone. It's honestly EXACTLY the type of music I like and the tone I like. It has such rawness and power. Some songs remind me a bit of Cream which is in my top three artists/bands ever. It's just so bluesy but with a bit more "bad-assyness." Anybody have any suggestions on some good material from them and any of the must haves? And while I'm at it, who knows what the hell Paul Kossof did to get that amazing tone?
     
  2. GulfportBound

    GulfportBound Member

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    Free Live! Among other things, it has an absolutely killer, slowed-down take of "Moonshine" with one of the most gripping performances of Paul Kossoff's career . . .
     
  3. VHS analog

    VHS analog Member

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    I watch them on youtube all effing day. They are the perfect rock & roll band. And then related groups Bad Company and Mott the Hoople.
     
  4. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Now you're talking my language, sir. Free was an amazing band, like four separate forces of nature. Koss was one of the greatest British blues/rock guitarists who ever lived, and vastly inderrated because he died at 25. I met him shortly before he OD'd on an airliner. He got his tone in a very simple way: A Les Paul Standard through a cranked Marshall amp or two. Later on, he played a Strat that now belongs to KK Downing (I think) of Judas Priest. He experimented with Leslie-type devices also.

    With Free, you had perhaps the best singer in rock, Paul Rodgers, a monster bass player in Andy Fraser, a neandertal pounder who was capable of playing with great sensitivity in drummer Simon Kirke, and Koss. The songs were great, the passion undeniable, and the energy they created was so powerful. Their vibe was slower to medium tempos, like "The Stealer," "Mr. Big," and "Heartbreaker." "All Right Now" was the fluff piece if you will, the hit single, but still memorable. Get all their discs. I love the Heartbreaker album.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2012
  5. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    such a killer band. i'm a big kosoff fan but honestly the whole band ruled!
     
  6. jekylmeister

    jekylmeister Supporting Member

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    The guys I play with - the band, if you will - all love Paul Rodgers' material so much that we openly worry about becoming a tribute band by accident. The man is a master and I like his work with Free, Bad Co., Page, Queen...... He is genuinely magnificent and a standard worth trying to achieve.

    Simply put, it's just good damned Rock and Roll.
     
  7. jekylmeister

    jekylmeister Supporting Member

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    Bob, this is a very good summary of what they had going on. Cudos and Cheers.
     
  8. DrumBob

    DrumBob Gold Supporting Member

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    Thank you, sir! :bow
     
  9. James

    James Member

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    I love Free. Koss is my hero. Congratulations on discovering them...Enjoy the ride. All their records are brilliant. My favorites are:

    • Fire & Water
    • Highway
    • Free Live!
    • Heartbreaker
    Their first record - "Tons Of Sobs" - is very raw, bluesy, somewhat dark and primal. And they were so young when they made it. Literally teenagers. They REALLY started to come into their own on their second record - simply titled "Free" - and the songwriting started to really blossum. The third record - "Fire & Water" is AMAZING. Still my All-Time Favorite Record Of All Time. Stark beauty. R&B and Soul-tinged Blues Rock with air and substance like I'ver never heard. The whole band was just so tuned in to one another. This is the record that changed my life forever. And Koss' tones on this one are simply beautiful. Forget the single "All Right Now". I mean, it's a cool song, but it's not what defines them, for me personally.

    Then they took it up a notch with the release of "Highway". I think it's their most "mature-sounding" record. Lots of great songs. A bit more piano, a bit less guitar. But still brilliant all around. Unfortunately, the record failed to capitalize on the success of the single "All Right Now" from the previous record and that plus tensions within the band (between Rodgers and Fraser, the primary songwriters) combined with Koss' increasing drug habits resulted in the band breaking up on the eve of an Australian and Far East tour.

    They released a live record - "Free Live" during the break-up period and then reunited a short while later to record "Free At Last", in part to try to bring Koss out of his self-imposed, drug-adled isolation. Some really good songs on this record. But this is where things started to get really dark for the band and for Koss. The last record "Highway" - which happens to be one of my favorites - resonates with so much tension and anguish. If you ever wanted to hear the sound of a band literally coming apart at the seams...this is the record to get.

    Like I said, enjoy the ride. Free were simply the most amazing band in existence. Four extremely talented young guys with so much soul and innate talent. It was a moment in time, never to be repeated ever again. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think of Paul Kossoff. No one else sounded like that. He was the most soulful guitarist I've ever heard. When he was at his peak, around 1970, he was unmatched in every way. It goes far beyond the famous vibrato and blues-box licks. When he was "on", it's like you could hear his soul jumping out of the speakers. Brilliant!
     
  10. James

    James Member

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    +1! :dude

     
  11. tnvol

    tnvol Supporting Member

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    +1. He was such a lyrical player. I didn't really get into the band until about 10 years or so ago. Really cool music.
     
  12. V-Type

    V-Type Member

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    This thread made me play my vinyl copy of The Free Story.
    What and amazing sound these guys had and Koss was well stunning as always and I wanted every song laden with his bends.
    This and early Bad Co. is what has peaked me the most lately.
    The Voice and Instrument tones are haunting for me.
     
  13. TheCount0212

    TheCount0212 Member

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    First version of Mr. Big from the Free Live album (same as the version on the 20th Century Masters disc) = jaw-dropping blues rock intensity.

    Andy Fraser/Paul Kossoff is right up there with Bruce/Clapton and Pappalardi/West in terms of hard blues bass/guitar combos.
     
  14. Hand of Doom

    Hand of Doom Member

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    The solo in Remember is one of the greatest recorded electric guitar tones ever. IMO
     
  15. rwe333

    rwe333 Supporting Member

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    Very likely my fave rock band - amazing stuff, when on. Total one off, such remarkable groove and swagger (and so young).

    FYI, if I remember correctly, it's Dave Murray of Iron Maiden that has Kossoff's old Strat (or at least one of his Strats - a black one Murray modified w/ humbuckers).
     
  16. James

    James Member

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    That's one of my all-time favorite Koss solos too! It's so lyrical. There's one lick that has a sax-like quality to it. :)

     
  17. radicool

    radicool Member

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    This thread has just inspired me to order the Live album. Always loved this band, and I did indeed see them live once back in the day. (opening for Traffic - great show!)
    In my own mind, I always put Free into a category that includes bands like Humble Pie and Deep Purple and Sabbath, because those were the 8-tracks that I played in my car in those times.
     

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