Label: Columbia - KC 31751 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album Terre Haute Pressing • Country: US • Genre: Rock • Style: Soft Rock
Over the course of his career, Dan Fogelberg has become identified with a particular sort of heavily arranged soft rock. It is therefore particularly interesting to listen to his first album and hear him experimenting, seeking the balance between an overtly countrified sound and something more original and personal.
Some things about Home Free show that Fogelberg had figured out his strengths well before he went near the studio. The songs here are better and more coherent More Than Ever - Dan Fogelberg - Home Free much of his later work, with a directness that makes it easy to gloss over the occasional banalities and platitudes.
More Than Ever - Dan Fogelberg - Home Free always, his splendid delivery makes it easy to excuse the lyrical flaws; nobody else ever sounded this confessional and meditative while singing in front of a full orchestra. That string section appears on most tracks and sometimes verges on intrusive. Indeed, at times Norbert Putnam 's production sounds so cinematic L - Various - Hohokum ™ Soundtrack one wonders if this is a film score, as on the opening "To the Morning.
Sometimes the influences are very overt; the album's closer, "The River," sounds like a Neil Young outtake, from the bleak subject matter to the spare, pounding piano arrangement. Fogelberg toyed with a variety of styles on his first release, and though things aren't completely integrated, the album is all the better for it.
When it was re-released on CD in the late '80s, Home Free was remixed -- apparently by Fogelberg and Putnam -- possibly because Pharaphrase - Billy Taylor Trio - Sleeping Bee original mix did have a certain muddiness that was difficult to overcome using the digital technology of the period, and many of the songs on the resulting Sony Music CD sound quite different in texture and detail from the original vinyl release.
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