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"I Feel Free"
Single by Cream
from the album Fresh Cream
B-side N.S.U.
Released December 1966
Recorded July - September 1966 at Mayfair Studios in London
Genre Psychedelic rock, hard rock
Length 2:51
Label Reaction Records (UK) Polydor Records (Eur)
Writer(s) Jack Bruce
Pete Brown
Producer Robert Stigwood
Cream singles chronology
"Wrapping Paper"
(1966)
"I Feel Free"
(1966)
"Strange Brew"
(1967)
"I Feel Free"
Single by Belinda Carlisle
from the album Heaven on Earth
Released 1988
Format CD single, 7" single, 12" single
Recorded 1987
Genre Pop
Length 4:49 (album version), 4:24 (7" version)
Label MCA Records
Producer Rick Nowels
Belinda Carlisle singles chronology
"Circle in the Sand"
(1988)
"I Feel Free"
(1988)
"World Without You"
(1988)

"I Feel Free" is a song first recorded by the British blues rock band Cream. The song was written by Pete Brown and Jack Bruce and was the first of their many collaborations. It was the first track on the US version of their debut album, Fresh Cream (1966), and the band's second hit single, following the surprising release of "Wrapping Paper". Like all tracks on Cream's first US album, the producer's credit went to Robert Stigwood. The tracks were produced by the band, however.

"I Feel Free" was an important song for the band. The song contained one of the more brief guitar solos by Eric Clapton, and became effectively the first song to showcase what the band had to offer. Though much of Cream's repertoire was blues-rock, this song presented straight rock and psychedelic aspects.

Contents

Chart positions (Cream version)

Chart (1966) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart 11

Chart positions (Belinda Carlisle version)

Chart (1988) Peak
position
US Billboard Hot 100 88

Cover versions

The Second Coming covered the song, which later appeared on The Allman Brothers Band's box set 'Dreams'.

The Amboy Dukes, guitarist Ted Nugent's band in the late 1960s and early 1970s, included the song on their eponymous debut album.

David Bowie performed this song during his Ziggy Stardust tour in 1972. Twenty-one years later, Bowie recorded the song for his Black Tie White Noise album. This featured guitarist Mick Ronson on a Bowie recording for the first time since 1973. Bowie's version was also included on a radio promo release of the single "Jump They Say". A live version, recorded May 6, 1972 (1972-05-06), at Kingston Polytechnic, London, was released on the semi-legal album RarestOneBowie in 1994.

The song was covered by Belinda Carlisle in 1987 on her second solo album, Heaven on Earth, produced by Rick Nowels. It was the fourth single released from the album, only released in the United States in the formats of CD single, 7" single and 12" single. The 7" record has the song "Should I Let You In?" on the B-side, while the 12" record includes an extended mix and a dub version. It peaked at number 88 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The extended version of the song was used in the 1988 film License to Drive.

Marcella Detroit, aka Marcy Levy, covered "I Feel Free". She co-wrote "Lay Down Sally" and worked with Eric Clapton during his solo career in the 70s and 80s. This was released on her and Elton John's duet single, "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing," in 1994.

The Foo Fighters included the song on their 2005 DOA single, and also on Best Buy exclusive E.P., Five Songs and a Cover. Foo Fighters' version features drummer Taylor Hawkins on vocals, and the usual frontman Dave Grohl on drums.

Other

  • A Minneapolis, Minnesota based appliance company named Warners' Stellian, which is a frequent television sponsor of Minnesota Twins TV broadcasts, uses the song as its theme in its TV commercials.
  • "I Feel Free" was the first song ever played on legendary rock station WBCN in Boston, Massachusetts on March 15, 1968. It was also the second to last song played on the night of August 11, 2009, leading up to the station's format and callsign change.
  • Cream's recording is featured in the 1983 period piece Purple Haze.
  • In December 2008, Comcast started using the 1966 version on TV ads for its Triple Play combo of cable TV, broadband internet, and phone service.
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