This is one of the last songs I didn’t know at all before starting the project: unlike the very last (and surprisingly late) one, it’s a little gem. There’s a YouTube clip with Tony Blackburn introducing Williams on Top Of The Pops, and bless him, he looks genuinely and thoroughly delighted that for once the Great British P have taken the classy option. As well he might: “Free” is not the kind of record we’ll often encounter – a langourous, confidently smoochy, cocktail-ready soul ballad. Atmospheric without being naff, high on technique without labouring any points, grown-up without being sleazy, and a terrifically teasing performance from Williams, slipping easily between contentment and caprice.

Score: 7

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