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)

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. 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.[1] The title of the album does not relate directly to the content of the album; it is both a colloquialism of "lots of money"[citation needed], reflecting the swaggering attitude with which the album was made,[2] and an oblique reference to the darker, more sombre moments of the record.

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, bassist 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, 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.[3] 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.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars link
Rolling Stone (negative) [4]

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" (Rodgers) – 3:29
  4. "Wild Indian Woman" (Rodgers, Andy Fraser) – 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" (Rodgers, Paul Kossoff) – 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, Simon Kirke, Kossoff) – 4:39
  4. "Moonshine" (Alternative vocal) (Rodgers, Kossoff) – 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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.
  2. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tons-Of-Sobs-Free/dp/B00005OBSD#customerReviews
  3. ^ http://rateyourmusic.com/release/album/free/tons_of_sobs/reviews/5/
  4. ^ Leimbacher, Ed (18 October 1969). "Records". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (44): 37. 
  • Strong, Martin C. The Great Rock Discography, 6th edition. Edinburgh: Canongate Books 1994, 2002. pp. 392–3.
  • Sutcliffe, Phil. Notes to Tons of Sobs by Free. Universal Island Records Ltd. 1968, 2001.

External links[edit]