Free Live! is a live album by English rock band Free. It was rush-released by Island Records to commemorate the band, who had broken up in April 1971. Possibly because of the publicity caused by their breakup (which had also earned them a successful parting single “My Brother Jake” that same month) the album was a hit, reaching #4 in the UK album charts. It fared less well in the United States however, reaching only #89.
The album was recorded from gigs played in the UK locations of Sunderland and Croydon, both places where Free had substantial followings, in January and September 1970. Engineer Andy Johns could only use two tracks from the Sunderland gig (“The Hunter” and “All Right Now”), but used crowd noise from it frequently to create seamless links between tracks.
With the exception of one song, all performances are versions of album tracks. It begins with “All Right Now”, which lasts for over six minutes. Rodgers’s voice noticeably falters for a second during this song, showing how the album has not been altered in any way to remove such glitches as many modern live albums are. These are followed by loud, guitar-driven versions of “Be My Friend”, “Fire and Water”, “Ride on a Pony” and “Mr. Big”. The live part then closes with one of the band’s most popular tracks, “The Hunter” which receives a greater reaction from the crowd than any other song, including “All Right Now”. Only the initial arrival of the band on stage at the very beginning causes a louder cheer.
The album then closes with the last of four studio tracks recorded by the band before they split (the other three songs surfaced in some form on Highway and information on them is contained in that album’s article). It is a slow, mellow, acoustic song much like a large part of Highway was, and sounds completely unlike any of the live songs on this album.(by wikipedia)
Although Free made excellent studio records, Free “Live” is perhaps the best way to experience the band in all its glory. Led by singer-guitarist Paul Rodgers and lead guitarist Paul Kosoff, the band swings through nine songs with power, clarity, and a dose of funk. Of course, the hit single “All Right Now” is gleefully extended, much to the audience’s and listener’s delight. Superbly recorded by Andy Johns, this is one of the greatest live albums of the 1970s. (by Matthew Greenwald)
Andy Fraser (bass)
Simon Kirke (drums)
Paul Kossoff (guitar)
Paul Rodgers (vocals)
01. All Right Now (Fraser/Rodgers) 6.24
02. I’m A Mover (Fraser/Rodgers) 3.46
03. Be My Friend (Fraser/Rodgers) 5.56
04. Fire And Water (Fraser/Rodgers) 3.56
05. Ride On A Pony (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.30
06. Mr. Big (Fraser/Kirke/Kossoff/Rodgers) 6.13
07. The Hunter (Cropper/Dunn/Jackson/Jones/Wells) 5.29
08. Get Where I Belong (Fraser/Rodgers) 4.19
Andy Fraser, who co-wrote the hit song All Right Now when he was the teenage bassist for the rock band Free, has died in California at the age of 62.
Fraser, who trained first as a classical pianist before switching to guitar, had been living in the desert community of Temecula, where he died on March 16 2015.
At 15, the London-born Fraser (who had been expelled from school for refusing to have his hair cut) briefly became a member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, the group that proved a training ground for Eric Clapton and Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.
Within a year, Fraser became a founding member of Free. The band’s most prominent member was singer and guitarist Paul Rodgers, who would also go on to front Bad Company and The Firm. Rodgers and Fraser wrote the song while they were sitting in the Durham Students’ Union building. Fraser recalled: “The idea for All Right Now came about on a rainy Tuesday night in some godsforsaken minor city in England. We were playing a college that could have held 2,000 but had something like 30 people out of their heads on Mandrax bumping into each other in front of us. They didn’t notice when we came on or when we went off. Afterwards there was that horrible silence in the dressing room. To break the intensity, I started singing, ‘All right now…come on baby, all right now.'”
Fraser co-wrote Fire and Water, The Stealer and I’m A Mover but the biggest Free hit by far was 1970’s All Right Now, which peaked at number two in the UK singles chart and number four in the US. In 1991, the song was remixed and re-released, reaching No8 on the UK singles chart. Fraser also produced the track and played a bass solo on it. Fraser spoke affectionately of his time with the band, saying: ” We were brothers – like a gang, or team of commandos where we could be sure we were all watching each others back. I live by the values formulated at that time.” The band broke up in 1972 and Fraser went on to form his own musical groups, such as The Sharks and The Andy Fraser Band.
Fraser, who said he had a difficult time admitting that he was gay in the aftermath of fame, was a talented songwriter. Among the musicians who covered his songs were Joe Cocker, Frankie Miller, Chaka Khan, Ted Nugent, Lulu, Paul Young, Three-dog night, Paul Carrack, Rod Stewart, Randy Crawford, Bob Seger, Joan Jett and Etta James. He wrote the worldwide hit Every Kinda People for Robert Palmer and Fire and Water for Wilson Pickett.
He and Rodgers remained in contact and took the stage together to play All Right Now at Woodstock ’94, the reboot of the classic music festival. In 2005, he recorded his final album, Naked and Finally Free.
In 2008, Fraser wrote and sang the song Obama (Yes We Can), to support the campaign to elect Barack Obama as president of the United States.
Fraser, who survived cancer and Aids, said once: “I look back at my time with Free with a deep sense of affection. I love most of the songs we wrote. They reflect a great time in my life, of growth and adventure. As a body of work, without nit-picking some stronger or weaker, together they have stood the test of time, and have shown Free to be a truly unique band.” (by Martin Chilton, The Telegraph)