Buying the albums sampled on “You Can All Join In”.
I first came across this band when I bought my second LP, the Island sampler “Nice Enough to Eat” (the first was “Status Quo-tations”). Of all the fantastic tracks on this sampler, the one simply called “Woman”, by a group simply called Free, was undoubtedly the sleaziest and most evocative, with amazing vocals, and the bass playing a lead part.
Shortly before I bought my third LP, the earlier Island sampler “You can all join in”, I was in a record shop in Newcastle when I heard a riveting intro, which I later learned was the beginning of “Fire and Water”. I decided that I just loved this group.
It was only when I got “You can all join in” that I realised there was a Free LP before the eponymous one, the track sampled being a superb driving blues called “I’m a Mover”.
I was able to get a second hand copy of “Free” in 1971, on the lovely pink label. It wasn’t until about 3 years later that I was able to afford “Tons of Sobs”, which I bought new, and which thus has the “palm tree” label.
The gatefold cover is startling and macarbre; you have to open it out to get the full picture, like “Spooky Two”. But the fronts take on a life of their own, being what you actually see in the normal course of things; and the feature that strikes you first on this one is a rabbit.