Thursday, March 18, 2010


Years ago, I was interviewing Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule and talking about some covers that his band had done, and we were talking about "Mr. Big" by Free. I didn't know much about Free other than "All Right Now" and that it was the band that Paul Rodgers was in before Bad Company. He was like, "Oh, man, you gotta check out Free."

I've always respected Paul Rodgers, but I didn't know much about him.  I thought that Bad Company was sort of the prototypical FM radio band. Hard rocking, but not too hard rocking or threatening, blues based but with a sort of very tight sound, they are kind of like the band that paved the way for Foreigner and groups like that. That's just my opinion. Having only heard "All Right Now" by Free, I kind of mistook them for the same kind of thing. Free were way more bluesy, and way more badass than Bad Company.  I'm not ripping on Bad Co.: they have tons of timeless radio hits.  But I could see why Warren Haynes preferred Free, and I prefer them also. I would say the difference between Free and Bad Company is like the difference between The Faces and Rod Stewart's late '70s slicker solo material.

All this explanation is leading up to Free Forever, a 2 DVD set on Eagle Vision that comes out next week. It's got a ton of cool stuff: their performance on the German TV show Beat Club, some music videos and the audio of their performance from the Isle Of Wight Festival from 1970. If you like the amazing blues rock scene of the late '60s and early '70s, this is highly recommended.  In fact, after watching this, it occurred to me that I don't have any Free in my collection.  I'm about to change that and get their Molten Gold: The Anthology, which came out in 1993.

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