Free ‎– Tons Of Sobs

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"Tons Of Sobs" was recorded at Morgan Studios in Willesden, London. The band entered the studio in October 1968 and the work was produced by Guy Stevens, broadly as straightforward sets with a few overdubs, on a budget of circa £800. Kossoff used a sunburst Les Paul & a black custom 3-pick-up Les Paul. Fraser used a Gibson EB.

Free were signed to Island as a result of their connection to blues legend Alexis Korner, who had provided a home to the young Andy Fraser and helped link him up, first to The Bluesbreakers, then to the bass-less trio of Kossoff, Kirke & Rodgers via a tip from Mike Vernon. Korner was also the mentor who suggested the name "Free" for the band. According to Fraser "Tons Of Sobs" effectively summed-up the recording.

Tracklist

Over The Green Hills Pt. I 1:01
Worry 3:25
Walk In My Shadow 3:20
Wild Indian Woman 3:19
Goin' Down Slow 8:08
I'm A Mover 2:49
The Hunter 4:11
Moonshine 5:01
Sweet Tooth 4:43
Over The Green Hills Pt. II 1:53

Versions (38)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK 1968 Sell This Version
SFL-933589, ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) Festival Records, Island Records SFL-933589, ILPS 9089 New Zealand 1968 Sell This Version
SFL-933,589 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) Island Records SFL-933,589 Australia 1968 Sell This Version
STL 243 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) Fontana STL 243 South Africa 1969 Sell This Version
SP 4198 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) A&M Records SP 4198 US 1969 Sell This Version
543.039 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) Polydor 543.039 Canada 1969 Sell This Version
ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RP) Island Records, Island Records ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 UK 1969 Sell This Version
ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RP) Island Records, Island Records ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 UK 1969 Sell This Version
ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE, Pin) Island Records, Island Records ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089 UK 1970 Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RP) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK 1971 Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP) Island Records ILPS 9089 Canada 1974 Sell This Version
ILS-80247 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE, Gat) Island Records ILS-80247 Japan 1975 Sell This Version
20SI-225 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, Promo, RE) Island Records 20SI-225 Japan 1984 Sell This Version
20SI-225 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE) Island Records 20SI-225 Japan 1984 Sell This Version
PSCD-1033 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records, Polystar PSCD-1033 Japan 1990 Sell This Version
PHCR - 18705 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album) Island Records PHCR - 18705 Japan 1992 Sell This Version
UICY-9130 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, Ltd, RE, RM, Gat) Island Records UICY-9130 Japan 2001 Sell This Version
IMCD 281, 586 149-2 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RM) Island Remasters, Island Records IMCD 281, 586 149-2 UK 2001 Sell This Version
IMCD 281, 586 149-2 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RM, Unofficial) Island Remasters (2), Island Records (2) IMCD 281, 586 149-2 Russia 2001 Sell This Version
UICY-93841 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE, RM) Island Records UICY-93841 Japan 2008 Sell This Version
UICY-40077 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, Ltd, Pla) Island Records UICY-40077 Japan 2014 Sell This Version
UIGY-9564 Free Tons Of Sobs(SACD, Ltd, RE, RM, Car) Island Records UIGY-9564 Japan 2014 Sell This Version
842 784-2, IMCD 62 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records, Island Records 842 784-2, IMCD 62 France Unknown Sell This Version
CID 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records CID 9089 Unknown Sell This Version
261 701 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records 261 701 Germany Unknown Sell This Version
IMCD 62 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records IMCD 62 UK Unknown Sell This Version
261 701 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE) Island Records 261 701 Italy Unknown Sell This Version
586149-2, IMCD 281 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE, RM, RP) Island Records, Island Remasters 586149-2, IMCD 281 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
586149-2, IMCD 281 Free Tons Of Sobs(CD, Album, RE, RM, RP) Island Records, Island Remasters 586149-2, IMCD 281 Europe Unknown Sell This Version
SP 4198, SP-4198 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album) A&M Records, A&M Records SP 4198, SP-4198 US Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
SP 4198 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE) A&M Records SP 4198 US Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE, Gat) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE, Gat) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RE, Gat) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Album, RP, i L) Island Records ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version
ILPS 9089 Free Tons Of Sobs(LP, Unofficial, Gat) Island Records (2) ILPS 9089 UK Unknown Sell This Version

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top67

top67

June 3, 2016
referencing Tons Of Sobs, LP, Album, RE, Pin, ILPS 9089, ILPS-9089
Extra on my version is a round stickerstamp on the recordlabel on side A with the text "sample records no commercial value"
swagski

swagski

May 27, 2009
referencing Tons Of Sobs, LP, Album, RE, Gat, ILPS 9089
The arrival of the "Tons Of Sobs" album set a further benchmark for the advance of the UK's electric blues-rock fusion in the late 1960s. A mark already begun by the likes of Cyril Davies, Alexis Korner and John Mayall, which helped to breed diverse bands like Steampacket, Colosseum, Fleetwood Mac, and Cream- with Led Zeppelin releasing their debut shortly after this 'Free' album debut.

Taking their name 'Free' from a suggestion by Korner, this gutsy blues group of talented teenagers provide an inspired rendition of Booker T. Jones/Albert King's "The Hunter" (a number that also squeezed into Zeppelin's version of "How Many More Times"), along with an eight-minute version of 'St Louis' Jimmy Oden's "Goin' Down Slow". Other than these two 'covers' the remaining eight tracks are their own, with their original studio recording of "Over The Green Hills" split in half (as "Part 1" & "Part 2") to top-and-tail the performance.

What a performance it is too, from four young artists, set-FREE and let loose to stamp their brand on the blues. Korner's young protege Andy Fraser- ex Bluesbreakers' bassist and barely sixteen; Drummer, Simon Kirke, who'd got his act and vision together in the band 'Black Cat Bones'; Les Paul guitar virtuoso Paul Kossoff, also from 'Black Cat Bones' who had previously supported the likes of Fleetwood Mac on tour; Then, of course, the naturally gifted vocal front-man and lyricist Paul Rodgers- ex 'The Wild Flowers' (which later effectively emerged, also on the Island label, as 'Tramline') and Brown Sugar. Session work on the album is by 'prog-rock' keyboard man Steve Miller, another Korner 'ex' and founder of 'Delivery', who does some great blues "piano-thumping", as it's amusingly described in his sleeve credit.

The band's short intro fades to hit you with "Worry", a track packed with rollicking blues that sets the trend, with Kossoff worrying his strings with trembling riffs that echo his development in the company of Peter Green. "Walk In My Shadow" comes next, opening with a fearsome feedback sustain and loaded with sexual innuendo "When I get you in the shadows I'm gonna lay you on the floor", delivered to perfection by Rodgers' seductive vocals. This is followed by the loping blues of "Wild Indian Woman" and its equally suggestive "You don't need your horses baby, you've got me to ride" highlighted by Kossoff's cutting vibrato guitar licks. Icing on the cake to finish side one is the cover of Oden's "Goin' Down Slow", where the band explore just about every avenue of blues without a noodle to be heard.

Side two kicks off with "I'm A Mover", hooked into Fraser's neat n' heavy bass line with Kossoff's clever runs threading away behind the vocals. "The Hunter", a blues cover that's not quite on the money against the original but inspired none the less, is followed and redeemed by the intriguingly dark and foreboding "Moonshine", which has a sound that could be a precursor to that of Black Sabbath. "Sweet Tooth" is pretty much a 'studio jam' with 'The Koss' and Miller exploring their instrumental talents to Kirke and Fraser's solid backing, while Rodgers puts in a more laid-back performance. The set quietly rounds off where it began, with the back end of "Over The Green Hills" as "Part 2" (which keen fans may wish to record and join together with "Part 1").

Listening to this album in retrospect it's amazing to think how young, yet how accomplished and talented these four musicians were at the time. When this album was released on Chris Blackwell's growing independent UK Island label it didn't quite have the marketing and distribution 'pazazz' enjoyed by blues-oriented bands signed to labels such as Atlantic and Polydor. Free survived in the shadows of the blues 'supergroups' until gaining national attention in 1970 with the single "All Right Now", which became remixed, reissued, and somewhat 'commercialized' outside of the electric blues genre. An Abbey Road team digitally remastered this album set and added bonus tracks on a 2001 CD. But, if you've not heard the band before this 'glossy' period and if you fancy hearing basic-production well-executed nitty-gritty dirty-fusion blues then give a vinyl "Tons Of Sobs" a listen. You'll become blues-hyphenated, if nothing else.