The Free Design were a jazz-influenced family vocal group usually associated with the US Sunshine Pop era of the late 60s, and they have long been a cult favourite with harmony vocal fans for their inventive work.
The New York-based group comprised various members of the Dedrick family: Chris Dedrick, sister Sandy and brother Bruce were the original lineup. Chris wrote most of the songs.
Younger sister Ellen joined the group later after she graduated from High School.
The band released seven albums from 1967 to 1972, the first six on Enoch Light’s Project 3 label and the last one, There is a Song, on the Ambrotype label.
The commercial failure of The Free Design – who disbanded in 1972 – remains one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of pop music.
With their exquisitely celestial harmonies, lighter-than-air melodies, and blissful arrangements, the group’s records were on par with the work of superstar contemporaries like The Beach Boys, The Association, and The Cowsills, yet none of their singles even cracked the Hot 100.
The new millennium saw the Free Design convene for another album – 2001’s Cosmic Peekaboo – which gathered Sandy, Chris and Bruce Dedrick back together again.