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Free Hand [Import]

Gentle GiantAudio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Price: $26.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Amazon Price New from Used from
MP3 Music, 7 Songs, 2009 $6.99  
Audio CD, Original recording remastered, 2010 $10.68  
Audio CD, Import, 2012 $26.99  
Vinyl, 2010 $29.85  

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Free Hand + In A Glass House + Power & The Glory
Price for all three: $48.35

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 6, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: EMI Import
  • ASIN: B006CNR0BG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,900 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Deluxe two disc (CD + DVD Audio) pressing. Digitally remastered edition of this 1975 album from the British Prog Rock band. Gentle Giant's utilization of complex classical chord and time patterns, together with Hard Rock, Blues, Jazz and even medieval melodies, set them apart from other Progressive groups of their time or since. Free Hand was arguably the band's most popular release, heavily influenced by music of the Medieval and Middle Ages and partly inspired by the band's break up with their former manager. EMI. 2012.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuine Progressive Rock May 11, 2005
By WillieB
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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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
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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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like you've never heard it before.... 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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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gentle Giant in Full Sonic Glory! May 30, 2005
Format:Audio CD
'Free Hand' has always been my fave GG release, but I've had to live with a rather shoddy sounding One Way CD reissue that has diminished my enjoyment of the music. That is until now. These 35th Anniversary remasters are all supervised by GG vocalist Derek Shulman with loving attention to detail.

'Just The Same,' 'On Reflection,' 'Free Hand' - this is a masterpiece of creativity & artistry. In their day, GG was untouchable by all other prog bands (and they still are!). The vocal & instrumental counterpoint of 'On reflection' can finally be heard as it should be. I am left breathless by it. If you are a GG fan, then you should make it imperitive to buy this CD (and all the remasters) right away. If you are just a casual aquaintance, or curious about all the fuss, then this is as good a place as any to experience the majesty that was Gentle Giant-all hail the power and the glory!!! ©Michael Bettine
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Classic album--wretched mix--avoid like the plague! July 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
One of Gentle Giant's best, but do yourself a favor. Get the release which contains both Freehand and Interview instead of the One-Way label version (Interview is also very worthwhile.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GG go medieval...amongst other things! June 17, 2002
Format:Audio CD
As far as I'm concerned, nobody did that celtic/medieval/re-
naissance music thing better than GENTLE GIANT. JETHRO TULL did
the same thing on SONGS FROM THE WOOD, tho' I think GG did it
much better! Tis a shame this album didn't sell as well as SONGS!
FREEHAND was GENTLE GIANT's most popular album, at least in the
U.S. and there's no doubt that GG were at the height of their
powers around this time. FREEHAND is full of catchy, yet very
complex songs. JUST THE SAME has a slightly funky feel to it;well
as funky as GG could get and has a great vocal from DEREK.KERRY
MINNEAR gets in some of his best singing on ON REFLECTION; a
beautiful little song with some very typical GG vocal rounds and
a very sweet poignant vocal from MINNEAR. I never cared for their
live presentation of this song with all them recorders! The title
track is another solid hard rock/pop song, with more of MINNEAR's
electric piano and/or clavinet playing. The celtic/medieval in-
fluence shows up the strongest on the instrumental TALYBONT.
HIS LAST VOYAGE has another nice vocal from MINNEAR and also some
nice interplay between GARY GREEN's guitar and RAY SHULMAN's
bass; this little interplay was one of GG's trademarks.
The mix on the ONE WAY RECORDS cd is slightly different than the
mix on the original album; this is most apparent on TIME TO KILL,
especially in the vocal tracks.
FREEHAND is not my favorite GG album, tho it is an album I would
start people off with as an intro to GENTLE GIANT.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning album by master musicians who never received the acclaim they...
Words fail to describe this, Gentle Giant's most magnificent album, originally released in 1975, when progressive rock ruled supreme. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rob Stuart
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent GG album
This is my favorite GG album. A very unique band, hard to make comparisons. Maybe the closest thing you could say is that they are similar to a non-commercial early "Yes",... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Peter A. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy About it
I have been a fan of Gentle Giant since the early 1970's. I have every vinyl record I could get my hands on and play them to this day. Read more
Published 3 months ago by M. Christman
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceeded Expectations
Fast and great quality, nice work! Great addition to my GG collection. Keep up the great speedy exceptional quality work.
Published 6 months ago by Ryan T. Good
5.0 out of 5 stars best prog rock band ever
Nice redo of the original CD to celebrate the 35th anniversary, have heard both good and bad about the quality, but as a collector of GG, you have to have this regardless
Published 7 months ago by Julio in Denver
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Hand by Gentle Giant
A very good album, not quite as good as Power and The Glory but these were the only two albums that I liked that Gentle Giant did. See review on Power and The Glory.
Published 8 months ago by Mike in Tulsa
5.0 out of 5 stars Free Hand
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. Read more
Published 12 months ago by foamchomsky
3.0 out of 5 stars Great music, but the audio quality on a couple songs was iffy
I used to listed to this album a lot "back in the day" and I still love it. For the most part, the digital version from AutoRIP were fine, but a couple songs had pops and... Read more
Published 12 months ago by traveleinfool
5.0 out of 5 stars Get immersed in the 4.1 mixes!
Fantastic and unique band, amazing album (a personal favourite that gets better and better with time) and what a difference listening to it in this new 4.1 mixes. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Carlos H. Naldoni
5.0 out of 5 stars What else would you expect?
A great band makes a great album. After all, this is what GG is all about. I always start with the title track when I listen, and always have trouble turning it off before the... Read more
Published 19 months ago by John Paglia
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Topic From this Discussion
Gentle Giant Free Hand CD/DVD Set
I have the deluxe edition of Gentle Giant's "Free Hand" and the DVD is NTSC and playable on and DVD/Bluray player.
Dec 30, 2012 by Eddie from Flushing |  See all 2 posts
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