Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – Freedom
Sugar Hill Records (US) [SH-549] 1980
Although originally intended for the Crash Crew, this was the Sugarhill debut for Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. The Crash Crew had already recorded “High Power Rap” on Mike & Dave Records which used the original beat from Freedom’s “Get Up And Dance”. Sugarhill wanted to do their own version over a replayed track but it was turned down by the Crash Crew as they were then happy at their label. Step up second choice, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, who quickly recorded the track ready for release. In the meantime Sugarhill succeeded in signing the Crash Crew as they were having problems with Mike & Dave.
Reggie Reg of Crash Crew:
Sugarhill had wanted Crash Crew to come up there and do “High Power Rap” over the version of “Freedom” they did with a band, but we wouldn’t do it. We wouldn’t leave Mike & Dave, so they got Flash to do it – Flash did the “Freedom” beat over, and now it was a beef. So what Sugarhill did was sign us to their label so they could kill our version, and then their “Freedom” with Flash could still go on. By then, we was having problems with Mike & Dave, so we left them and we went to Sugarhill.
[“Yes Yes Y’all” by Jim Fricke and Charlie Ahearn, Da Capo Press (US) & The Perseus Press (UK) 2002]
The song was also one of many tracks used to make Grandmaster Flash’s classic DJ release “Adventures On The Wheels Of Steel”.
There are a few variations of the label of which some are pictured below, all with the same track listing. I will add others when I get clean scans.
Freedom (Vocal) [8:13]
Freedom (Instrumental) [8:13]