Free- Free at Last-Heartbreaker 45th Anniversaries- Paul Rodgers

This month marks  dubious 45th anniversaries of the last two Free albums, the breakup and seemingly swan song At Last  in Summer 1972, and the actual finale Heartbreaker  six months later. With the exception of B.B.King‘s Top 40 hit “The Thrill Is Gone”, most  white Baby Boomer teenagers had gotten our limited exposure to the blues second-hand via young English bands such as Led Zeppelin. And even though the members of London-based Free were no older than me in 1970 ( bass player Andy Fraser was a veteran of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers at 15 ), the sound of lead singer Paul Rodgers‘ voice and lead guitarist Paul Kossoff‘s crying sustained notes, in very sparse arrangements, really appealed to me.  

Drummer Simon Kirke would go on with Rodgers to found Bad Company by 1974, & Kossoff succumbed to the ravages of heroin addiction in 1976, but not before recording six Free studio albums containing “Woman”,”Fire and Water”,”Heavy Load”,”All Right Now” written by Fraser (sadly, Andy Fraser, bass player who as a teenager wrote and performed “All Right Now”, passed away a few years ago after a chronic illness);“The Stealer”,”Catch a Train”, and often-covered “Wishing Well”, all  in this classic rock interview. –Redbeard