FREE were formed in 1968 by Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke, who were in a band called, Black Cat Bones. They met Paul Rogers, who was in a band called Brown Sugar, and asked him to join them to form a new band. Blues musician, Alexis Kornor, suggested Andy Fraser as a bass player. He was only 15 but had already played with John Mayall's Blue's Breakers. The band's name is believed to have been suggested by Kornor. Their first two albums went unnoticed, but on their third album, "Fire and Water", they hit it big with the song, "All Right Now". Upon that success they decided to split. They reformed and recorded "Highway". They split again and reformed to record two more studio albums, "Free At Last" and "Heartbreaker". The last album was recorded with original members and new members. This time their split was final. Andy Fraser formed The Sharks, then The Andy Fraser Band. Later on he had great success as a song writer for others. Paul Kossoff recorded a solo album, "Back Street Crawler", then formed a new band under that name. Paul Rogers and Simon Kirke formed Bad Company and were the first group on Led Zeppelin's new label, "Swan Song".
Paul Kossoff died in March 1976 from health problems related to drug abuse.

My friends and I saw Free perform on their last tour of the US at Bill Graham's Winterland in San Francisco on January 26, 1973. To see our photos and read our memoirs, go to - 

The article below is from "The Harmony 
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Rock", by 
Mike Clifford. © Salamander Books 1986.
The article below is from "The 
Rolling Stone Encyclopedia
  of Rock & Roll".
©Rolling Stone Press 1983.
The article below is from "Seventies Rock",
© Frank Moriarty. Published
by Taylor Trade 2003.
A review of their fourth
 album, "Highway" from 
March 1971.
The band split after the release 
of "Highway" and rumors of 
their next move began to surface.
During that time Paul Kossoff
worked on Jim Capaldi's 
first solo album.
Free reformed to record,
"Free At Last". A review
of that album from July 1972.
Shortly after that, Andy Fraser
left Free and formed The 
Sharks with Chris Spedding. 
Paul Kossoff also left to 
record a solo album,
"Back Street Crawler", 
but he did record on a 
few songs on their last 
album, "Hearbreaker"
The Sharks' first 
album is reviewed.
Paul Kossoff answers question about 
his work on "Heartbreaker", his 
solo album and future plans.
A history of how Bad Company
was formed from the book,
"Seventies Rock",
© Frank Moriarty. Published
by Taylor Trade 2003.
Bad Company received a lot of popular 
press after only one album and one single. 
It may have had more to do with their 
manager, Peter Grant, than the music itself.
Andy Fraser only recorded 
one album with The Sharks.
He left and recorded a solo
album. After that he achieved 
success as a song writer for top 
acts like Joe Cocker, Robert 
Palmer and Rod Stewart.
Bad Company made a few popular 
albums, but none reached the 
level of musical creativity 
as "Fire and Water" or 
"Highway" by Free.
Paul Kossoff's "Back Street Crawler" 
solo album was not released in the US 
until October 1975. It was a 
patchwork of songs and musicians
with some highs and lows.
He later formed a band 
using that title and recorded
two albums with them.
Paul Rogers is interviewed for "The
Hit Parader" in November 1975.
Paul Kossoff is interviewed on 
 January 1, 1976. He died three
and a half months later. 
 A review of 
Paul  Kossoff's  
last album.

Below are my photos of Bad Company's 
performance at The Oakland Colosseum 
on August 17, 1974. They opened for
The Edgar Winter Band.

Here are some of the 
albums that make up the 
story of Free.

Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke
were in Black Cat Bones.
The first Free album.
It was more bluesy 
then the others.
Their second album was just titled "FREE".
Below is the story of the artwork used 
for the cover. It is from the book, "100
Best Album Covers", by Storm 
Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell.
© Dorling Kindersley 1999.
Their third album, "Fire and Water" was a
break through with the mega-hit,
"All Right Now".
Even with their success the band split. 
Paul Kossoff and Simon Kirke recorded an 
album with John Bundrick and Tetsu Yamauchi,
who both joined Free to record and tour for the 
"Heartbreaker" album.
Andy Fraser formed a new band, 
Sharks, with Chris Spedding. 
Free reformed to record their fourth 
album, "Highway"
They split again and the company 
released a live album to cash in on their 
popularity. It must have been a rush job, because
the recording is flawed. During one song, Paul Kossoff's 
quitar has a connection problem and can be heard 
going silent at times. 
The album was made to look like a letter
and early copies of the album actually 
had the band photos attached like real stamps.
They reformed once more and recorded 
their fifth album.
The band was disovling during the recording 
of their last album, "Hearbreaker".
Kossoff and Fraser left before it was 
finished. John "Rabbit" Bundrick and 
Testsu Yamauchi joined. 
Paul Kossoff recorded a solo album with 
help from the other members of Free. 
It was released in 1973, but not in 
the USA until 1975.
Andy Fraser formed a new group 
and released one album in 1976.

Paul Kossoff died an March 19th, 1976 
at the age of 25.
This is from the book, "Death By 
Rock & Roll". Published by Citadel Press 1995.
© Gary J. Katz

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