Masterpiece! This record, a legend amongst those who know it, with its fine writing, arranging and singing clearly deserves its place in the Pantheon of great pop. It may have failed commercially in its time but the beauty of their pop puts it amongst the best of our times and explains why 37 years after its creation it remains exquisitely artful to our ears. I could write 100,000 words scratching at what I love about this group and their first 4 records, and this song alone.But, the Free Design deserve, rather than my dull hyperbole, a good listen. Rousing and sublime, almost TOO GOOD to have been a big hit. If you read a bit about them you realize that these singing siblings made some naive career choices that favored music over money. Our gain.
Some bonehead on this site claimed The Free Design sound like Stereolab. That writer got it butt backwards. Sadly, Stereolab doesn't have the skill to really reach the musical and spiritual depth of the Free Design. Stereolab's OK, don't get me wrong, but they are often a pale imitation of a much richer source. Letitia from Stereolab cites The Free Design as one of her all-time favorite bands, so at least they have sublime taste and honesty when it comes to revealing their sources.
Guaranteed to lift you up way high.
Buy or download NOW!!!
02 Aug 04 ·konsu: No, you have it backwards, because your emotions get in the way. Understandable though, with this group, and particularly this song (which is one of my all-time faves). It "blows your mind but not completely..." is what I like to say. Stereolab have always worn their influences on their sleeves, from the Beach Boys to Can. And it seems like I should explain by saying that they are a gateway group for so many young people to discover older pop, but shallow as some are, they only like the FD songs that sound like more contemporary artists. Not that it's a super bad thing, just a little dissapointing, considering the depth and beauty of this groups entire body of work... Dig?
This 1974, 12-minute electric-jazz masterpiece starts with an attractively sexy, slinky soprano melody and sneakily mutates into blistering solo sections played at a blinding tempo. Recorded before the word "fusion" became a tag for a tired genre this track comes from the seminal album, Headhunters. If you have ears for Hancock's cool Fender-Rhodes shadings and the Headhunter's blazing rhythmic kinetics this could be the very strongest music of this period. Harvey Mason drums brilliantly, forging new rhythms that are peculiarly unique to this recording. I don't know where he comes up with this shit; brilliantly inventive, his energy is unflagging set amidst ascending levels of white hot, mercurial tempo. Paul Jackson plays electric bass with concentrate funk phrasing, his coolly repeated ostinato line is a satisfying compliment to the hyperactivity of the chattering drums and clavinet. The track builds and as it sheds its skins each level is slightly more intense. This is a great record, ignore all the amateur web critics and get this track now!
Note: Many people seem to prefer the sequel album THRUST with the decent Mike Clark on drums. I wish it was as good or better than HEADHUNTERS but it is not.
from Headhunters (Columbia refer to Amazon.com), available on CD