|Single by Tom Petty|
|from the album Full Moon Fever|
|Released||October 27, 1989|
|Tom Petty singles chronology|
"Free Fallin'" is the opening track from Tom Petty's 1989 solo debut album, Full Moon Fever. The song was written by Petty and his writing partner for the album, Jeff Lynne (and also features Lynne on backing vocals and bass guitar). The duo wrote and recorded the single in two days, making it the first song completed for Full Moon Fever.
"Free Fallin'" is one of Petty's most famous tracks, as well as his longest-charting. It peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in January 1990. Petty and The Heartbreakers performed the song at the MTV Video Music Awards in 1989 with Axl Rose and Izzy Stradlin and at the February 2008 Super Bowl XLII Halftime Show. The song is ranked #177 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was featured in the 1996 film Jerry Maguire and The Sopranos episode 2.13, "Funhouse" (2000). Lou Reed selected the song as one of his 'picks of 1989'.
The song is featured in the video game Lego Rock Band.
Los Angeles-area references
- "The Valley" – the name the San Fernando Valley is known as colloquially
- Reseda – a neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley
- 101 "Ventura" Freeway - the lyrics mention "a freeway runnin' through the yard" of the subject's Reseda home - putatively the 101 Freeway, which has an exit for Reseda Boulevard, albeit in the higher-income neighborhood of Tarzana
- Ventura Boulevard – a primary east-west thoroughfare in the San Fernando Valley
- "Mulholland" – a reference to Mulholland Drive, an arterial road which traverses the San Fernando Valley and Bel Air, following the ridgeline of the eastern Santa Monica Mountains and the Hollywood Hills
In his Full Moon Fever review published in BBC Music in 2009, Chris Jones explained that "Free Fallin '" was one of the album's tracks that "addressed nostalgia while explaining how he'd reached this level of success. Hit single Free Fallin' mistily looked back at a childhood sweetheart ("She's a good girl, crazy 'bout Elvis... I'm a bad boy for breakin' her heart") left in his wake as he left Florida for the West Coast in search of stardom".
- Tom Petty – lead vocals, guitar
- Mike Campbell – guitar
- Jeff Lynne – backing vocals, bass guitar
- Phil Jones – drums
|US 7" / Cassette|
|2.||"Down the Line"||
|2.||"Love Is a Long Road"||
|UK 12" / CD|
|2.||"Love Is a Long Road"||
|3.||"Free Fallin'" (live)||
|Australia (ARIA Singles Chart)||155|
|Canada (Canadian Hot 100)||5|
|Germany (Official German Charts)||66|
|Netherlands (Single Top 100)||61|
|New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)||4|
|UK Singles (Official Charts Company)||59|
|US Billboard Hot 100||7|
|US Alternative Songs (Billboard)||29|
From the album Where the Light Is: John Mayer Live In Los Angeles.
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- In 1993 - De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub sampled the song for "Fallin'", which appeared on the Judgement Night soundtrack
- In 1996 - In the film Jerry Maguire, Tom Cruise sings along in the car
- In 1996 - Stevie Nicks covered the song for the Party of Five soundtrack, and the song was later included on her album Enchanted
- In 1996 - The improvisational comedy troupe The Dead Alewives recorded a parody of the song, titled "Total Recallin'"
- In 1999 - Deana Carter sang a version of the song that played in the Season 3 finale's ending credits of Mike Judge's animated comedy King of the Hill (airdate May 14, 1999); this version was later included on the series soundtrack released later that year
- In 2001 - the Kings of Convenience EP Failure includes a live version
- In 2002 - YG Family's 97-YG-02 album includes a Korean version
- In 2003 - Tony Hadley, lead singer of new romantic band Spandau Ballet, released a cover version on his compilation True Ballads
- Since 2003 - Mýa covered the song which was released from her Moodring album; the song uses different lyrics and arrangements.
- In 2005 - Keith Urban's live cover appears on his DVD Livin' Right Now
- In 2006 - Rapper Pimp C sampled the song for "I'm Free", off his album Pimpalation
- In 2007 - American recording artist John Mayer included a live cover version on his live album Where the Light Is
- In 2008 - In episode 119 of Cold Case, titled "Triple Threat", the song was covered with the second verse replaced with "Va Pensiero" from Verdi's Nabucco, sung in Italian by Russian recording artist Elena Satine
- In 2009 - Chamillionaire sampled the song for his track "Good Morning"
- In 2009 - Ben Rector covered the song for his album Into the Morning
- In 2010 - The Almost recorded a cover for the compilation Punk Goes Classic Rock
- Since 2010 - Three Days Grace has been playing a cover of this song on their tour
- In 2011 - Umphrey's Mcgee covered this song in Ashbury Park, NJ
- In 2011 - Alejandro Fuentes covered the song at Allsång På Grensen
- In 2012 - Max Milner performed the song on The Voice UK
- In 2013 - Katey Sagal covered the song on her album Covered
- In 2014 - Kesha performed the song at Best Fest's Petty Fest April 3, 2014, making it her first performance since her treatment for an eating disorder
- In 2014 - twin duo Megan and Liz covered the song in a YouTube video.
- In 2014 - CJ Harris covered John Mayer's version on the thirteenth season of American Idol.
- In 2015 - Kimberly Nichole performed the song on the The Voice in honor of Mother's Day
- "Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune.
- Rolling Stone, March 8, 1990
- Chris Jones (2009). "Tom Petty Full Moon Fever Review". BBC Music.
- "Response from ARIA re: chart inquiry, received 15 July 2015". Imgur. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
- "Tom Petty – Chart history" Canadian Hot 100 for Tom Petty.
- "Officialcharts.de – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'". GfK Entertainment.
- "Dutchcharts.nl – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
- "Charts.org.nz – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'". Top 40 Singles.
- "Tom Petty: Artist Chart History" Official Charts Company.
- "Tom Petty – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Tom Petty.
- "Tom Petty – Chart history" Billboard Alternative Songs for Tom Petty.
- "Tom Petty "Free Fallin" by Megan and Liz". Retrieved 19 May 2014.