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Free Hand [Import]

Gentle GiantAudio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)

Price: $27.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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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 $27.20  
Vinyl, 2010 $24.95  

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Free Hand + In A Glass House + The Power And The Glory (5.1 Blu-ray/CD Mixed by Steven Wilson)
Price for all three: $54.06

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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: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,190 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
17 of 18 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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31 of 36 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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12 of 14 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What will you do with your Free Hand? February 9, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Use it to load up that CD player multiple times and hit the repeat button cause you're in for a ride that you won't be able to stop. Seriously though, this album just is that good. Starting with quite possibly the most original opening to an album ever, the snapping of fingers, and going strong from there, this album delivers without slowing down at all.

Just the Same is the albums in your face opener with great guitar, bass, and synth interplay. It seems like a fairly standard prog-rock song, but being from Gentle Giant, there is just an added dimension of awesomeness that I can't quite explain. They mix the complex with the simple in such a way that it sounds unique in ever manner possible.

The second song, On Reflection, is just about as a capella as you can get on a rock album, with a cool xylophone part running throughout the entire course of the song. In the middle of the song, things change pace with a beautiful ballad and accompanying flute.

Free Hand is probably the biggest song on the album, in terms of sound and the attack the song brings to the listener.

Time to Kill represents another one of the albums harder-rocking bass-driven songs. Don't get me wrong though, there is plenty of great guitar and synth worked out through the mix. This is probably my favorite track from the album. It usually ends up bringing me to a smile on careful listens, basically from its unique blend of bass behind powerful vocals.

His Last Voyage morphs itself from another beautiful ballad into a screaming, emotion-filled guitar solo, back into a ballad without sounding the least bit forced, it flows marvelously.

Talybont sounds like a quaint little Celtic or Gaelic (I don't know for sure) instrumental track.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky, progressive, fun
I've always been a fan of classic prog rock - Yes, Genesis, UK, Kansas, ELP, Strawbs, Supertramp, etc. Gentle Giant was one that I never really warmed up to. Read more
Published 1 month ago by H2K
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Gentle Giant at their best.
Published 2 months ago by Kilroy
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another great edition to my music library!
Published 2 months ago by PervySageChuck
5.0 out of 5 stars probably the best gentle giant album
probably the best gentle giant album. the depth of variety this band had to offer seems most focused and special on this album. Read more
Published 3 months ago by ...
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this album
I love this album,it is truly a is beautifully crafted and well written music and lyrics that are also well performed
Published 5 months ago by Kevin Todd Clepps
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 9 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 9 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 9 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 13 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 13 months ago by Julio in Denver
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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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