Friday, February 6, 2009

Ken Hensley - Free Spirit

Free Spirit was the third of Ken Hensley's solo albums. As this one was done just after he left Uriah Heep it appears to be more commercially-motivated than the other two which were done more for artistic reasons. Hensley seems to be attempting to tap into the disco-tinged rock sound popular at the time, which he is not as well suited to as his usual mellow introspective acoustic-electric guitar and keyboard-driven style. The result is a rather faceless, by-the-numbers collection which comparitively lacks Ken's usual inspiration and magic. This album has its moments, however, most notably in "When" a well-conceived lively multipart dance number that features many of the familiar Ken Hensley hallmarks and works brilliantly. However, most of these songs are subpar in contrast to Hensley's usual songwriting brilliance although competently performed and sung. Overall, Free Sirit is listenable and makes for a good timekiller album if you're a Ken Hensley fan, but it clearly does not belong in the class of his first two solos.

Studio Album, released in 1981

Track Listings

1 Inside the Mystery 4:36
2 New York 2:25
3 The System 2:35
4 When 3:48
5 No More 4:36
6 Brown Eyed Boy 4:03
7 Do You Feel Alright 2:52
8 Telephone 3:09
9 Woman 3:23
10 New Routine 3:28

Total time - 34:55

- Ken Hensley / guitars, keyboards, vocals
- Ian Paice/ drums (6)
- Kenny Jones/drums (8)
- Mark Clarke/bass (6)
- Trevor Boulder/bass (2,8)
- Denny Ball/bass (1,9)
- Jim Tooney / Drums (1)
- Geoff Allan / Drums (2,3,4,5,9)
- Gary Taylor / Bass (3,4,5)
- The Wrongettes / Backing voices (2)


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