Free was a blues rock band that formed in 1968 in London, England. When the band first formed they built a reputation for themselves as an energetic and sensational live act. They were also known for their extensive touring and their young ages, with bassist Andy Fraser being just 15, guitarist Paul Kossoff 17 and vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke both 18.
The band's debut album “Tons Of Sobs” was released in 1969 on Island Records to moderate success. Later that year their second album, “Free,” was issued by Island. The album performed fairly poorly, only reaching #22 on the U.K. charts and failing completely in the U.S. The single releases, “Broad Daylight” and “I'll Be Creepin',” also failed.
“Fire and Water,” their third studio album was released in 1970 and became the band's breakthrough hit, reaching #2 on the U.K. charts and #17 in the U.S., making it the most successful Free album. This was largely due to the album containing the hit single “All Right Now” which hit #2 on the U.K. Singles chart and #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.
Recorded extremely quickly in September 1970 following the band's recent successes, “Highway,” only reached #41 on the U.K. Albums charts and only #190 in the U.S.
In April 1971, due to differences between Rodgers and Fraser, the drug problems of guitarist Kossoff, and inconsistent record sales, the band broke up. This led to the release of the live album in 1971 called “Free Live!.” Early in 1972 the band set aside their differences and reformed in an effort to save Kossoff from his growing drug addiction, and in June of the same year released “Free at Last.”
Upon their disbanding in 1973 Rodgers went on to become the frontman for the band Bad Company. Kirke also joined Rodgers as Bad Company's new drummer. Kossoff died from a drug-induced heart failure at the age of 25 in 1976. Fraser went on to form the band, Sharks.