The Free Design – Kites Are Fun



Released in 1967 the debut album from The Free Design is very much of it’s time, the summer of love. Bruce, Chris, Ellen, Sandra and Stefanie Dedrick weave complex vocal harmonies with precise instrumental arrangements to achieve their unique sound. The title track ‘Kites Are Fun’ was released as a single and reached #114 on Billboard Pop charts. Please note the first track ‘Balancing Instructions’ has been removed. Enjoy    CB


Release: CB078

Source: Q8


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2 Responses to The Free Design – Kites Are Fun

  1. What a beautiful surprise! I’ve always loved vocal groups and The Free Design have concocted a perfect first album with Kites Are Fun. Apart from a handful of well picked cover songs, all of the others are originals and they are still well written and executed reflections of the era. I’ve always found the group to be a magical blend of The Association, The Anita Kerr Singers and The Swingle Singers. Their voices are not only beautiful but they sound even more so when they sing in harmony.

    The mix offers a strong level of discreteness considering the limited number of tracks the group had access to record the album with. The mixing engineer has chosen to change the mix configuration with every song which means that sometimes vocals are in the rears on one side whilst for another song the instruments are all on the left front and rear speakers and the vocals cover the right ones. It does take a little getting using to, but I actually don’t mind that much and it does make each song a little more unique. Two things that stroke me right from the start. This album was amazingly well recorded and The Captain’s expert decode makes this Q8 sound awesome. The bass is huge and yet nothing suffers from it. The vocals are rich and the level of reverb has been masterfully dosed.

    I’ve enjoyed this baby so much that I had to play it a second time.

    Thanks Cap for this colourful sonic gem! 🙂

    • Thank you moonstarstudios for your detailed assessment. I agree that the different mixes for each song make them very unique and fun too. Doubtful that a sound engineer would take such risk today. It has been my experience that the Project 3 labels output are usually well recorded as you mention. The Free Design always reminded me of an east coast version of the Mamas and Papas but your comparisons are more accurate. Pleased that you enjoyed it so much it triggered a second listen. Thanks for taking the time to comment about the music. It truly is a sonic gem.

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