Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Retrospective # 03

Free Fire & Water 1970

I came to this album late; it was the summer of 1974 when I discovered Free. Drawn to their album by the re release of All right now. I wanted to know more about the whole band. I discovered a musical hero in Paul Rodgers vocals, a genius talent in Andy Fraser’s bass playing, the bluesy restrained guitar of Paul Kossoff & the no frills drumming of Simon Kirke.

That summer I started hanging with Lindon & Jimmy, busted my cherry & took on part time work in order to fund my rapidly growing album collection. I was a sponge soaking up every note of this & many other albums.

From the opening bluesy riff of Fire & Water to the extended version of All right now, I was hooked. On songs like Remember, Oh I wept & the bass soloing on Mr. Big. I became a Free bore. telling everyone I met how great they were, never able to accept anyone else came close to them. Of course that too is part of maturing, accepting other peoples ideas & opinions. I managed to put that off for quite a while.

No sooner had I discovered Free then they broke up. Paul Rodgers with Simon Kirke formed Bad Company, one good first album & mediocrity beckoned. Andy Fraser went solo, wrote some great songs for other people, ( Chaka Khan, Robert Palmer, Frankie Miller ) & moved to the USA. Paul Kossoff decided mandrax was a more creative career than music & died from heart failure on a flight in the USA, ironically clean after years of abuse.

The summer ended, but when I put this album on the turn table (Yes I still own one!) I can as the song goes………..Remember

In the summer
Days were lazy
And sometimes the heat
Would drive us all crazy
Singing songs all night long
Till the light thru' the window
Said another day had come

All these days are gone
Baby, now I'm all alone
I wish I had you near me
I wish I had you here.


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