Best of Free
Released: May 1975
Chart Peak: #120
Weeks Charted: 7
Been waiting for this album for a long time? Got yourself all hot and bothered because of Paul Rodgers' vocalizing and Simon Kirke's drumming with Bad Company, or possibly Andy Fraser's bass comping with Sharks? Well, cool down a trifle. It's a good collection but a couple of cuts on the first side spoil the overall effect. There's the silly near-acoustic instrumental, "Mouthful of Grass," which sounds sorely misplaced among the patented Free -- full of balls, soul, blues, and rock numbers.
- Andy McKaie, Circus, 8/75.
- Billboard, 1975.
I could complain that the format automatically glosses over their austerity with an uncharacteristic catchiness, but in fact it sounds better and says more about them than their 1971 LP Highway. Just as annotator Jim Bickhart claims, the band wasn't "only effective at gut-level; it was effective as music." But often the gutty moves -- Rodgers's or Kossoff's crowd-pleasing flourishes -- weren't musical, while the arty touches -- the deliberate pace and general sense of containment -- socked you right in the cerebrum. Which is why Bad Company grandstands, and why I'm on the critical fence. B+
- Robert Christgau, Christgau's Record Guide, 1981.
A solid compilation showcasing "All Right Now" and other semi-hits, this is a worthwhile sampler for the uninitiated. * * * *
- Dan Heilman, The All-Music Guide to Rock, 1995.
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