Free at Last (Free album)

Free at Last is the fifth studio album by English rock band Free. The band had broken up in April 1971 due to differences between singer Paul Rodgers and bassist Andy Fraser but had now reformed.[1]

Free at Last
Freeatlast albumcover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 1972
February 2002 (Reissue)
RecordedJanuary – March 1972
StudioIsland Studios
GenreRock, blues-rock, hard rock
Length36:38
LabelIsland
ProducerFree
Free chronology
Free Live!
(1971)
Free at Last
(1972)
Heartbreaker
(1973)

RecordingEdit

All members of the band made a concerted effort to work smoothly and efficiently for guitarist Paul Kossoff's sake as he was suffering due to an addiction to Mandrax (Quaaludes). For example, in a symbolic gesture all tracks were credited to every member of the band regardless of who actually wrote them.

The attitude to the songwriting was also vastly different;[2] there are no outright rock songs at all, and the three songs that contain fast-paced moments all have slower, more introspective moments. Also, many fans have interpreted some of the melancholic lyrics (many of which concern people in some form of emotional distress) as referring to Kossoff.[3]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic      [4]
CreemB [5]

ReceptionEdit

The album was reasonably successful, peaking at #9 in the UK album charts making it their most successful UK studio album since Fire and Water (1970). The single release "Little Bit of Love" reached #13; despite failing to enter the top ten it was still their third best selling single release (it would be beaten by "Wishing Well" the following year).

However, problems began again when the band was then expected to tour to promote the album, as Kossoff was faced with a task for which he was not physically capable.[6] Gigs had been disastrous, with Fraser remembering that "you could see people in the audience crying for him, longing for him to be all right" (quoted in Phil Sutcliffe's liner notes). Unable to continue, Fraser left the band permanently, aged just 20. Kossoff also pulled out of the tour (although not technically leaving the band) in order to seek treatment for his drug addiction.[7]

During the period in late 1971 where the band had split, Kossoff and Kirke had formed a new band with Japanese bassist Tetsu Yamauchi and keyboard player John "Rabbit" Bundrick; Kirke asked them to join the Free tour in place of Fraser. They accepted, and soon joined the band officially.

Track listingEdit

All tracks written by Fraser/Rodgers/Kossoff/Kirke unless otherwise stated.

Side one
No.TitleLength
1."Catch a Train"3:32
2."Soldier Boy"2:51
3."Magic Ship"5:22
4."Sail On"3:05
5."Travellin' Man"3:23
Side two
No.TitleLength
6."Little Bit of Love"2:34
7."Guardian of the Universe"5:32
8."Child"5:18
9."Goodbye"5:05

Extra tracksEdit

  1. "Burnin' (Molten Gold)" (Paul Kossoff) (Alternative take) – 5:57
  2. "Honky Tonk Women" (Jagger/Richards) – 3:13
  3. "Magic Ship" (Alternative mix) – 5:28
  4. "Little Bit of Love" (Alternative mix) – 2:37
  5. "Guardian of the Universe" (Paul Rodgers solo version) – 6:07
  6. "Child" (Early mix) – 5:20

PersonnelEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Free Official Home Page
  2. ^ FreeTheBand.co.uk/Free-at-Last
  3. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhXzDTf0mp8
  4. ^ Free - Free at Last (1972) album review by Mike DeGagne, credits & releases at AllMusic
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (October 1972). "The Christgau Consumer Guide". Creem. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  6. ^ "PaulKossoffOfficial.com". Archived from the original on 2014-11-12. Retrieved 2014-07-24.
  7. ^ Corbin Reiff: Forgotten Heroes - Paul Kossoff at PremierGuitar.com, 6 December, 2013
  • Strong, Martin C. The Great Rock Discography, 6th edition. Edinburgh: Canongate Books 1994, 2002. pp. 392–3.
  • Sutcliffe, Phil. Notes to Free at Last by Free. Universal Island Records Ltd. 1972, 2002.

External linksEdit