Thursday, 3 December 2009

Free Life "Free Life"

Free Life

"Free Life"
( LP Epic Records, 1978 )
Catalog # JE-35392

A1 Smile
A2 Stomp & Shout
A3 It's Lovely Just To Know You
A4 Wish You Were Here
A5 Spirit Of Love
B1 Say You Do
B2 I'll Keep My Light In My Window
B3 Cornerstone
B4 I Confess
B5 Second Coming

When Earth, Wind & Fire was in its prime in the late 1970s, you could have spent hours talking about all of the artists who were being influenced by the soul/funk superband. Artists who had no connection to EWF were claiming Maurice White & Co. as a major influence, and its influence was impossible to miss on albums by Deniece Williams, the Emotions, Pockets and others who were part of the EWF family. An obscure nine-member soul/funk outfit, Free Life brings a very EWF-influenced sound to this self-titled debut album-and that isn't surprising considering that the LP was co-produced by EWF's Philip Bailey (who also helped with the arranging and wrote or co-wrote several of the songs). Despite Bailey's presence, the little known Free Life isn't a great album-a competent album, but not a great one. Even though EWF-minded tunes like "I Confess" and "Wish You Were Here" are likable enough, it's clear that Bailey was saving his best writing for EWF. This is an LP that simmers without ever burning or exploding.
By Alex Henderson (AMG)

Philip Bailey of '70s supergroup Earth, Wind & Fire produced the singing group Free Life, who charted with the Epic single "Wish You Were Here." The Bailey-written ballad peaked at number 91 on the R&B charts in early 1979. The single and the album Free Life had EWF influences. Though there was another single from Free Life, "Stomp and Shout," and a non-LP single, "Dance Fantasy," none charted. Group member Carl Carlwell later became a member of the '90s group 101 North ("So Easy"), who recorded a couple of albums with producer George Duke: 101 North (1987) and Forever Yours (1991) for Capitol. Also, he was the brother of Minneapolis singer Sue Ann Carwell ("Let Me Let You Rock Me").
By Ed Hogan (AMG)

By Celo

1 comment:

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