The Free Design

From: Delevan, NY, USA

The Free Design was a New York-based sunshine pop band from the late 1960’s. Despite never achieving any notable commercial recognition during their main recording career, their work later influenced several bands including Stereolab, Cornelius, Pizzicato Five, Beck and The High Llamas.

The band were all members of the Dedrick family: Chris Dedrick, sister Sandy and brother Bruce were the original lineup, with Chris writing most of the songs. Younger sister Ellen joined the band later on, and youngest sister Stefanie joined near the end of the band’s initial career. The Free Design were influenced by vocal groups like The Hi-Los and Peter, Paul and Mary. Their sound involved complex harmonies, jazz-like chord progressions, and off-beat time signatures, all of which can be traced back to Chris’ classical training. The Free Design released a total of seven albums between 1967-1972.

Disbanding in 1972, The Free Design never garnered the commercial success they, and their small fan-base, felt they deserved. They would remain in relative obscurity until the mid-90s, when interest in the band began to grow as part of a general resurgence of interest in easy listening and sunshine pop from the 60s and 70s. Japanese musician Cornelius reissued the Free Design catalogue on his “Trattoria” label, and several of the band’s songs were covered by a variety of artists.

As a result of this newfound interest, the band re-grouped in 2000, after nearly 30 years of retirement to record the song “Endless Harmony” on the Beach Boys tribute album Caroline Now!. The experience convinced the band to record a new full-length album, 2001’s Cosmic Peekaboo.

Artist Info: Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 album Kites Are Fun

  • Make The Madness Stop

From the 1970 album Stars/Time/Bubbles/Love

  • Bubbles