I Feel Free

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"I Feel Free"
Single by Cream
ReleasedDecember 1966[1]
Format7-inch single
RecordedSeptember 1966
StudioRyemuse, London[2]
GenreBlues rock,[3] psychedelic pop[3]
LabelReaction (591 011)
Composer(s)Jack Bruce
Lyricist(s)Pete Brown
Producer(s)Robert Stigwood
Cream singles chronology
"Wrapping Paper"
"I Feel Free"
"Strange Brew"
Audio sample
Alternative covers
German single picture sleeve (1966 Polydor 59058)
German single picture sleeve (1966 Polydor 59058)

"I Feel Free" is a song first recorded by the British rock band Cream. The song's lyrics were written by Pete Brown,[4] its music by Jack Bruce, it was the first track on the U.S. issue of their debut album, Fresh Cream (1966), and the band's second hit single (the first being "Wrapping Paper"). As with all tracks on Cream's U.S. debut, producer's credit went to Robert Stigwood.

"I Feel Free" showcases the band's musical diversity, effectively combining blues rock with psychedelic pop.[3]


"I Feel Free" was recorded in September 1966 at Ryemuse Studios. The track was recorded on an Ampex reel-to-reel audio tape recorder by Robert Stigwood and John Timperley. Stigwood made the decision to omit the song on the British release of Fresh Cream, and instead released it as a single.[2]

Single track listings[edit]

Name Location Format Record Label Release Date
"I Feel Free" b/w "N.S.U." UK 7" 45rpm Reaction 591 011 December 1966
"I Feel Free" b/w "N.S.U." US 7" 45rpm Atco 6462 December 1966
"I Feel Free" b/w "N.S.U." CDA 7" 45rpm Polydor 59 058 1966
"I Feel Free" b/w "N.S.U." Europe 7" 45rpm Polydor 59 058 1966–1967
"I Feel Free" b/w "White Room" Germany 7" 45rpm RSO 2090 535 1970
"I Feel Free" b/w "Badge" UK 7" 45rpm Polydor POSP 812 1986

Chart position[edit]

"I Feel Free" first entered the UK Singles Chart on 17 December 1966 at number 50, hit its highest position on 28 January 1967 at number 11, and was last seen on 4 March 1967 at number 49; the song spent a total of 12 weeks on the charts.[5] In the US the single reached number 116 on the Billboard Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart in December 1967.[6]


Cover versions[edit]

Belinda Carlisle version[edit]

"I Feel Free"
I Feel Free.jpg
Single by Belinda Carlisle
from the album Heaven on Earth
StudioOcean Way Studios
(Los Angeles, California)
Producer(s)Rick Nowels
Belinda Carlisle singles chronology
"Circle in the Sand"
"I Feel Free"
"World Without You"

The song was recorded by American singer Belinda Carlisle in 1987 for her second studio album Heaven on Earth (1987); the recording was produced by Rick Nowels. It was the fourth single released from the album, only released in the United States; the 7-inch single has the song "Should I Let You In?" on the B-side, while the 12-inch single includes an extended mix and a dub version. It peaked at number 88 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The extended version of the song was used in the 1988 film License to Drive.

Music video[edit]

An accompanying music video using concert footage was produced to promote the single.

Jack Bruce version[edit]

In 1986, a solo version by Jack Bruce was featured on a Renault 21 commercial and became his only solo UK hit, appearing for only one week at 95.[7]

Other cover versions[edit]

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 1967 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 6 May 1972 (1972-05-06), at Kingston Polytechnic, London, was released on the semi-legal album RarestOneBowie in 1994.

Kula Shaker has incorporated the song in live performances of their 1996 hit Govinda.

Johnny Maestro & the Brooklyn Bridge covered the song for their 1972 album "The Bridge In Blue".

Mark King of Level 42 covered the track for his 1984 debut solo album Influences, which was released as a single but failed to make the UK charts.

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.

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

Gregorian's 2006 album Masters of Chant Chapter V includes this song in Gregorian style.


  • "I Feel Free" was the first song ever played on rock station WBCN in Boston, Massachusetts at approximately 10 p.m on 15 March 1968. It was also the second to last song played on the night of 11 August 2009, leading up to the station's format and callsign change.
  • Cream's recording is featured in the 1983 period piece Purple Haze. It was also the opening song for the 2015 film "Joy" with Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro.
  • "I Feel Free" was featured in Fox animated series The Simpsons in the episode "Friends and Family".
  • "I Feel Free" appears on the closing credits of HBO's The Sopranos, Episode 12: Isabella.
  • The vocal melody to "I Feel Free" was used as part of the guitar solo on Def Leppard's "Rocket".


  1. ^ Strong, Martin Charles (2002). The great rock discography; the National Academies. p. 323. ISBN 978-1-84195-312-0.
  2. ^ a b Clapton, Eric (2007). Clapton: The autobiography. New York: Broadway Books. ISBN 978-0-385-51851-2.
  3. ^ a b c Unterberger, Richie. "Song Review: I Feel Free – Cream". AllMusic.
  4. ^ "Lyrics: Fresh Cream". JackBruce.com. Retrieved 27 September 2011.
  5. ^ "CREAM – full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel (1998). Bubbling Under Singles & Albums. Menonomee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research Inc. p. 55. ISBN 0-89820-128-4.
  7. ^ "JACK BRUCE – full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 16 October 2016.

External links[edit]