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Kossoff-Kirke-Tetsu-Rabbit: Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, & Rabbit (remaster)

The time was 1971, and one of England's biggest bands, Free, succumbed to a myriad of internal squabbles and drug addiction, and split for a brief period of time. The band was to splinter in three different directions; Paul Rodgers went off to form Peace, Andy Fraser to Toby, and Simon Kirke & Paul Kossoff, along with John 'Rabbit' Bundrick and Tetsu Yamauchi, formed Kossoff-Kirke-Tetsu-Rabbit. Their one and only, self-titled album, basically sounded like Free, minus Paul Rodgers. As such, the band shared the vocal duties amongst themselves, and delivered a solid, if slightly unspectacular, album that basically led to Free once again getting back together when the three factions failed to create much of a spark.

ORK Records has done a nice job on this reissue, as the remaster treatment has given this recording some fine clarity, and there's a nice booklet complete with a history on the bands plus some photos. As for the music, it's a satisfying mix of heavy blues rock, pop, hard rock, and some rootsier material. "Blue Grass" and "Just For the Box" are heavier numbers with some stinging guitar from Kossof and Rabbit's tasty Hammond lines, while "Sammy's Alright" and "Anna" are more catchy, poppy-blues numbers. The somewhat funky "Fool's Life" somewhat brings to mind the direction latter period Bad Company would take, while tunes like "Dying Fire", "Hold On", and "I'm On the Run" are generic sounding blues-rockers that really fail to generate any sort of excitement, though Rabbit manages to splash some impressive keyboard textures around. Closing number "Colours" is a very 'Free' sounding piece, complete with searing guitar lines from Kossoff, but his lone lead vocal contribution on the album is pretty weak. History has it that he was mostly a drugged out wreck at this point, and despite some impressive guitar work at times here, one can only imagine how good this album might have been had the guitarist been in control of his life and stayed clean.

As the story goes, Free reformed shortly after this album was released, but after a few more albums the magic was gone and Kossoff was dead, leading the way for the formation of Bad Company, who turned out to be one of the biggest bands of the 1970's. While Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu, & Rabbit is by no means essential listening, fans of Free, Bad Company, and 70's heavy blues/hard rock will certainly want to give this a shot.

Track Listing
1. Blue Grass
2. Sammy's Alright
3. Anna
4. Just for the Box
5. Hold On
6. Fool's Life
7. Yellow House
8. Dying Fire
9. I'm on the Run
10. Colours

Added: May 19th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: ORK Records
Hits: 2676
Language: english

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