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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Free Compilation
This was the first, and in my humble opinion best, Free compilation, originally put out in '73 (at the same time as a reissued Alright Now single) as a sort of confirmation that they'd finally split. The only difference in the track listing from the original, limited edition, release is the unfortunate deletion of the final track, a live version of Heartbreaker recorded...
Published on 9 May 2007 by eadgbe

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best way to remember the band
When 'The Free Story' was originally released in 72/73, the ads claimed this was a strictly limited release and the masters had been thrown away. A couple of years later, mail order firms started selling a version from Canada. Suddenly the 'strictly limited edition' lost its credibility, but since this was still the only greatest hits album available, those who had...
Published on 13 Aug 2008 by Gavin Wilson


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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Free Compilation, 9 May 2007
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
This was the first, and in my humble opinion best, Free compilation, originally put out in '73 (at the same time as a reissued Alright Now single) as a sort of confirmation that they'd finally split. The only difference in the track listing from the original, limited edition, release is the unfortunate deletion of the final track, a live version of Heartbreaker recorded from the mixing desk at Portsmouth Guildhall on their last UK tour. Presumably it was deleted due to space constraints (the original was a double LP), which is a shame 'cause although it was a pretty rough, unbalanced mix (with Rabbit's keyboards the worst culprit), it's got a hell a lot of energy and Kossoff really lets rip.

Anyway, apologies for reviewing a track which isn't actually on the LP (although it is on the Songs of Yesterday box set)and back onto the album itself: It's basically a good, balanced, chronological "best of" featuring all six studio LPs plus the live album. It adds a bit of spice by including tracks from the band member's solo projects during the first split, ie "Lady" from Rodger's Peace and "Just for The Box" from Kossoff & Kirk's KKT&R. The one band member not featured in this section is Fraser, although one of the mid-seventies German imports did feature "Travellin' Man" by Toby in place of the Free "original", so maybe the Toby version was originally intended to be included (it would certainly fit in with the other non-Free tracks included).

My only complaints regarding track selection (apart from the omission of Heartbreaker)is the strange absence of Wishing Well, one of my favourites, and the inclusion of "Get Where I Belong", which I always thought was a bit of a lightweight.

Apart from that, it's a brilliant summary of the work of my all-time favourite band. Buy this, then buy all the other albums, then buy anything else with Kossoff in it. Well, that's basically what I've done over the years!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 17 Nov 2004
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
After seeing Paul Rodgers perform All Right Now on channel 4's UK music hall of fame final with Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May it reminded me of what a fantastic song it is. But Free are much more than just one song and this album provides the best of Free's work (Fire and Water, Mr Big and The Hunter to name a few). The album sums up the essence of Free from the "solid" Simon Kirke on drums to the awesome voice of Paul Rodgers, which got him noticed by Kossoff and Kirke when singing at The Fickle Pickle. All in all this is a must for anyone just discovering Free or current fans alike, it is one of the bands best albums along with their Live album. Definitely worth buying!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy, 28 Feb 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
This album is an essential purchase for anyone interested in discovering this band and for pretty much anyone else for that matter. It contains most of the bands best material with one or two notable omissions and it is a bargain as well in that it was a double album when originally released on vinyl. Free were always more that just another rock band and tried to embrace many influences rather like Led Zeppelin. However, whereas Zeppelin often failed when they sought to diversify from the rock/blues base ( Dyer Maker anyone? ) Free usually succeeded. This was in large part due to the fantastic voice and stylish lyrics of Paul Rodgers who could do much more than just scream like Robert Plant and avoided the latter's banality. ( Plant did redeem himself somewhat however on his briliant Fate Of Nations album). In addition Free had Paul Kossoff who was a true original in the rock guitar field. Another feature of the band was Andy Fraser's bass which was quite often used as a lead instrument and was very innovative for the time. Simon Kirke's steady pounding took the role that the bass took in other bands thus allowing Fraser to stretch out. Listen to the guitar/bass interplay on Mr Big to see what I mean - absolutely outstanding rock music which proves conclusively that rock music need not be mindless 4/4 with flash solos ( see Deep Purple etc ) and can almost be regarded as an artform when done at its best. Sadly the lifespan of Free was too short. Rodgers and Kirke did re-emerge as Bad Company who were a pale imitation of this wonderful band but did have their moments as well.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Never far from my stereo..., 26 July 2003
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
Spare, stripped down, passsionate rock and blues - that for me sums up Free's music. Not a spare note or a note out of place. I can't remember waiting for the postman with such anticipation as when I bought this CD from Amazon - and this despite the fact that I already have the album on vinyl. There has beeen no band to compare with Free since 1968 when Alexis Korner gave them their name. Paul Kossoff is the guy who Eric Clapton wanted to have him teach him some techniques, and this in the days when people went around with "Clapton is God" badges. Say no more. I like the review that compares them with Led Zeppelin, compared to Free, Led Zeppelin were definitely a triumph of marketing over talent. Free were just the opposite. Buy this album! Now. Then buy Free Live! Then all the rest of their stuff.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Basic Rock., 20 Aug 2008
By 
Alan Burridge (Poole,, Dorset. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
There is little to say about this album which hasn't already been said by my fellows here, other than to say that having to select tracks for a 'Best Of Free' album must have been the most difficult job in the world; it'd have been easier just to release a box set of their whole back catalogue!
Herewith, a taster, you will need more...
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the best way to remember the band, 13 Aug 2008
By 
Gavin Wilson - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
When 'The Free Story' was originally released in 72/73, the ads claimed this was a strictly limited release and the masters had been thrown away. A couple of years later, mail order firms started selling a version from Canada. Suddenly the 'strictly limited edition' lost its credibility, but since this was still the only greatest hits album available, those who had missed out first time around got a second chance to buy the double LP. The advent of CD ten years later enabled the chance for several new Free greatest hits collections, and put 'The Free Story' under pressure.

There are three problems with this album: the first is that it doesn't contain 'Wishing Well', which I still rate as one of the greatest singles of all time, even though the guitar is played by Rodgers, not Kossoff. The second is that the sound is muffled, compared to the 'deluxe' versions of the original albums now available on CD. And the third problem is that this CD, like a couple of other ageing Island CDs I own, has started to corrode -- i.e. some of the tracks now jump. When people started warning in the 1990s that CDs weren't necessarily going to last a lifetime, this is precisely the sort of CD they were worried about -- the molecules on the surface start moving around!

My own recommendation would be to start with their last album, 'Heartbreaker', buy a can of Carlsberg Special, and set your amp to loud. Although Heartbreaker marks the total disintegration of the band, it is also, to my mind, their masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Useful Introduction to a Cult Band, 2 April 2011
By 
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
As a band, Free didn't last very long, but still managed to put down quite a blues rock marker before the cracks between the members became too big to fix. Underpinned by the solid drumwork of Simon Kirke, the band made its reputation through the remarkable vocals of Paul Rogers (who has enjoyed a long career, and something of a second coming with Queen) and the virtuoso talents of Koss and Andy Fraser on lead and bass guitar respectively. This collection serves as a very good taster for those new to the band - although Wishing Well and the sublime Travelling in Style should have made the cut. The variety here shows that they were far more than the iconic Alright Now, and some of the interplay between Kossoff's howling lead and Fraser's bold bass playing is superb. If the cd draws people into checking out the band's albums - and Koss's Back Street Crawler cd - then it's done a good job. Recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best way you could possible spend your money, 12 Jan 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
This is the seriously one of the best music cds i have ever come across, 19 songs by one of the best, most under-rated bands of all time, for a very good price. Kossoff's guitar playing through-out is truly inspirational; avoiding the flash show of other guitarists, he stuck to playing with pure passion, and you can literally hear his feelings in his playing. The singing is also of the highest class, certainly one of the best singers of all time, matching the feeling of kossoff's playing. Listening to this its impossible not to want to own every single free album ever made, as they are all top quality. Buy this!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from past to furture, 15 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: The Free Story (Audio CD)
from being young listening to my sisters boyfriends music i fell deeply for outstanding free which took you to another place .A place where every word meant so MUCH more, music was on another level. I feel that the young alduts today need music soul passion to move into another world without taking anything .What a shame we all cant experice the free dom of real talent. Theres still hope my teenage sons have just found my LPs and their our listening and listening. From one mum who isnt the same as the rest. jean chambo
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5.0 out of 5 stars Tune in. Turn on. Apologise to the neighbours!, 22 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Free Story (MP3 Download)
'My Brother Jake' said 'All Right Now' because he thinks he's 'Mr Big'. If he just showed a 'Little Bit of Love' he could stop being 'The Stealer' and become 'The Hunter' (Live at the Locarno, Sunderland. 1970) instead.

See what I did there!

And that's only six reasons why you, like sapient being in the Universe, should have The Free Story in your music collection.
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Free - The Free Story [1974] [DVD]
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