Having released their first two albums in 1969, Free entered Trident Studios in London in 1970 to report what would turn into their leap forward album. As a result of timeless single ‘All Correct Now’, Fire and Water reached quantity 2 within the UK and 17 within the US. This success landed them a collection of abode at the 1970 Isle of Wight Competition and propelled them to stardom.
While ‘All Correct Now’ could were the standout single, the album as a full elevates them above the popular ‘blues rock’ genre. This is a band good ample with dwelling and with every plenty of. The album is relaxed and laid aid and there might be no such thing as a overplaying by any individual. In the occasion you compare Free to Led Zeppelin for example, you’re going to sight the shortcoming of drum fills, vocal gymnastics and present off guitar licks. Every observe is a lesson in interaction and subtlety. The formulation that this band work together is elevated than the sum of the elements and all of it comes all of the plan down to simplicity.
For your total album Simon Kirke simply lays down the groove with authority and when he does beget it be nearly exclusively eighth notes or quarter notes. There’s nothing pointless, it be appropriate famous and minimal. Even for the duration of his drum solo at the live of the title observe ‘Fire and Water’ he refuses to present off.
Paul Rodgers’ vocals are nicely-organized. He would now not private to employ wailing vibrato or instruct extra notes than are the largest. All yet again it be easy and soulful, presumably most evident on ‘Don’t Converse You Deal with Me’. Lyrically the songs are private and intimate, deeply rooted within the blues.
Historically bass solos are in most cases marked by the the rest of the band stopping, and letting the bassist displays off his licks now that he can eventually be heard. That isn’t any longer the case right here though. Eavesdrop on ‘Mr Astronomical’ and strive how Kossoff and Kirke relentlessly thrash out the groove whereas Andy Fraser performs about a of the funkiest and most melodic bass having fun with ever, gradually elevate rigidity for him to tumble all of the plan down to the lower octave appropriate as the band as a full reach the height. It’s miles a splendid fight of rigidity and spine that leads us satisfyingly aid into the refrain.
Free’s fantastic exhaust of dwelling and reticence isn’t any better confirmed than in Paul Kossoff’s guitar work. His solos are sparse and melodic, and his chordal work is tantalizing and famous. Being the estimable guitar player he fills up dwelling by the usage of large intervals in his chord voicings or by together with an extra fifth into his vitality chords, in most cases each and every lower and elevated. He moreover makes fantastic exhaust of the delivery strings. When he goes into a solo, Andy Fraser jumps in and helps to beget simply ample of that original came upon dwelling to provide Kossoff the freedom to play with a sparseness no longer steadily came upon amongst ‘rock’ guitarists.
The result of all of right here is that Free sound devour extra than appropriate a outmoded guitar trio plus vocalist. They’re continuously interacting with and supporting every plenty of, never getting into into the plan. The entirety is woven together in a approach that displays a maturity plan previous their years at the time of recording. Free are a band fully free of gimmicks. Their tune is pure, soulful and interesting. In later albums their sound grew to turn into extra piano led as Kossoff’s drug behavior obtained within the plan, but Fire and Water is the sound of Free at their height, the set all the pieces clicked into situation. In the occasion it’s essential private to search out out how one can play in a band, listen to this album.