I'm Free (The Who song)

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"I'm Free"
Single by The Who
from the album Tommy
B-side "We're Not Gonna Take It" (USA)
"Tommy, Can You Hear Me?" (Europe)
Released 1969
Recorded 19 September 1968 to 7 March 1969
Genre Rock, psychedelic rock
Length 2:40
Label Polydor, Decca (USA)
Writer(s) Pete Townshend
Producer(s) Kit Lambert
The Who singles chronology
"Pinball Wizard"
"I'm Free"
"The Seeker"
Tommy track listing
"Sally Simpson"
"I'm Free"

"I'm Free" is a song written by Pete Townshend and performed by The Who on the album Tommy. Within the plot of the album, "I'm Free" tells of Tommy's vision to spiritually enlighten others due to his sudden and immense popularity. The "Pinball Wizard" riff (earlier on the album) appears at the end of the song during the "How can we follow?" part. This song was used in the 1969-1970 concert classic set list. It is often switched with "Sensation" on setlists, including in the movie and in the Broadway musical as Tommy rejoices at regaining his sight, voice and hearing after the shock provided by his mother.

In 1975-1976, the song was reintegrated into The Who's set list. The version played at these shows featured more raucous vocals and a reworked guitar riff.

It was later released as a single, reaching number 37 in the US on the Billboard Hot 100.[1] It also reached number 20 in the Netherlands.[2]

Covers and other uses[edit]

In 1997, the Christian rock band Geoff Moore and the Distance covered this song, on the album Threads.

In 2002, The Who played this for a stretch on their 2002 UK Tour, with a similar arrangement to the versions played on the 1975-1976 tour. However, it was dropped again by the time bassist Entwistle died.

In 2004, a cover version (combined with the instrumental "Sparks") was recorded by Neal Morse with the participation of Randy George and Mike Portnoy, it was originally released as the last track on the special edition of Neal's One album. It was re-released on the 2006 album Cover to Cover.

In 2009, The Smithereens included the song on their tribute album, The Smithereens Play Tommy.

The song has been used in a Saab commercial.[3]

The song was the first song on KLOL Houston's rock format as Rock 101 in 1970, and its last song under the format before flipping to Spanish Hip-Hop as Mega 101 on 12 November 2004.


  1. ^ "The Who Billboard singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  2. ^ "I'm Free". Hung Medien / hitparade.ch. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  3. ^ "Classic Rock in Commercials". Jacob's Media. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 

External links[edit]