Category Archives: FREEDOM
Freedom were formed by drummer Bobby Harison and guitarist Ray Royer, both formerly of Procol Harum. This 1969 debut (recorded the previous year) is a lot more psychedelic than the later hard rock efforts and was the soundtrack to the Dino de Laurentis film of the same name.
The sound is keyboard led with a melodic bass line, vocal harmonies, it nods at hard rock in a very whimsical way. Some light strings add to the atmosphere, and there is in places something sounding like a harpsichord.
Elsewhere it does go into proto-hard rock territory.
As period music goes it is strong, and will please fans, especially with the plethora of sleevenotes (including band involvement), remastering and extra tracks (including two 1968 singles). But this is far from the band’s best album. Whether their hands were tied to the soundtrack or the musical period, Freedom did go onto much better things. 3/5
Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com (September 2009)
…robust blend of late 60s psych-rock, recalling the likes of Spooky Tooth and Traffic…intriguing missing link in the Procol Harum story.
Record Collector (October 2009)
The primal use of mellotron and violin in a rock context is also of note to proto-prog devotees, as it is highly accomplished and exciting here.
Classic Rock Society (September 2009)
…period-perfect keyboard-driven psych pop
R2, (October 2009)
…the overall sound of the group was pretty much what you’d expect for the British music scene of the time, especially when you compare them with bands like Traffic and Procol Harum…psychedelic tinged pop…
classicrockrevisited.com (November 2009)
…a superb slice of 60′s pop/soul/psychedelia…another gem from Angel Air
Classic Rock Society, (Nov/Dec 2009)
“…Angel Air have keenly reissued the album with their usual eye for detail, expansive sleeve notes and interesting pics!”
Norfolk & Suffolk Preview (November 2000)
…for those who still enjoy British blues rock as purveyed by Cream and their many followers it’s superior stuff and a worthwhile buy.
Record Buyer (February 2001)
…the fact that the original LP is rated at £100, it’s more than welcome for fans. Mixing blues-rock, funk, and gentle piano-based 70s pop, the atmosphere is very upbeat…although, sadly, Freedom never made the first division of British rock, this quality package is well worth checking out.
Joe Geesin, Record Collector (February 2001)
…a triumph of heavy blues rock and psychedelic pop which brought favourable comparisons with the likes of Cream and Led Zeppelin, and justifiably so…by the time of this release Freedom had abandoned their hard blues driven approach for a funkier, more soulful sound…
Steve Ward, Wondrous Stories (February 2001)
…a classy rhythm and blues album. This isn’t really rocky, isn’t really pop – and doesn’t get into the really heavy R & B territory…As the sleeve notes say, this album is very much a child of its time. the band’s sound is very much fixed in the late sixties/early Seventies alongside the likes of Cream and Jimi Hendrix…If you like your rock raw and bluesy, then check this out. The middle five tracks will please you. As for the rest – well, they are there, make up your own minds!
Frank Blades, Rockhaven (February 2001)
While fans of the band’s earlier epic productions might find themselves twitching uncomfortably as the guitars blare and the swamp snakes squiggle, this might well be Freedom’s finest album
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine (January 2001)
…another career ending benchmark, this time from 1972…A mixed bag of delights
Colin Bryce, Mohair Sweets (March 2001)
Angel Air have made a tremendous work with the reissues…Fantastic heavy blues based rock with great vocals and excellent guitar work
Record Reviews (web)
Angel Air put out another undiscovered gem from the late 60s/early 70s British scene…All trademarks of the 70′s heavy rock scene (standout guitar playing, awesome vocals, excellent rhythm section, hippie attitude etc) can be heard…Great riffs, moods and even the use of congas make the album a standout release…
Psychedelic Fanzine (August 2001)
…Angel Air have done it again in finding another excellent album from the dark forgotten past…
Modern Dance (November 2001)
Suggesting his future recordings with Snafu, Harrison pushes the sound in a funky, rhythmic direction on the pulsating eight-minute instrumental ‘Brainbox Jam’. Aspiring to singer/songwriter status, Saunders leads the group through the sweeping piano ballads ‘Direction’ and ‘Dream.’
Discoveries (January 2005)
With only Harrison remaining from the original line-up, psychedelia had given way to a…heavy blues-rock style. Undoubtedly skilled musicians with strong three-part harmonies and an impressive live act…
Mojo, (June 2000)
…Coming out of the British beat boom and influenced by the US West Coast scene, there are strong elements of excellent blues-rock here…worth checking out.
Record Collector (July 2000)
…Originally released in 1970 this is the first time that it has been available on CD thanks to the excellent Angel Air label. Freedom played a style of blues and R&B very popular at the time but with very definite psychedelic overtones and were favourably compared with the likes of Cream and Led Zeppelin…The musicianship…is exemplary and it remains a mystery why bands such as Freedom are not mentioned in the same breath of their more famous counterparts, but thanks to labels like Angel Air their music is once again available to the masses. A truly excellent release
Wondrous Stories (July 2000)
…By the time Procol Harum spin-off group Freedom recorded this eponymous album in 1971, they’d long since abandoned that group’s classical roots in favour of a coarser, Cream/Sabbath-style progressive blues template…The presence of three would-be lead singers helped Freedom to wring the max from the formula…They were probably cracking live…
Classic Rock (August 2000)
…a fine example of catchy guitar-driven rock and blues…Fans of Cream will lap this up. A gem of a release, reinforced with extensive liner notes.
Peter French, Hartlepool Mail (July 2000)
… this delightful period piece is redolent of The Who circa Live At Leeds…The sleeve notes also contain a brilliant anecdote about Ozzy osbourne flinging excreta at Curved Air’s Sonja Kristina
John Hazlewood, Q (August 2000)
…The revised lineup’s first album, At Last, was reissued last year; now Freedom, their 1970 follow-up, has arrived and what a treat it is. Of course it’s cut firmly in the sound of the times, power-chord blues rock with an eye for at least a soupcon of virtuoso flavouring. But it’s also very melodic, with genuinely memorable songs shot through with equally unforgettable guitar (from the late Roger Saunders) and drums…They also toured Britain on a bill with Black Sabbath and Curved Air, and if you ever wondered what Ozzy Osbourne and Sonja Kristina made of one another, there’s an anecdote in the booklet that will answer all your questions.
Jo-Ann Greene, Goldmine(July 2000)
Should appeal to fans of Traffic, Cream and maybe some fans of Zeppelin and possibly Sabbath
Mike Reed, Banzai, USA (November 2001)
This hard rock / blues trio recorded several albums in the late 60s and early 70, not all released in the UK at the time, but often to critical acclaim. One of their last albums, this was released in 1971 and features some strong numbers. **1/2
Joe Geesin, www.getreadytorock.com
They mix the blues in with more straightforward hard rock…another interesting nugget from Angel Air and one that is worth hearing
Feedback (November 2004)
…follows the tried and tested Freedom formula of riff laden blues based rock…
Classic Rock Society (November 2004)
Some listeners will be transported to headbanging heaven…
Trevor Hodgett Blues in Britain (November 2004)
This is music from the late Sixties that is influenced by bands such as Cream…For me this is one of the most-played releases that I have had from Angel Air, as it is such an easy album to get into, yet there are so many layers that each time I play it I get even more from it. Plenty of information in the booklet makes this a wonderful release.
Feedback (September 2004)
…strong blues-rock with influences of Groundhogs and Savoy Brown with some Captain Beefheart-esque vocals…an enjoyable set…informative sleevenotes do help the overall package though
Record Collector (October 2004)
…a quality album…An amazing power trio this is probably the missin g link between 60s bands like Cream and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, and more experimental outfits like Led Zep, Deep Purple and the harder edge that The Who developed. A great gem of an album, released with the impeccable presentation that sets every Angel Air release apart from the crowd.
Classic Rock Society (September 2004)
…12 songs, mixing blues chestnuts such as ‘Hoodoo Man’ and ‘Down In The Bottom’ with hard-riffing originals…
Discoveries (January 2005)