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REQUIRED LISTENING: a musician's personal notes about favorite artists.

Molten Gold, an Anthology.
Free, in my opinion, is the most underrated band in rock history. Most people are aware of "All Right Now," but if you dig deeper you'll find a LOT of great songs and performances. This CD grabs songs from all seven of their albums (1968-1972). The dynamics and space created in songs like "I'll be creepin," "Ride On Pony," "Oh I Wept," "Mr. Big" and "Songs of Yesterday" are testament to what happens when band members actually listen to each other. Paul Rodger's soulful shouting, Andy Fraser's unique bass parts, Simon Kirkes minimalistic (yet heavy) hitting drums and Paul Kossoffs vibrato lead guitar...still sound fresh today. It's a shame that they never achieved more notoriety. Rodgers and Kirke went on and formed Bad Company (also a great band), but Free's legacy is secure with me. I wish that Paul Kossoff's failing health (and unfortunate death) hadn't cut short the life of this band. At least we have Molten Gold to listen to...

posted: August 2003.


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