09-05-2016 @ 16:44
Formed in London in 1968, The Free are regarded as one of the primary innovators of blues rock. Bass player Andy Fraser is 15 years old, lead guitarist Paul Kossoff 17 years, and both lead singer Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke are 18 then. They hit mainstream global success in 1970 and played to over 600,000 people at the Isle of Wight festival that same year. By the time they had disbanded in 1973 they had released 6 studio albums, sold over 20 million albums and played over 700 shows. Their biggest and best known track All Right Now is reputed to be played somewhere in the world on radio every minute of the day and has been entered into ASCAP's ‘One Million’ airplay singles club.
Free are regarded as one of the innovators of blues rock that went on to influence a host of bands throughout the following decades. Rolling Stone referred to the band as "British hard rock pioneers", ranking singer Paul Rodgers # 55 in its list of the ‘100 Greatest Singers of All Time’ and guitarist Paul Kossoff at #51 of ‘100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time’.
Island Records/Universal Music release on September 9th a 7-LP box set, housed in a sturdy box features the albums in their original form; they have been newly re-mastered from the original tapes by Andy Pearce to enhance the sound of these classic albums and will have original art work.
All LPs are lifetime products, 180mg vinyl and come with download cards.
Released in the UK in 1969, it was legendarily recorded for only £800. The album failed to chart at the time but tracks remained in the band’s live repertoire for many years after.
Produced by the head of Island Records, Chris Blackwell, the band’s second album managed a respectable #22 in the UK charts.
Fire and Water is the bands third studio album The album became the band's breakthrough hit, reaching #2 in the UK charts and #17 in the US, making it the most successful Free album. The album contained the hit single "All Right Now".
Released in 1970 is a low-key and introspective album compared with its predecessors. From a writing point of view Highway continued in the same vein as previous albums, with Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser collaborating on seven of the nine songs. Paul Kossoff preferred the more serious, weighty songs on the album such as "Be My Friend", which he saw as an antidote to the "frivolity" of "All Right Now”.
FREE AT LAST
The fifth album was released in 1971 after the band had split up and reformed; it was the last album to feature Andy Fraser who left soon after the album was recorded.
Heartbreaker was the bands sixth and final studio album it provided them with one of their most successful singles, "Wishing Well". The album was, by Free's standards, a huge success. It became their third top-ten album in the UK (reaching #9), and reached No. 47 in America.
Free Live! was released by Island Records to commemorate the band, who had broken up in April 1971. The album was a hit, reaching #4 in the UK album charts.
Release: 9 September 2016
label: Island Records/ Universal music