Monday’s Music Moves Me: “Free” Songs

retromusic1

Today, according to X-Mas Dolly, is a “freebie.” Accordingly, I chose ten songs with “free” in the title and built a playlist. You can find the list of songs immediately following the playlist itself.

  1. Free – Chicago: I’m a big Chicago fan, as you might have guessed. Actually, I’m a big Terry Kath fan. This song, from their third album, features Terry’s chunky guitar playing. Even though he doesn’t have a solo, it’d be hard to imagine this song without him.
  2. People Got To Be Free – The Young Rascals: The Young Rascals were a band out of New Jersey active from 1965-1972. They had nine Top 20 singles in the period from 1966 to 1968, including this one; it reached #1 in the US and Canada in the summer of 1968.
  3. Free Bird – Lynyrd Skynyrd: One of those songs that plays daily on most classic rock stations, best known for the extended guitar solo in the middle. Skynyrd is from Alabama, next door to Georgia, and I heard it so much I got sick of it. Haven’t heard it in a while, so I included it.
  4. Free Fallin’ – Tom Petty: Off 1989’s Full Moon Fever album. I bought that album the same time I bought The Traveling Wilburys, Volume 1, which also featured Tom. Both albums were excellent, and I recommend them enthusiastically.
  5. Free As A Bird – The Beatles: Around the time the remaining Beatles were planning their huge “Anthology” project, Yoko Ono found a tape with this song and another (“Real Love”) on it, and gave it to them. They added their instruments and vocals to John’s piano and voice, and came out with the first new Beatles music in twenty years. The first time I heard it, I was stunned; it was as though it was 1968 all over again.
  6. Freedom – Richie Havens: I bent the rules just a little bit to include this gem that Richie played at Woodstock (this is a studio version of it), mostly because I like it so much.
  7. I’m Free – The Who: From the rock opera Tommy, a straight-ahead rocker.
  8. I Feel Free – Cream: This was a single they recorded in 1966, that was included on their US release Fresh Cream.
  9. Free Ride – The Edgar Winter Group: From their 1972 release They Only Come Out At Night, it reached #14 on the pop singles chart in 1973. I remember the story behind the cover on this album: they had made up Edgar for the picture with the rest of the group (the one on the back of the album cover), and got a little crazy with the makeup…
  10. Herbert Harper’s Free Press News – Muddy Waters: From his 1968 album Electric Mud. Marshall Chess suggested Muddy record an album of psychedelic blues to try and revive his career. He was accompanied by the Chicago band Rotary Connection rather than his regular crew. the album sold over 150,000 copies, enough for people to realize what a serious mistake it was and tell their friends not to buy it. A guy I knew threw away the record and hung the gatefold of the album, which featured Muddy in a monk’s robe and sandals playing a Fender Jaguar, on his wall. I also own a copy, which thankfully I can’t play because I don’t have a turntable, and I’m not certain where it is, anyway….

And that’s this week’s edition of Monday’s Music Moves Me. Hope you liked it!

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Author: John Holton

I'm a writer and blogger who writes and blogs about things that interest me.

8 thoughts on “Monday’s Music Moves Me: “Free” Songs”

  1. My two favorites on this list (I bet you can guess!) are Free as a Bird by The Beatles and Herbert Harper’s Free Press News by Muddy Waters. My least favorite is probably Free Fallin’ by Tom Petty, since I’m not a fan. And if I have to hear Free Bird on more time…. LOL

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    1. I think there’s an FCC regulation that requires every Southern classic rock station to play something by Lynyrd Skynyrd at least once an hour, and that usually means “Free Bird” or “Sweet Home Alabama.” They did five albums before the plane crash in 1977 (39 years ago today, as I write this), and those are the only two songs they did that are worthy of airplay?

      Today, also oddly enough, is Tom Petty’s birthday…

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