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Free

Free Forever DVD

Review by Gary Hill

I’ve never been a big fan of Free. I have to admit that for some reason I have a dislike of Paul Rodgers’ voice. Oh, it’s not all the time. But it’s enough of the time to make me hesitant to really get to know the various bands he’s been in. I know many of you out there are crazy about his voice. More power to you. You probably like pasta, too. I have a similar relationship to that food in that I like some of it, but most of it I can’t stand. So, I guess I’d just say that the way I feel about Rodgers’ vocals has prevented me from getting a deep understanding of the music he’s participated in over the years. In the case of Free, I’d have to say that it’s a shame. This was a great band and this DVD shows that in spades.

It should be noted that if you are in Europe you might already have this set. In fact, if you are in the States and already bought an Import version, you have this one. It’s been out other places since 2006, but is only now seeing its first release here. This is two DVD set that showcases a number of classic performances of the band. We also get some interviews here.

Disc one is divided between three things. The first is footage from Beat Club in Germany from 1970. In that segment we get three songs. The group really rocks it, but some effects put on by the producers – this was 1970 all right – make it look quite dated and kind of take away from the performance. Next up are five live tracks from Granada TV (also 1970). This footage fares better. Disc one is closed out by five videos produced for the songs at the time.

The second disc is culled from the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. We only get video of three songs, but seven others are presented audio only. In addition there are a number of cool special features (including the aforementioned interviews). All in all this is a great set. If you already own it you probably won’t want to rush out and get this new version. However, if you are a US Free fan and have yet to invest in the import version, now is the time to get this great set. Put it on, pile up some pasta, and enjoy!

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2010  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

 
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