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4.3 out of 5 stars
32
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 13 July 2006
If you are buying a free album for the first time I wouldn't recommend this one. All the tracks have been remixed, some have improved the slightly dodgy 70's production (My Brother Jake and Sail On for example) but Bob Clearmountain had ruined some songs (Don't Say you Loved Me for example) with to many effects.

If he had kept to the spirit of the originals more often it would have been more successful but there is too much over production just for the sake of it.

If you want a 'best of' get The Free Story. Use this CD as a companion to your Free collection not as the 'best of' it pretends to be.
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on 26 March 2017
Item as listed well packed arrived on time thanks
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on 18 December 2008
I just wanted to emphasise what others have said here about the remixing of the tracks on this album; if you decide to buy it, be aware that it really does sound very different to the original versions.

I'm no purist on these matters - I think far too much fuss is often made over remastered releases of albums where essentially all that's different is the tonal balance - and you can compensate by fiddling with your bass or treble controls until it sounds the way you think it should.

However, in the case of this album, the songs have been remixed from scratch, thereby allowing the sound to be drastically altered. What's worse, this seems to have been done with a very 1980s ear, completely at odds with the aesthetic and spirit of the originals.

In practice, what this means is lots of extra reverb, particularly on the drums and vocals, and, unless I'm much mistaken, a much louder snare drum.

I find all this pretty incomprehensible - Bob Clearmountain, who was responsible for these mixes, is a hugely well-respected and talented individual with a world-class reputation. What WAS he thinking?

Maybe this doesn't matter to you. The songs and playing are, of course, top notch, and the sound quality, in itself, is fine. It's just... this isn't what these songs are supposed to sound like.

There are other Free compilations here on Amazon, though mostly 2-disc compilations as opposed to this single disc version. At present, there's the venerable "Free Story", "Walking in my Shadow" and "Chronicles", and possibly more... I would seriously recommend that you investigate them instead of this.

OK, enough of this; I'm off to add a horn section to "Nevermind", and autotune everything on "Pet Sounds"...
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on 23 October 2001
This compilation of the best tracks of the rock-blues masters of the early 70s comes to us in superb audio-quality, thanks to the remixing by Bob Clearmountain. Even with a few tracks less than the Free story, this is the best Free compilation available and an essential part of the history of the UK rock scene.
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on 12 December 2011
Probably the best collection of Free currently available, although all the tracks were remixed by Bob Clearmountain so are not the original album versions. That said, it is a great representation of what a great band Free were. Paul Kossoff is probably one of the most underrated blues guitarist. Paul Rogers, as always provides flawless vocals.

If you are a fan of melodic blues based rock, this is a good introduction to one of the most overlooked British bands of the late 60's early 70's.
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on 13 October 2008
As an absolute Free fanatic, even though ive got all the tracks on this, I bought this and cant believe how Bob Clearmountain has messed up some of the most beautiful songs ever written with his ham fisted remixing.The beauty of Free was the simplicity, the soul and fire shone through, by all means clean up original tapes of hisses and pops but this is vandalism and all concerned Clearmountain,record company etc should be ashamed stick to the Free Story or the superb(if your budget allows)Songs Of Yesterday.
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on 23 April 2010
If you want to know what Free would have sounded like if they'd recorded their material in the bathroom then by all means go ahead and buy this appallingly remixed dog's breakfast of an album.

Otherwise, show some respect for one of the greatest blues/rock bands of all time, buy the original material and hear it as it was meant to be heard. If you want a compilation then buy The Free Story - you'll also get some good live material.
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on 16 April 2016
I loved the soaring rock vocals of the British vocalist Paul Rodgers matched to a tight old school rock band from the 1970's if I remember it right. An awesome collection of kick-ass rock and rock ballads. "Mr Big" will match up to any rock tune today. Awesome!
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on 17 December 2014
The original albums from the 70s sounded awful, especially on good equipment. These remixed recordings sound cleaner, with more treble and bass, and much space around the instruments. A great improvement, highly recommended. The selection of songs is also fine. Too bad the title (best of free) doesn't emphasize the sound improvement.
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VINE VOICEon 25 March 2015
Blasphemy, Free remixed and revised. Free are given the spacey reverb treatment and although the original versions are the best, these versions are fun to listen to. They dont sound like 70s stuff, but much more Lenny Kravitz like. Fun
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