Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Today was THE day... 'All Right Now'

These are indeed strange times. I hope everyone is keeping safe and well.

Here the FAS continues to work on the 50th anniversary celebrations going forwards. I have been hard at work on the 'Fire And Water' issues since Christmas Day 2019 and the first two are 80% done, the final issue erm.... less than that! Maybe 20%. It's all very complicated this part of the history! There are things in the next magazines that even surprised me! Things even I hadn't realised or known about. Quite an adventure.

Due to the current situation I can't be sure EXACTLY when we'll be getting these next issues printed - but in the meantime work will continue unabated to get them ready to go as soon as the opportunity presents itself.

However, today is actually quite important. 50 years ago today something happened that changed the lives of Paul Kossoff, Paul Rodgers, Simon Kirke and Andy Fraser forever. Somewhat changing the fortunes of the already bludgeoning Island Records label too.

On April 21st, 1970 at Island Studios in Basing Street, Chris Blackwell took out the master multi-track reels for Free's 'All Right Now'. He remixed the track and edited it as their proposed third UK single. Of course the first two, 'Broad Daylight' and 'I'll Be Creeping' hadn't broken any sales records, but things were building up and there was a feeling that Free were about to break really big. They just needed one key song, and Chris Blackwell decided that this was it. 


Along with engineers Brian Humphries and Roger (Trow, I think) he took the masters, which had been transferred to 16-track from the original 8-track tapes recorded at Trident Studios, and spliced out the introduction to the guitar solo, and the last verse. He thickened up the track with some overdubs and a cowbell (on the album mix this is missing) and took the song from its original length of 5.31 down to 4.14 -  still long for a single it has to be said. On reflection these days Chris believes it could have been even better, but that he just couldn't get it better than this himself. I think he did pretty good personally.

A couple of weeks later it was in the shops and by July it was sitting at No.2 in the BBC chart, or No.1 if you preferred to take your information from the NME or Melody Maker. The rest, as they say, is history. The single was a hit in the UK, USA, Denmark, Canada, Germany, France, Belgium, Denmark among others, as well as being released in places like South Africa, Yugoslavia, Israel, Japan, Greece, Brazil, Mexico, Turkey and even the Lebanon!

And despite Wikipedia having down on its pages that the song was written in Durham, it wasn't. It was actually conceived in Manchester apparently. This comes from what the band said, on numerous occasions, in the music press at the time it was released.

You can say in no uncertain terms that this day, half a century ago, changed their lives forever. Those four young men, Fraser still only 17. And, if you are a fan, like me, ours too. Cool eh. History was never like this at school was it!

Keep Safe,
 
David



 Right: FREE
'Esta Bien Ahora'
('All Right Now')
Argentina [Philips]





Thursday, 19 March 2020

Paul Kossoff 1950 - 1976


Paul Kossoff - Forty Four Years.

Having to put up two of these rather sad little reminders in a month is a bit much. Koss now dead far longer than he lived. Very sobering.

I'm currently hard at work on the 'Fire And Water' issues for the 50th anniversary, and rather enjoying rediscovering that album somewhat. It's the one I play the least but there are some lovely guitar moments on there for sure.

Not much to say here that hasn't been said before. It would be nice if Koss was still here, and I wouldn't care too much what he was playing these days, just so long as he was happy whatever he was doing. The legacy of his talent to move people with his playing is still widely available to anyone who wants to check it out.

What was it that still makes people listen? Well, Paul Kossoff had the ability to know when he'd done enough. When to let go, when to hold back and when to stop. Below is a prime example of when to stop playing, and this is a great song by Mike Montgomery. Koss guides us in and then lets Sless tell the story.  Lyrically it's fantastic. and musically it's very underplayed. Lots of places where there could be a guitar part and fill but there is nothing, just rhythm until the solo. 

When Kossoff does come in the guitar is driven through a Leslie cabinet and the playing is perfect. Venom and pathos in immaculate harmony. It's around 32 seconds long, and that's it. Kossoff has said all he needed to say. Over the long end refrain, where most guitar players would try and fill every second -  there is nothing. The 32 seconds was enough. Less is more. 
Enjoy...

    

Monday, 16 March 2020

Andy Fraser 1952 - 2015


Andy Fraser - Five Years.


If you have a little time today see if you can pull out a bit of Andy's music and give it a play. It's easy enough to get out something like 'Mr Big' but if you have a copy give the 'Andy Fraser Band' album a listen. Great songs, great playing, great band. High Underrated.

 Alternatively Play a couple of Andy's own favourites...

 “There’s quite a few, really. 'Be My Friend''Heavy Load', there’s some real maturity in that song. I still love a lot of those old Free songs; that band stands up for me, as it seems to for a lot of people."
 

Remember you can also find some great bass playing from Andy on 'Sulky Girl' by Robert Palmer from his 1980 album 'Clues'. It wasn't just about FREE!
  

 
 








Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Free Appreciation Society Magazine - Issue #150


Free Appreciation Society
Magazine Issue #150
February 2020 


Bad Company - 'Desolation Reinvigoration'
'Desolation Angels'

Posted out to all subscribers this evening.

Large 56 page full colour issue covering the complete history of Bad Company album by album, with a special look at 'Desolation Angels' and the new 'Deluxe Edition' that was released in January 2020.

This magazine includes information on the research for the new set and the tapes that were used in its compilation, along with plenty of photographs, memorabilia and press cuttings.

Also included for the first time anywhere is an exclusive and complete Bad Company gig history from 1974 - 1979 including posters, ads, tickets and more. Pretty impressive!!

56 packed colour pages. 

Want a copy?? 

Then subscribe via fasarticle@aol.com





Saturday, 21 December 2019

Free Appreciation Society Magazine - Issue #149


Free Appreciation Society
Magazine Issue #149
December 2019 


Free - 'Songs From Yesterday Pt. 2'
From April 1969 to the release of 'Free' in October and up to Christmas 1969

The final Extra Large 56 Page full colour issue covering the complete history of the band from April 1969 to the end of December 1969.

This edition includes all the release information for the second album. UK, USA, Germany, France, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Japan and others. Details on first issues, first pressings, matrix numbers and more. LPs, singles, CDs, cassette and 8-track. All fully illustrated. Also the day to day diary.  Where they were and what they were doing April 1969 - December 1969. Gig ads, gig posters, contracts, set lists and more.

This is the Final part of our 'Free (No. 2)' trilogy and covers the band from the release of 'Tons Of Sobs', through the release of 'Free', and on to the end of 1969.

The most in depth look at this period of the FREE history EVER. This ends a trio of issues that look at this specific phase of the band evolution over #147, #148 and #149.

56 packed colour pages. Get it now!!

Posted out to subscribers yesterday. Happy Christmas!!




  

Monday, 16 December 2019

Free Appreciation Society Magazine - Issue #148

Free Appreciation Society
Magazine Issue #148
December 2019 


Free - 'The Pictorial Scrapbook - 1969'

I have literally just taken these to the post office, so subscription issues are on their way.

Extra Large 56 Page full issue featuring photographs and press / gig ads for the April 1969 - December 1969 period. Over 70 photographs of FREE, 19 full page, covering the band in the studio, on stage and off. Scores of these photographs and adverts are unseen for decades, many are also previously unpublished.

The most in depth look at this period of the FREE history EVER. This is the second in a trio of issues that look at this specific phase of the band evolution over #147, #148 and #149.

56 packed pages. Available now!!




 

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Free Appreciation Society Magazine - Issue #147


Free Appreciation Society
Magazine Issue #147
November/December 2019 


Free - 'Songs From Yesterday Pt. 1'
From April 1969 to the release of 'Free' in October and up to Christmas 1969'

Extra Large 56 Page full colour issue covering the complete history of the band from April 1969 to the end of December 1969. This edition is the first part of our 'Free (No. 2)' trilogy and covers the band from the release of 'Tons Of Sobs', through the release of 'Free', and on to the end of 1969.

Exclusive 4 page introduction to this issue by our own Simon Kirke.

So, this magazine covers April 1969 - December 1969.

This includes the recording of the 'I'll Be Creeping' single (with the 'g'), the sessions for the second album tape by tape, the first trip abroad (to Paris), the Blind Faith American Tour, the Isle Of Wight Festival 1969, radio sessions, live recordings and more. All enhanced with lots of media and photographs from the period including press releases, reviews, tour ads, and gig posters, many never seen before.

The most in depth look at this period of the FREE history EVER. This begins a trio of issues that look at this specific phase of the band evolution over #147, #148 and #149.
  

 56 packed colour pages. Get it now!!