Free Songs Ranked

Free was an English rock band formed in London in 1968, best known for their 1970 signature song “All Right Now”.They disbanded in 1973; lead singer Paul Rodgers went on to become the frontman of the band Bad Company, which also featured his Free bandmate Simon Kirke on drums. Lead guitarist Paul Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler in 1975 but died from a pulmonary embolism at the age of 25 in 1976. Bassist Andy Fraser formed Sharks. Free became renowned for their live shows and non-stop touring. However, their studio albums did not sell very well until their third, Fire and Water, featured the massive hit “All Right Now”. The song helped secure them a place at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, where they played to 600,000 people. In the early 1970s, Free became one of the biggest-selling British blues-rock groups; by the time they disbanded, they had sold more than 20 million albums around the world and had played more than 700 arena and festival concerts. “All Right Now” remains a rock staple, and has been entered in ASCAP’s “One Million” airplay singles club. Rolling Stone has referred to the band as “British hard rock pioneers”. The magazine ranked Rodgers No. 55 in its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time”, while Kossoff was ranked No. 51 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. Free was signed to Island Records in the UK and A&M Records in North America. Here are all of the Free’s songs ranked.

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15. Little Bit of Love (Free At Last, 1972)

“From the heart of the year that I first became properly aware of music, this fine Free single if anything veers close to pop, but there’s nowt wrong with that in my book. The lyric could come from the New Seekers with its peace and love ethos, but there’s a nice oomph about the music and a typically robust Paul Rodgers vocal in there to give it some ballast.”

14. My Brother Jake (Highway, 1970)

“Great bar-room tune from Free, pleasingly deviating from their more traditional blues-rock style with an altogether lighter touch both lyrically and instrumentally.”

13. Oh I Wept Fire and Water, 1970)

As for Oh I Wept ; I don’t know better from them on laid-back grooves; the drums are so thick it makes you lose your breath; one of their best tension-building songs; and the way the guitar solo sprouts is so tasty…”

12. Don’t Say You Love Me (Fire and Water, 1970)

“‘Don’t Say You Love Me’ is a chance for Rodgers to shine and features a really soulfull vocal over a steady bluesy rhythm.”

11. Be My Friend (Highway, 1970)

“About “Be My Friend”, it is necessary to open an aside, as it is a strong candidate for the title of best music of Free’s career. So much so that Rodgers performed it in his solo shows with some frequency, consisting of a very high point of the set, much due to its masterful interpretation.”

See more: Free Albums Ranked

10. Mr. Big (Fire and Water, 1970)

“Mr. Big,” of course that kick off by Simon Kirke, then Kossoff coming in with that riff, Fraser following with that pumping pinging bass, then Rodgers comes in with those Redding R & B vocals, Fraser gluing it all together with that steady bass beat until it all explodes with the Kossoff solo and then that bass bursts into life. What can you say, nothing just listen, and be glad that this is still out there.”

9. The Stealer (Highway, 1970)

“‘The Stealer’ was the single and supposed successor to ‘All Right Now’ and is one of the two real out and out rockers on the album. A great strutting piece of classic Free it is still a mystery to many as to why it bombed so terribly as a single.”

8. I’ll Be Creepin’ (Free, 1969)

“Crusty meta aside, this is a greet footing’ reeked. The stereo panning of Kossoff’s guitar on the opening notes of I’ll Be Creepin’ is genius that sets the tone for the remainder of the album. I don’t often run to carnal descriptions of music, but sex drips from this like none other of Free’s work. I’m not limiting that to mean just shrugging, but everything from the chase, to the capture, to the release and aftermath.”

7. Fire and Water (Fire and Water, 1970)

“I’ve always preferred the low down earthy vibe of Fire and Water to the more Arena feel of All Right Now; its languishing double-tracked guitar solo, the very discreet piano roll; it’s before the beat punchy attack it’s a killer, and Rodgers sings from his bowels”

6. Catch a Train (Free At Last, 1972)

“On the other hand, we would have the first track “Catch a Train”, but it does not deserve praise. I believe that the other songs do not represent or contextualize other issues addressed in this brief review … Except for the vocals, which are impeccable!”

5. Heavy Load (Fire and Water, 1970)

“‘Heavy Load’ is another very sad and gloomy song with a an old blues style lyric and a very prominent piano. Something which Free would develop even more on the follow up album.”

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4. Wishing Well (Heartbreaker, 1973)

“A sad tribute to the amazing Coss, who was distancing himself from his comrades and the group. FREE has always made music from the heart, but this single is the master. Melancholic and sparkling melodies. The beat is like stomping in anger. Everything is perfect here. Do you know the song better?”

3. I’m a Mover (Tons of Sobs, 1969)

“The songwriting partnership of Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers was responsible for the majority of Free’s material and they too composed their first song at that initial rehearsal in ‘I’m A Mover’. It was to remain a vital part of Free’s live show right up until the closing tour in 1973 and was the first instance of that classic Free sound which has been described elsewhere as ‘four flat tires on a muddy road’.”

2. Walk In My Shadow (Tons of Sobs, 1969)

“Walking in My Shadow”, which also comes from “Tons of Sobs”, is outstanding without quite matching “The Hunter”, played midtempo with a very bluesy feel generated by heavy riffing electric guitar, bass and drums, Rodgers delivering a powerful vocal”

1. All Right Now (Fire and Water, 1970)

“A hard-rock classic and continuing staple of rock radio even today. There’s not much more to add as its such a well-known track, but I remember reading that Paul Kossoff’s father, the distinguished writer and humanitarian David Kossoff, selected this song when he chose his musical items for the evergreen BBC radio show “Desert Island Discs” in tribute to his died-too-young son Paul who contributes the unforgettable extended guitar solo which defines the song.”