Freedom’s final outing in 1972, Is More Than a Word, is a study in contrasts. It still rocks hard as all get out, á la Humble Pie, but it also points in an interesting direction in places: toward more textured and acoustic-flavored material that echoes country music, thanks to an electric violin – uncredited – on the opening track “Together.” Elsewhere, there is scathing blues-rock in the funky, raucous, rave-up vein on cuts like “Sweaty Feet,” the elongated “Brainbox Jam,” that goes off the funk nut, and a smoking cover of Don Nix’s “Going Down.” The shimmering, jazzy pastoralism of “&Direction” provides a glorious, smoky, spiritual vibe with killer guitar solos. The final track, “Ladybird,” is full of outlandish arrangements, horns, with a complex melodic frame that makes the band sound Marc Almondish. While it is not an altogether successful outing, it nonetheless offers some great tracks, and a view of the band that would have been interesting, to say the least, had they continued. The Akarma package is typically handsome and durable with fine remastered sound….. by Thom Jurek..all music……
FREEDOM was formed in the autumn of 1967 by two ex-members of Procol Harum, Bobby Harrison and Ray Royer. This album, released for the first time on CD, is the band’s last-ever release from 1972 and featured Roger Saunders, Steve Jolly and Pete Dennis, and Bobby Harrison.
Now with informative sleeve notes and remastered, the CD is a great addition to the band’s recorded “history” presented by Angel Air.
Bobby Harrison went on to perform solo, with “Funkist”, with Icelandic funksters Mezzoforte, and with Micky Moody in Snafu. However Freedom made some evocative, and definitive, blues-rock in the early seventies and their heritage has been rightly and respectfully restored by Angel Air………………..
Vertigo vertigo vertigo… A really strange label that had (or have) bands like Black Sabbath, Dr.Z, Tudor Lodge. And everything is getting expensive these days. But how ever Freedoom its a really nice progressive rock band and pretty heavy too, from the UK and the opening track is really awesome with viola and great guitars. If you know anything about the band you can write it in the comments. That would be really kind….ProgNotFrog………..
A heavy rock group who had a good live act but whose albums were rather mundane. The best track on Through The Years (the US edition) was Freestone, the opener. The title cut, Get Yourself Together and London City were competent but unexceptional heavy rock tracks, whilst Thanks was mellow and more mainstream. The final track, Toe Grabber, was based on boring guitar riffs. By the time of their final effort for Vertigo in 1972 they’d veered towards country-rock!
Bobby Harrison had previously banged the skins for Procol Harum and went on to perform vocal duties with Snafu. Ray Royer had played guitar in Procol Harum. They formed Freedom when they were given a generous out of court financial settlement to leave Procol Harum because they were considered to be incompatible with the rest of the band’s sound.
They also contributed two tracks, Nobody and Frustrated Woman, from their first album to Probe’s Handle With Care sampler. The flip side of their Mercury 45 can also be heard on Psychedelia, Vol. 2 (LP) and Hen’s Teeth Vol. 1 (CD). This is an excellent slice of pop-psych penned by Ray Royer.
Prior to their first UK album they put out an album called At Last, which was only released in Germany (Metronome MLP 15371) 1970 and in France on (Byg 529325) 1970. This is reputed to contain some good slices of psychedelia. During the Winter of 1967/8 Freedom (Harrison, Royer, Mike Lease (keyb'ds) and Steve Shirley (bs, vcls) were invited to contribute to the Soundtrack of the film ‘Nerosubianco’ ('The Attraction’), which was masterminded by noted Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. The resulting album has now been issued in the UK by Tenth Planet and sounding similar to Procol Harum or instrumentally to early Traffic is worth a listen….tapestry of delights………
Freedom *Bobby Harrison - Congas, Drums, Vocals *Roger Saunders - Guitar, Piano, Vocals *Peter Dennis - Bass, Acoustic Guitar, Vocals *Steve Jolly - Lead Guitar
Tracks 1. Together (Steve Jolly, Bobby Harrison) - 4:20 2. Miss Little Louise (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 3:13 3. Sweaty Feet (B. Harrison, R. Saunders, P. Dennis, S. Jolly) - 3:59 4. Brainbox Jam (B. Harrison, R. Saunders, P. Dennis, S. Jolly) - 7:58 5. Direction (Roger Saunders) - 5:58 6. Going Down (Don Nix) - 4:45 7. Dream (Bobby Harrison, Roger Saunders) - 2:54 8. Ladybird (Peter Dennis, Bobby Harrison) - 4:23