Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Freedom - Freedom at Last (Great Hardrock UK 1970)

Size: 98MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripp by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Heavy Blues outfit founded by drummer BOBBY HARRISON" and guitarist Ray Royer in late 1967, both having departed from the hit group PROCUL HARUM" PROCUL HARUM in less than harmonious terms. Royer's replacement in PROCUL HARUM" PROCUL HARUM was none other than ROBIN TROWER. As FREEDOM evolved they turned from Blues Rock to a more Progressive sound with each album.

Before FREEDOM got under way the duo reached an out of court settlement with their former band mates in PROCUL HARUM">PROCUL HARUM and set about a commission piece for a musical score to the film 'Nerosubianco' for director Dino De Laurentis. The project was shelved but did eventually emerge in Italy on the Atlantic label. Bass was supplied by Steve Shirley, a man who had just turned down the job in the INBETWEENS, the act that shortly after evolved into SLADE. Tony Marsh (ex-TORNADO) completed the line up on keyboards, however Marsh was soon supplanted by Mike Lease.

FREEDOM delivered some German issue singles and an album for Metronome in 1969 titled 'At Last' which are now highly sought after before signing to the Probe label in America but not before losing keyboard player Mike Lease, his position being taken by Robin Lumsden. 

FREEDOM's fortunes took a turn for the better when at a gig at the Bridgehouse pub in London they were approached by Patrick Meehan, BLACK SABBATH's manager.

Further line up changes saw both Royer and bassist Steve Shirley opting out, the guitarist leaving the musical scene altogether to become a Scientologist. The gap was filled by former WASHINGTON DC'S men guitarist Roger Saunders and ex RUST" bassist Walt Monaghan.

With this line up FREEDOM toured extensively with BLACK SABBATH and also hit the east coast of America opening for JETHRO TULL before headline shows of their own on the west coast. Further touring with THE JAMES GANG had the band back in America and mainland Europe.

The official British debut eponymous album for Vertigo saw FREEDOM now with bassist Peter Dennis and second guitarist Steve Jolly, the latter specializing in double neck guitar. 1972's album 'Is More Than A Word', now featuring Matt Monoghan on bass commands staggering prices in the collectors market.

With FREEDOM's demise Monaghan joined the MICK ABRAHAMS BAND and IF before a short stint with TED NUGENT on his 'State Of Shock' album in 1979. Saunders forged ahead with an orchestral solo album 'Rush release' for Warner Bros. in 1970 prior to hitching up with MEDICINE HEAD THE GLITTER BAND and a brief spell with CHICKENSHACK. Saunders would operate a Blues outfit THE NOYZ BOYZ.

BOBBY HARRISON meantime busied himself with a solo album recorded for Capitol Records in America. Titled 'The Funkist' it features a whole host of names including BLACK SABBATH guitarist TONY IOMMI, DEEP PURPLE drummer Ian Paice, JUICY guitarist MICKY MOODY, THE GREASE BAND's bassist Chris Stewart and PROCUL HARUM keyboard player and co-producer Matthew Fisher.

Harrison then forged a more permanent union with Moody to create the highly rated SNAFU. Harrison's solo album release being delayed until after the debut SNAFU album was released in 1973. 

Sadly Roger Saunders succumbed to cancer in February of 2000.

Freedom was a psychedelic rock band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, formed initially by members of Procol Harum.

Ray Royer and Bobby Harrison, who had performed on the hit Procol Harum single "A Whiter Shade of Pale", were kicked out of the Harum by vocalist Gary Brooker, and replaced by Robin Trower and Barry Wilson. Royer and Harrison then formed Freedom with Steve Shirley and Tony Marsh, who was immediately replaced by pianist/organist Mike Lease, releasing a two German singles and the soundtrack for the Tinto Brass/Dino de Laurentiis film Attraction (Original title Nerosubianco, also known as Black on White).

In 1968, Harrison entirely overhauled the group's membership, and the new line up began recording with more of a hard rock sound, scoring tour dates with Black Sabbath, Jethro Tull, and The James Gang. They achieved great renown for their excellent version of the Beatles song "Cry Baby Cry" on their second album Freedom at Last. Further lineup changes occurred before the band finally splintered in 1972, with Harrison going on to Snafu.

A spin-off of Procol Harum, Freedom was formed by guitarist Ray Royer and drummer Bobby Harrison. Both of them were in Procol Harum's lineup at the outset for their debut "A Whiter Shade of Pale" single, but were ousted almost immediately when Procol singer, Gary Brooker, enlisted his former bandmates from the Paramounts, Robin Trower and Barry Wilson, as replacements. Freedom's early sound, perhaps unsurprisingly, echoed Procol Harum's in its prominent use of organ and piano, as well as heavy rock guitar, and like Procol Harum's early records, captured late British psychedelia as it was starting to inch toward progressive rock.

Freedom wasn't a Procol Harum clone, though, with a somewhat poppier take on psychedelia that was closer to Traffic than Procol Harum. Their initial lineup only released two singles in 1968 before breaking up, also recording a soundtrack for an obscure Italian film by Dino De Laurentis, Attraction/Black on White. The soundtrack LP was given a limited release in Italy -- so limited, in fact, that the group members themselves were unaware that it had come out. Recorded with noted future producers Eddie Kramer and Glyn Johns engineering, this was reissued on CD in 1999, and is actually a pretty good if derivative slice of late-'60s British psychedelia.

In 1968, Harrison decided to reorganize the band completely -- in fact, so totally that he was the only remaining original member. More albums came out in the late '60s and early '70s which, in keeping with overall British rock trends of the period, were in a much heavier, hard, bluesier style. These were middle-of-the-pack, or a little lower than the middle-of-the-pack, efforts with nothing to make them stand out from the crowd in a clogged field. They did get to tour the U.S. as support for Black Sabbath and Jethro Tull, and broke up in 1972 after some personnel changes. Harrison became the lead singer in the little-known Snafu, while guitarist Roger Saunders, from the later incarnation of the band, did some session work, joined Medicine Head, and played in Gary Glitter's group during the '80s.

♣ Peter Dennis - vocals, bass, keyboards
♣ Bobby Harrison - vocals, drums
♣ Steve Jolly - guitar 
♣ Roger Saunders - vocals, guitar, keyboards
♣ Ray Royer - guitar

01. Enchanted Wood  2:54
02. Down In The Bottom 4:25
03. Have Love Will Travel  2:48
04. Cry Baby Cry  3:38
05. Time Of The Season  4:50
06. Hoodoo Man 4:23
07. Built For Comfort  4:23
08. Fly 3:15
09. Never Loved A Girl  4:35
10. My Life  2:50
11. Can't Stay With Me 4:06
12. Dusty Track  3:33

1. Link
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Woody said...

Thank you very much for this!

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot!

Rochacrimson said...

Excellent Chris!!!!
Please more Freedom's albums!
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

The amazing Roger Saunders died on December 22nd 1999 .