Tons of Sobs

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Tons of Sobs
Tons Of Sobs.jpg
Studio album by Free
Released 14 March 1969
Recorded October and December 1968 at Morgan Studios, Willesden, London
Genre Blues rock, hard rock
Length 38:55
Label Island
Producer Guy Stevens
Free chronology
Tons of Sobs
(1969)
Free
(1969)Free1969

Tons of Sobs is the debut album by English blues rock band Free, released in the UK on 14 March 1969. While the album failed to chart in the UK, it did reach #197 in the US.[1] Free are cited as one of the definitive bands of the British blues boom of the late 1960s even though this is the only album of their canon that can strictly be called blues rock.[2] According to bass player Andy Fraser, the title effectively summed up the album.[3]

Recording[edit]

Free were a new band when they recorded Tons of Sobs, and they were extremely young; none of them were yet twenty and the youngest, Andy Fraser, was just sixteen years old. They had achieved a following through constant touring, and their debut album consisted for the most part of their live set-list.

With the band signed to Chris Blackwell's Island Records, Guy Stevens was hired to produce the album (he later became notable for producing early albums for Mott the Hoople and The Clash's legendary album London Calling [1979]). He opted for a minimalist attitude to production, due to the extremely low budget of about £800,[3] creating a very raw and raucous sound – although it may have been that the relative inexperience of the band was also a contributing factor to this.[4] As such the album is a marked contrast in production terms from the band's later albums. The simple nature of the recording meant that many tracks translated well into a live setting and several songs from this album were still performed even when the band had written and recorded many more for subsequent records.

The majority of the album was recorded over the course of a few days in October 1968. Originally slated for a November release, the album was delayed to early 1969 due to the late addition of their cover of The Hunter. This track was a mainstay in their live sets and was recorded in a December 1968 session at Stevens' insistence.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic4.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone(negative) [6]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
  1. "Over the Green Hills (Pt. 1)" (Paul Rodgers) – 0:49
  2. "Worry" (Rodgers) – 3:26
  3. "Walk in My Shadow" (Andy Fraser, Simon Kirke, Paul Kossoff, Rodgers) – 3:29
  4. "Wild Indian Woman" (Fraser, Rodgers) – 3:39
  5. "Goin' Down Slow" (James Burke Oden) – 8:20
Side two
  1. "I'm a Mover" (Rodgers, Fraser) – 2:56
  2. "The Hunter" (Booker T. Jones, Carl Wells, Donald Dunn, Al Jackson, Jr., Steve Cropper) – 4:13
  3. "Moonshine" (Fraser, Kirke, Kossoff, Rodgers) – 5:04
  4. "Sweet Tooth" (Rodgers) – 4:54
  5. "Over the Green Hills (Pt. 2)" (Rodgers) – 1:58
Bonus tracks

Recent CD reissues contain several bonus tracks:

  1. "I'm a Mover" (BBC session) (Rodgers, Fraser) – 3:04
  2. "Waitin' On You" (BBC session) (B.B. King, Ferdinand Washington) – 2:15
  3. "Guy Stevens Blues" (Rodgers, Fraser, Kirke, Kossoff) – 4:39
  4. "Moonshine" (Alternative vocal) (Fraser, Kirke, Kossoff, Rodgers) – 5:09
  5. "Sweet Tooth" (Early take and alternative vocal) (Rodgers) – 4:53
  6. "Visions of Hell" (Fraser, Rodgers) – 3:46
  7. "Woman by the Sea" (Fraser, Rodgers) – 3:30
  8. "Over the Green Hills" (BBC session) (Rodgers) – 3:51

Personnel[edit]

Additional personnel
  • Steve Miller – Piano (thumping)
  • Guy Stevens – producer
  • Andy Johns – engineer
  • Mike Sida – front cover photograph
  • Richard Bennett Zeff – inside cover photography

Cover versions[edit]

Walk in My Shadow[edit]

  • Tommy Bolin recorded a live version at Ebbets Field, Denver in 1975, released on the delux 2CD version of Teaser in 2015.[7]
  • Leslie West covered it on the album "Got Blooze", 2005.[8]
  • Joe Bonamassa recorded "Walk in My Shadow" (though titled and sang it as "Walk in My Shadows") on his 2014 album A New Day Yesterday.[8]
  • Paul Rogers has a version on the 2014 album, "The Royal Sessions".[8]

Wild Indian Woman[edit]

  • "Wild Indian Woman" was covered as "Wild Injun Woman" by Alexis Korner on his 1970 "Both Sides (Live & Studio Recordings)" album.[9]
  • Peter Thorup used the same title on his "16 Tons Trio" album, 1987.[9]

I'm a Mover[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Free Tons Of Sobs Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 9 March 2018. 
  2. ^ a b V. Bogdanov, C. Woodstra, S. T. Erlewine, eds, All Music Guide to the Blues: The Definitive Guide to the Blues (Backbeat, 3rd edn., 2003), pp. 700-2.
  3. ^ a b c https://www.discogs.com/Free-Tons-Of-Sobs/master/88606 Free – Tons Of Sobs
  4. ^ a b http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/free/tons_of_sobs/reviews/5/
  5. ^ a b http://teamrock.com/feature/2014-05-21/free-sob-stories Free: Sob Stories
  6. ^ Leimbacher, Ed (18 October 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (44): 37. 
  7. ^ a b https://www.discogs.com/Tommy-Bolin-Teaser-40th-Anniversary-Vinyl-Edition-Box-Set/release/7636138 Tommy Bolin – Teaser 40th Anniversary Vinyl Edition Box Set
  8. ^ a b c d https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/376330 Walk in My Shadow by Free
  9. ^ a b c https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/395252 Wild Indian Woman by Free
  10. ^ a b https://www.amazon.com/Im-a-Mover-Live/dp/B01M1KUGA0 I'm a Mover (Live)
  11. ^ a b c d e https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/25534 I'm a Mover by Free
  12. ^ a b c https://www.whosampled.com/album/Free/Tons-Of-Sobs/ Tons of Sobs (1968) Album by Free
  13. ^ https://www.popsike.com/Free-Tons-of-Sobs-Nr-Mint-vinyl-Rare/280644012432.html

External links[edit]