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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973

Heartbreaker: Free. (Island IL-34759) Reviewed by Richard Best

Heartbreaker: Free. (Island IL-34759) Reviewed by Richard Best.

Like Canned Heat and the immortal "Goin' Up the Country", Free will be remembered for a first-rate single, "All Right Now", an album, "Fire and Water" and not much else.

"Fire and Water" was good 'cos it sounded like a record of potential smash 45's. Andy Fraser played dense bass that hung around for ages in things like "Mr Big" and Paul Kossoff was something more than Mr Regular Lead Guitarist.

Now, Tetsu Yamauchi plays bass ( and tries ever so hard to carry on the Fraser fable) and an anonymous Rabbit grinds out simple-minded obligatory solos on lead.

"Heartbreaker" is Free's sixth in a long line of blues-based slogger 1p's. At its best, it's weighty, thick stuff — at its worst, luke-warm muzak.

The only more-than-adequate track is the ominous "Wishing Well" (".....the only time that you're satisfied/ is with your feet in the wishing well"). It's that good it might almost have come out of a Rodgers/Kossof writing binge. Actually it didn't — Tetsu had a hand in it somewhere.

Then there's seven more tunes, and minus the mildly stunning "Heartbreaker", they're kinda dull. "Come Together in the Morning" has one of the boringest refrains yet and "Muddy Water" just drones along: "I was born under muddy water/ I didn't know right from wrong/ My ma said now look here son/ I'll show you how it's done." Now, that was the essence of Free in the good days and 'gettin yourself a woman then losin her'.Three years later and maybe its a little overworked.

Buy the single "Wishing Well" if you can be bothered switching speeds on your record player. All said and done,"Heartbreaker" is really a hit 45 with seven tag-alongs to fill it out.