The album was recorded at United Sound Studios, Audio Graphic Services, and G-M Recording Studios in Detroit. The inspiration for this album was, according to George Clinton, an attempt to "see if we can cut a whole album while we're all tripping on acid."
The album's gatefold cover forms something of a visual pun, echoing the sentiments of the album title. The sight of a woman holding her arms towards heaven in an ecstatic pose is subverted upon opening the sleeve to find that she is nude.
The album and its title track, a feedback-drenched number taking a third of the album's length, introduces the subversion of Christian themes explored on later songs, describing a mystical approach to salvation in which "the Kingdom of Heaven is within" and achievable through freeing one's mind, after which one's ass will follow. Many of the songs (such as the title track and "Eulogy and Light") subvert Christian themes, including the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.
In a 1981 review, Robert Christgau said that the promising but ultimately confusing album has contradictory messages that might either promote "escapist idealism or psychic liberation", and a disorienting aesthetic that is most successful on "Funky Dollar Bill". He later wrote that it is not surprising that the album became "a cult fave in slackerland. Not only is the shit weird, the weirdness signifies." In a retrospective review for Blender, Christgau said that the album's uninhibited guitar exercises were expanded by spoken-word elements and Worrell's classically trained keyboards, which he felt did not live up to the title credo.
In a positive review, AllMusic's Ned Raggett felt that both the album and title track are worthy of the credo and that the other songs range from "the good to astoundingly great."Record Collector magazine's Paul Rigby observed clearly written lyrics and interesting space rock-like funk on what he called a "superb" album.
^"Album Reviews". Billboard: 60. October 24, 1970. Retrieved November 30, 2013. Funkadelic is back again, this time bidding to 'free your mind' with more psychedelic-soul that's bound to separate from the sense.
^ abcdRudland, Dean. "Free Your Mind... and Your Ass Will Follow reissue liner notes". Westbound Records: 3. 2005.