Free Me (album)

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Free Me
Emma Bunton - Free Me - UK album.jpg
Studio album by Emma Bunton
Released 9 February 2004 (2004-02-09)
Recorded 2003; Sarm West Studios,
Olympic Studios
(London, England)
Genre
Length 45:30
Label Polydor
Producer
Emma Bunton chronology
A Girl Like Me
(2001)
Free Me
(2004)
Life in Mono
(2006)
Alternative cover
U.S. cover
Singles from Free Me
  1. "Free Me"
    Released: 26 May 2003
  2. "Maybe"
    Released: 13 October 2003
  3. "I'll Be There"
    Released: 26 January 2004
  4. "Crickets Sing for Anamaria"
    Released: 31 May 2004

Free Me is the second studio album by English recording artist Emma Bunton. It was released on 9 February 2004 by Polydor Records.[1]

Background[edit]

The album was the second to follow her 2001 release, A Girl Like Me, and spent over twelve weeks inside the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number seven and selling over 141,712 copies, earning gold award status. The album was widely acclaimed by critics as being "one of the best solo Spice records ever" due to its catchy and fun use of sounds from the Motown and the 1960s era. The album was largely produced by Mike Peden and Yak Bondy, who have produced tracks for S Club 7 and Lucie Silvas, to name a few. Other contributions on the album courtesy of Cathy Dennis, Henry Binns, and Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi. "One Thing I Know", an unreleased track co-written by Bunton for Free Me, was recorded by another 19 Management act, S Club 8, for their album Sundown. Bunton's original vocals can clearly be heard on S Club 8's version.

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4.5/5 stars[1]
BBC Music Favorable[2]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[3]
USA Today 2.5/4 stars[4]

Singles[edit]

The lead single, "Free Me", was released in the spring of 2003. The song immediately picked up airplay, and the single sold well in the UK, peaking at number five on the UK Singles Chart. "Maybe" was released as the second single in the autumn of 2003, and also gained extensive airplay throughout the UK, peaking at number six, one position lower than its predecessor.

In the spring of 2004, the album and its third single, "I'll Be There", were released. The single, like its two predecessors, performed well on the charts, peaking at number seven, one position below "Maybe", and two positions below "Free Me". The album sold more copies in its first week than her debut solo record had, and would ultimately go on to outsell it by 25,000 copies. With this, Bunton became the only Spice Girls member to have sold more copies of her second album than her first in UK.

Later in the year, the fourth single, "Crickets Sing for Anamaria", was released. Despite its harder beat and grittier sound, by now the impact of Free Me was beginning to wear off, and the song only came in at number fifteen on the UK Singles Chart, totalling 25,000 copies, and becoming Bunton's lowest-selling single.

In the United States, both "Free Me" and "Maybe" were dance club regulars, reaching number four and number six on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play respectively.

Sound[edit]

The album was released via 19 Recordings, which is a division of 19 Management, the company owned by Simon Fuller. Bunton says of the inspiration behind the album: "I've been listening to Motown since I was about five, and just loving it, being very passionate about the fact how it was all done live, and I thought, 'Hold on, I always talk about the fact I love '60s and Motown', so I thought I'd take elements of it, bits of it, and put it into my album, so that's exactly what I did." However, Bunton's songs on this album mainly started life as a simple scribble. She says, "I have a little book beside my bed, where I put all my ideas for songs and stuff. It's kind of weird, 'cuz usually when I'm having a dream, I'll wake up, and I'll write something down, then I'll look at it again and think, 'God, what was I dreaming about?'"

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of Free Me.

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Free Me"  
Peden 4:28
2. "Maybe"  
Peden 3:43
3. "I'll Be There"  
  • Bunton
  • Muddiman
  • Peden
Peden 3:23
4. "Tomorrow"  
  • Bunton
  • Bondy
Bondy 3:55
5. "Breathing"  
  • Bunton
  • Henry Binns
  • Yoyo Olugbo
Boo Dan Productions 4:00
6. "Crickets Sing for Anamaria"   Peden 2:46
7. "No Sign of Life"   Ellis 3:38
8. "Who the Hell Are You"  
Hedges 3:18
9. "Lay Your Love on Me"  
  • Dennis
  • Fabien Waltmann
3:23
10. "Amazing" (featuring Luis Fonsi)
  • Bunton
  • Peden
  • Muddiman
  • Nina Marander
Peden 4:06
11. "You Are"  
  • Lever
  • Percy
3:46
12. "Something So Beautiful"  
  • Bunton
  • Steve Lewinson
  • Pete Lewinson
  • S. Lewinson
  • P. Lewinson
3:46
Total length:
45:30

Charts[edit]

Chart (2004) Peak
position
Scottish Albums Chart[5] 9
UK Albums Chart[6] 7
Chart (2005) Peak
position
US Top Heatseekers[7] 30

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification
United Kingdom Gold[8]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
United Kingdom 9 February 2004 Polydor Records
Australia 19 July 2004 Universal Music
Brazil 20 September 2004
Germany 21 January 2005
United States 25 January 2005 19 Entertainment

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Free Me – Emma Bunton". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Top of the Pops (13 February 2004). "Free Me – Emma Bunton (Review)". BBC Music. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Barry Walters (27 January 2005). "Rolling Stone Review: Free Me – Emma Bunton". USA Today. Retrieved 31 January 2013. 
  4. ^ Elysa Gardner (31 January 2005). "Emma, Free Me". USA Today. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  5. ^ http://www.officialcharts.com/charts/scottish-albums-chart/20040215/40
  6. ^ "2004 Top 40 Official UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 21 February 2004. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Free Me – Emma Bunton". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 28 December 2010. 
  8. ^ "Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 28 May 2004. Retrieved 28 December 2010.