Friday, 27 August 2010

Free - Wishing Well

Bloody TV advertising! It’s done it again and you just can’t seem to escape from it. Sadly, I saw an advert for the new Free/Bad Company compilation CD recently and it immediately reminded me of ‘Wishing Well’, a song that was once a great favourite but about which I have not really thought about for many many years.

‘Wishing Well’, with its chiming descending riff takes me right back to a time when I could only afford to buy 45 rpm singles very infrequently and so was forced into the dark world of taping stuff off the radio onto my brand new WH Smith cassette recorder – at the time, the height of new tech. One of my early compilation tapes from 1972/3 contained the aforementioned Free track which, as time went on, shone like a beacon in amongst a whole load of other admittedly banal chart material. But that’s the trouble with tape – you can never easily edit out the banal at a later date.

In those days, I used to take my tiny cassette player with me on outdoor excursions so that I could have music wherever I went (in compliance with the ‘Ride-a-Cock-Horse’ convention) and I cringe to remember what a fool I must’ve looked wandering around Verulamium Park nursing a small grey box with chart hits of the day blasting from a tinny speaker. I wonder what the Romans would’ve made of it?

Despite many of my friends being devotees, I’ve not really been a Free or a Bad Company fan and other than the odd single here and there own nothing by either of them so I tentatively checked out the Free/Bad Company compilation. Unfortunately even now it doesn’t do much for me. As well as being bored with ‘All Right Now’, I find that the Bad Co contingent just reminds me of dreadful mid-70s college discos (the clumping ‘Can’t Get Enough of Your Love’, being a prime example) so I’ve chickened out and downloaded ‘Wishing Well’ for old times sake and it still sounds as good now as it did then.

Actually on further listening, there are one or two others that could qualify for my collection - ‘My Brother Jake’ comes a close second - but for the time being I’m going to stick with ‘Wishing Well’ as my Free representative. Sometimes you just have to trust your judgement and not let golden nostalgia cloud the issue.


drewzepmeister said...

Free is one of the few bands I really need to obtain more of. I only have a live album and a few tracks from them. I wouldn't mind getting my hands on the rest of their stuff.

music obsessive said...

Hi Drew - Yes, me too. A band I've rather passed over so I must catch up.

luminous muse said...

Well, "Wishing Well" is certainly better than "All Right Now," which I had enough of 30 years ago.

The singer quite good - kind of like that guy in Foreigner only not annoying. The drummer kicks, too.

music obsessive said...

Hi Luminous - you're dead right. Can't stand 'All right Now' anymore. I always liked 'Wishing Well' but never really got into Free in a big way. Some things are never meant to be.