Free Fallin'" is the opening track from Tom Petty's debut solo album, (1989). The song was written by Petty and his writing partner for the album, Full Moon Fever Jeff Lynne, and 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.
singles chart in January 1990. Petty and Billboard Hot 100 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 #179 on  . It was featured in the film Rolling Stone 's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1996) and Jerry Maguire episode 2.13, " The Sopranos Funhouse" (2000). Lou Reed selected the song as one of his "picks of 1989". The song was #2 on the  Spotify Global Viral 50 following the death of Petty.
It peaked at #7 on the
Los Angeles-area references [ edit ]
The song's lyrics make references to
Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, including:
Development and meaning [ edit ]
Petty explained in an interview with
that he and Jeff Lynne were sitting around trying to come up with a song, and Lynne got him to say "free falling". The next day they went and recorded the song. He didn't write it about any person, but instead what he saw on his frequent drives along Ventura Boulevard. Billboard magazine
Personnel [ edit ]
Tom Petty – lead vocals, 12-string acoustic guitar
Mike Campbell – electric guitar, 6-string acoustic guitar, 12-string electric guitar
Jeff Lynne – backing vocals, bass guitar
Phil Jones – drums
Track listings [ edit ]
1. "Free Fallin'" 4:14 2. "Love Is a Long Road" 4:06 Total length: 8:20
1. "Free Fallin'" 4:14 2. "Love Is a Long Road" 4:06 3. "Free Fallin'" (live)
Charts and certifications [ edit ]
Weekly charts [ edit ]
Year-end charts [ edit ]
Canada Top Singles (
Certifications [ edit ]
Cover versions [ edit ]
In 1993 -
De La Soul and Teenage Fanclub sampled the song for "Fallin'", which appeared on the soundtrack Judgment Night 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 (airdate May 14, 1999); this version was later included on the series soundtrack released later that year. King of the Hill 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 album; the song uses different lyrics and arrangements. Moodring 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
, titled "Triple Threat", the song was covered with the second verse replaced with "Va Pensiero" from Cold Case Verdi's Nabucco, sung in Italian by Georgian 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 In 2010 -
Pink performed the song in the stage of The Funhouse Summer Carnival of the Pinkpop Festival in the Netherlands 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 2011 - American Hard Rock band
BulletBoys included a version on their cover album. Rocked and Ripped In 2012 -
Max Milner performed the song on . The Voice UK In 2012 -
Nick Carter performed the song on his I'm Taking Off tour. In 2013 -
Katey Sagal covered the song on her album Covered. In 2013 -
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs covered the song on their album . Under the Covers, Vol. 3 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 2014 -
Matoma used the vocals of John Mayer's version for Free Fallin Tropical Mojito Remix (John Mayer Tribute). In 2015 - Kimberly Nichole performed the song on
in honor of Mother's Day. The Voice In 2017 -
Coldplay covered the song with Peter Buck of R.E.M. in Portland, Oregon as a tribute to Petty following his death. Coldplay performed the song again in  Pasadena, California with James Corden.  This song was featured as a playable track in
. Lego Rock Band In 2019 - Fleetwood Mac covered the song in Newark, New Jersey, during their World Tour, as a tribute to Petty following his death.
References [ edit ]
"Topic Galleries". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on February 8, 2008.
, March 8, 1990 Rolling Stone
"Global Viral 50". Spotify Charts. Archived from the original on October 7, 2017 . Retrieved . October 7, 2017
Cathy Applefeld Olson (June 7, 2017). "Tom Petty Originally Wrote 'Free Fallin. '' Just to Make Jeff Lynne Laugh" Billboard . Retrieved . June 7, 2017
"ARIA Chart Watch #441". auspOp. October 7, 2017 . Retrieved . October 7, 2017
"Tom Petty Chart History (Canadian Hot 100)". . Billboard
Dutchcharts.nl – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
Charts.nz – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'". Top 40 Singles.
Swisscharts.com – Tom Petty – Free Fallin'". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
"Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company.
"Tom Petty Chart History (Hot 100)". . Billboard
Whitburn, Joel (1993). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–1993. Record Research. p. 188.
"Tom Petty Chart History (Alternative Songs)". . Billboard
"Top 100 Hit Tracks of 1990". RPM . Retrieved . November 26, 2017
' ^ "British single certifications – Tom Petty – Free Fallin. '" British Phonographic Industry. Select singles in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Free Fallin in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
"Tom Petty "Free Fallin" by Megan and Liz" . Retrieved . May 19, 2014
Needham, Lucy; Newman, Vicki; Shenton, Zoe (October 3, 2017). "Emotional moment Coldplay audience stand in absolute silence to remember victims of Las Vegas shooting - before launching into Tom Petty tribute song". Mirror . Retrieved . October 3, 2017
Kreps, Daniel (October 7, 2017). "See Coldplay, James Corden Sing Tom Petty's 'Free Fallin' at Rose Bowl". Rolling Stone . Retrieved . October 8, 2017
External links [ edit ]