Free the Bees

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Free the Bees
Studio album by The Bees
Released 17 August 2004
Recorded 2003-2004, Abbey Road Studios
Genre Indie rock, rock and roll, garage rock, psychedelic rock, ska
Length 43:57
Label Virgin (United Kingdom)
Astralwerks/EMI (United States)
Producer Paul Butler
The Bees chronology
Sunshine Hit Me
(2002)Sunshine Hit Me2002
Free The Bees
Singles from Free the Bees
  1. "Wash in the Rain"
    Released: April 2004
  2. "Horsemen"
    Released: June 2004
  3. "One Glass of Water"
    Released: October 2004
  4. "Chicken Payback"
    Released: April 2005

Free the Bees is the second album from British band The Bees in 2004. Their first release for Virgin Records, it is also the first album to feature the current sextet that evolved during the tour that promoted debut album Sunshine Hit Me. However, all the members had performed with core duo Paul Butler and Aaron Fletcher before the album was produced, whether in other projects or simply in informal jams.

The album was originally planned to be recorded in Butler's shed (the same one where Sunshine Hit Me was produced). However, the band decided to record it at the famous Abbey Road Studios; Indeed, Free the Bees is a much more slick-sounding and uptempo album than their debut, but the group's diverse range of styles and influences remain intact.

"Chicken Payback"was released as a single in April 2005 and reached No. 28 in the UK Singles Charts[1] It was used in a UK television advert for Sure Deodorant For Men during the 2006 World Cup and was subsequently used in adverts for Age UK.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Collective 4.5/5 stars link
Drowned In Sound (8/10) link
Pitchfork Media (4.9/10) 23/08/04
PopMatters (favourable) 28/07/05
Stylus Magazine (D+) 16/7/04
Tiny Mix Tapes 3/5 stars link

Track listing[edit]

  1. "These Are the Ghosts" (The Bees) – 3:08
  2. "Wash in the Rain" (The Bees, Julian Batley) – 3:38
  3. "No Atmosphere" (The Bees) – 3:48
  4. "Horsemen" (The Bees) – 3:27
  5. "Chicken Payback" (The Bees) – 3:12
  6. "The Russian" (The Bees) – 5:36
  7. "I Love You" (The Bees) – 4:35
  8. "The Start" (The Bees) – 2:19
  9. "Hourglass" (The Bees, Julian Batley) – 4:45
  10. "Go Karts" (The Bees) – 3:43
  11. "One Glass of Water" (The Bees) – 2:41
  12. "This Is the Land" (The Bees) – 3:01

US Version Bonus Tracks

  1. "It Isn't Exact" (Demo)
  2. "These Are The Ghosts" (Undead Version)

Japanese Version Bonus Track

  1. "Nothin" (Live)


  • Kris Birkin – guitar, vocals
  • Paul Butler – lead vocals, guitar, piano, saxophone, trumpet, clarinet, mandolin, drums, percussion, producer
  • Michael Clevett – drums, percussion, bass, Hammond organ, vocals
  • Warren Hampshire – Hammond organ, piano, celeste, acoustic guitar, percussion, vocals
  • Aaron Fletcher – bass, guitar, piano, drums, percussion, vocals
  • Tim Parkin – vocals, trumpet, bass, piano, Rhodes piano, percussion


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 52. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.