Free

Isle of Wight & Stockholm

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Two live sets from Free's prime are featured on this bootleg, one disc taken from their show at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 29, 1970, the other from a concert in Stockholm on December 12, 1970. The sound quality is good enough to make one wonder whether these were recorded with an eye for official release, and the performances are solid, drawing from an assortment of songs on their first four albums. Unfortunately it doesn't have much of their quieter, more subtle material, though the cocky strutting blues-rock side (including, of course, "All Right Now" in both concerts) is well represented. The song list from each set is fairly similar, which makes this more of a specialist/serious fan item than some other two-CD live albums might be, though a couple of the songs from their first LP ("I'm a Mover" and "The Hunter") appear only on the Wight set. It's interesting, too, to hear a version of "Crossroads" in the Wight concert, as Free didn't put that classic blues song on their early albums, though a version did show up on their Songs of Yesterday box. There's no real reason why this shouldn't be issued officially, other than a concern about the repetition of songs between the discs. It's well up to the standards of authorized rock concert albums, though since it doesn't show Free's music in a substantially different light than their regular discography, its appeal might be too limited to get sanctioned for conventional distribution.