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Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Rare/OOP VG++ genuine original 1975 Chysalsis Records 12" VINYL *** All music items listed are complete with original sleeves or artwork unless otherwise stated *** Most international orders delivered within 1 to 3 weeks though some may take longer
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Free Hand

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Editorial Reviews

This original 1975 LP by Gentle Giant includes the songs Just the Same, On Reflection, Free Hand, Time to Kill, His Last Voyage, Talybont and Mobile.

Product Details

  • Vinyl
  • Label: Chrysalis
  • ASIN: B004HUG4ZE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By WillieB on May 11, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It's difficult to pick one desert island Gentle Giant album, they all are unique, and all studio releases except "Giant for a Day" are must haves. With numerous time changes and intricate musical passages Giant is not for everybody and may challenge most listeners. But this challenge can have great rewards because the talent this band has is amazing... all musicians are proficient at multiple instruments, the songwriting skill is superb, and the tunes are timeless. For the novice to Gentle Giant, this CD would be a good starting point.

We begin with "Just the Same" a great upbeat-syncopated rocker... one of those tunes where the chorus sticks in your head and you sing it all day. "On Reflection" showcases great vocal work with a powerful instrumental jam at the end. "Free Hand" is stunning! Great piano intro that turns into a full-out rocking tune slowed down briefly by a wonderful intricate middle section only to blast back into the awesome verse. "Time to Kill" shows once again the power this band has... what a grooving tune, great bass line, great vocals, great interaction between musicians, great everything. "His Last Voyage" is the mellow track on the disc, similar to what can be heard on "Acquiring the Taste", complete with a very juicy guitar solo. "Talybont" is a short instrumental with sort of an Irish jig feel. "Mobile" begins beautifully with a violin and guitar intro only to transform into another great rocking tune. Finally, the bonus track is an unreleased version of "Just the Same". Good version, bad mix (kind of sounds squished/over-compressed).

The Free Hand remix sounds wonderful! After living with the atrociously muddy One Way Records mix for decades I can only say WOW... GREAT JOB!
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Format: Audio CD
Gentle Giant got a one-two punch to the gut; the oldest of the Shulman brothers Phil left the band but the band carried on as a five piece and produced one of the finest albums they ever made "In a Glass House" only to find their record label wouldn't release it. With "Free Hand" they regrouped producing one of their most confident, melodic and complex albums. This remaster improves on the DRT remaster from five years ago and is only flawed by not having the bonus live track that release had.

As for the mastering engineer Fred Kervorkian did what's called "selective band compression". Yeah, there is selective band compression applied but the album sounds surprisingly good and isn't brickwalled More importantly, detail and clarity are an improvement over previous editon of the album. There is limiting applied as well as some denoising (at the request of the band) but it isn't as obtrusive as I thought it would be. The best comparison I can think of is that this shares a lot of assets and drawbacks as The Beatles remasters.
This edition does sound better than the DRT.

Why no bonus tracks? I suspect it has to do with the fact that the GG label Alucard will be releasing these reissues on vinyl later this year (2010) and that the band wanted the CDs to reflect the original albums and the forthcoming reissues. "Free Hand" along with "In a Glass House" and "Octopus" represents GG at their finest.

This reissue bests the DRT in terms of sound with much smoother e.q. choices. Recommended.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Paul Minot on June 27, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This has never been one of my favorite GG albums--that would be "In a Glass House" or "Octopus", depending on my mood--but after hearing this remaster I may have to reconsider. The new remastering is so good I feel like I've never heard it before, with a wonderfully warm low end, plenty of high end sparkle, and all the details in between.

If you're a GG fan and you're wondering if you need to buy it, because you already have it on CD or vinyl, well, YOU DO, believe me. Me? I'm buying ALL the reissues in this series myself!

Gentle Giant Lives!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By foamchomsky on April 6, 2013
Format: Audio CD
What if this album had actually come with a free hand? As in, an actual severed extremity for no additional charge. I wonder if that would've helped or hindered sales. Hindered, probably, if they'd left the blood on.

I guess we'll never know, because this album just comes with, well, itself. But that's ok. You don't need a free hand to enjoy "Free Hand". At least not in the sense just described. You would probably need at least one free hand, in the more commonly used, less literal sense, to put the CD in the player (or the vinyl record on the turntable, for you "hipsters"), which would be necessary to enjoy the record, because if the record, regardless of format, isn't being played, you wouldn't be able to listen to it, and then you wouldn't be able to enjoy it. Now, listening to it doesn't necessarily mean you'll enjoy it. And I suppose if you've listened to it before, you could enjoy it again without listening to it, but then again, that still involves having listened to it at some point. I really like the bassline on "Time to Kill".

Gentle Giant play complicated music. Certainly Kerry Minnear didn't have a "free hand" when performing this record's intricate keyboard parts! Unless he had obtained one in the literal sense, maybe one of the ones they didn't end up giving away with the album after all, and rested it on his keyboard while playing. But I don't think that's very likely.

How come they let Gary Green only get away with playing the recorder in addition to his main axe? Why didn't they make him also play an actual axe? That would have been a challenge. It's hard to make a musical sound with an axe.

Free Hand wouldn't have been a very good record if it had been made only using an axe, even if it was the axe that was also used to sever the free hands from their original limbs.
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