Terms such as ‘pioneers’ and ‘greats’ get thrown around too easily these days. Sometimes it seems that anyone who’s recorded a half-decent album is regarded as a true giant of hard rock. However, in the case of Free such terms are, if anything inadequate.
Together for only half-a-decade or so, they made an indelible mark on music. Such was their influence and importance that here we are, four decades later, still celebrating their successes and still in awe of the talents involved.
To call them master blues rockers only tells part of the story. Their musicianship was peerless, built on the flexible and calming rhythms of bassist Andy Fraser and drummer Simon Kirke. On top of this were stunning, staggering guitar parts from Paul Kossoff, while Paul Rodgers topped it all off with a voice that was smooth and emotive.
Is it no wonder that succeeding generations look back at what Free achieved? And try to emulate their musical brilliance? Theirs is still the yardstick by which others have to be judged.
The incredible thing about Free was that they made it all sound so simple. So much so that’s it’s easy to make the mistake of finding it all effortless, it appears anyone could have done what they did. Wrong! They are rightly regarded as an elite band because nobody else could come close.
On all fronts, Free were supreme. And it’s that supremacy that is still acknowledge and adored decades later.