Free Hand

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For other uses, see Freehand (disambiguation).
Free Hand
Studio album by Gentle Giant
Released July 1975
Recorded April 1975, Advision Studios, London
Genre Progressive rock, Progressive folk, Jazz rock
Length 36:50
Label Chrysalis (UK)
Capitol (U.S.)
Producer Gentle Giant
Gentle Giant chronology
The Power and the Glory
Free Hand
Music sample
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
Sea of Tranquility 4.5/5 stars[2]

Free Hand is the seventh album by British progressive rock band Gentle Giant that was released in 1975. It was also the first album with their new label, Chrysalis Records in the UK. The album is noted for its high production values, and for a less dissonant, more accessible feel than their previous album The Power and the Glory. It was their highest-charting album in the US and the only one to reach the Top 50 on the Billboard Album Chart.

The 1990 CD version, released by the re-issue label One Way Records of Albany, New York, mistakenly used an alternate rough mix version of the album. This version revealed some different musical details. Alucard/EMI re-released the CD in 2009, "from the original 1/4-inch tapes through 24bit 96k Hi-Resolution transfer."

The album was mixed quadraphonic by the band in 1976 but the 4-channel mix was not released until 2012 when it finally appeared in DVD-Audio format.[3]


The Great Rock Bible described the album:

Duly signing a new deal in Britain with Chrysalis Records, their seventh album Free Hand (1975), again only found a paying audience (and Top 50 status) across the water. However, it did contain impressive vocal gymnastics, much in evidence on jewels in the crown, "Just The Same" and the renaissance/retro, part a cappella/part folk-rocker "On Reflection"; the latter combining four pieces of group scribed fugue. Minnear’s un-medieval meanderings on the ivories for the pure-prog title track was just the ticket for a group still going strong despite others such as ELP and the aforementioned Genesis and King Crimson were collapsing under rock’s evolution. Although at times exquisitely off-kilter, tracks such as "Time To Kill", the beautiful "His Last Voyage", the folkie "Mobile" and Tudor-esque instrumental ditty "Talybont", gave the set an aura of accessibility – a classic![4]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Kerry Minnear, Derek Shulman, and Ray Shulman.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Just the Same" 5:33
2. "On Reflection" 5:43
3. "Free Hand" 6:14
Side two
No. Title Length
4. "Time to Kill" 5:08
5. "His Last Voyage" 6:26
6. "Talybont" (instrumental) 2:43
7. "Mobile" 5:03
Bonus Track
No. Title Length
8. "Just the Same" (Live; on the 35th anniversary CD edition) 4:50
6 extra tracks added on 'I Lost My Head - The Chrysalis Years 1975-1980' LP
No. Title Length
8. "1976 Intro Tape" (previously unreleased) 1:39
9. "Just the Same" (BBC session John Peel) 6:05
10. "Free Hand" (BBC session John Peel) 6:08
11. "On Reflection" (BBC session John Peel) 5:42
12. "Give It Back" (International 7" mix) 3:48
13. "I Lost My Head" (7" mix) 3:29


There are no instrument credits listed on the album.[clarification needed]


  • Engineer – Gary Martin
  • Assistant engineer – Paul Northfield
  • Graphics artwork by – Richard Evans


Year Chart Position
1975 US Billboard 200 48

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United States July 21 or 28, 1975 Capitol Records
United Kingdom August 22, 1975 Chrysalis Records


  1. ^ Taylor, Robert (2011). "Gentle Giant: Free Hand | AllMusic". Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  2. ^ Pardo, Pete (2011). "Review: 'Gentle Giant: Free Hand - 35th Anniversary Edition (remaster)' - Sea of Tranquility - The Web Destination for Progressive Music!". Retrieved 26 June 2011. 
  3. ^ Gentle Giant: Free Hand at
  4. ^ "Gentle Giant biography". The Great Rock Bible ( 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Gentle Giant's website (

External links[edit]