I'd Love to Change the World

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"I'd Love to Change the World"
I'd Love to Change the World.jpg
Single by Ten Years After
from the album A Space in Time
B-side"Let the Sky Fall"
Released1971
Format7" single
Genre
Length3:44
LabelColumbia
Songwriter(s)Alvin Lee
Producer(s)Chris Wright
Ten Years After singles chronology
"Love Like a Man"
(1970)
"I'd Love to Change the World"
(1971)
"Baby Won't You Let Me Rock 'n' Roll You"
(1972)
"Love Like a Man"
(1970)
"I'd Love to Change the World"
(1971)
"Baby Won't You Let Me Rock 'n' Roll You"
(1972)

"I'd Love to Change the World" is a song by the British blues rock band Ten Years After. Written by Alvin Lee, it is the lead single from the band's 1971 album A Space in Time. It is the band's only Top 40 hit, peaking at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 and their most popular single.[1]

Background and composition[edit]

The song was written and sung by Alvin Lee.

It discusses the confused state of the world, covering a wide variety of societal complaints, until it finally addresses the Vietnam War.[1]

The song features a folk-inspired chord pattern to support the melody.[1]

Release and reception[edit]

"I'd Love to Change the World" was the band's highest charting single. It peaked at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1971.[2] When it was released, "I'd Love to Change the World" was a staple of both FM and AM radio, a rarity for the time.[1]

Billy Walker of Sounds wrote that the "acoustic guitar, echoing vocals, and electric guitar build up the tempo with very good cool electric passages by Alvin [Lee], and while there's nothing new developing it's a very nice track".[3] Matthew Greenwald of Allmusic highlighted Lee's guitar work as the "most expressive—and most tasteful—electric guitar performance of his career", and added "if there is a single song that can describe the overall vibe of the counterculture in 1969/1970, this may very well be it. The band and Lee never quite matched the song's supple power in their later efforts, but this song is representation enough of their awesome artistry."[1] Robert Christgau was less enthusiastic about Lee's philosophical stance, finding it "cautious" and "dumb": "Fellow seems to believe that if you 'tax the rich to feed the poor' you soon run out of rich, with dire consequences." Christgau later said the lyrics took a cowardly position that "epitomized the political reaction of English blues rock" during the 1970s.[4]

The song was featured in the films Tropic Thunder and The Last Supper (1995 film) and was used in the episode "Six Feet" of the TBS series Wrecked.

In 2015, electronic producer Mastubs released a remix of Jetta's cover of the song. The song received significant attention after being posted to the Trap Nation YouTube channel, and, as of October 29, 2018, the video has received over 170 million views.

Personnel[edit]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1971) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[2] 40
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 Singles[5] 28

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Greenwald, Matthew. "I'd Love to Change the World review". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ten Years After Awards". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2012.
  3. ^ Walker, Billy (28 August 1971). "Ten Years After Today". Sounds. Spotlight Publications. p. 6.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Ten Years After". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
    ^ Christgau, Robert (October 14, 1971). "Consumer Guide (19)". The Village Voice. New York. Retrieved April 14, 2013.
    ^ Christgau, Robert (27 December 1976). "Christgau's Consumer Guide". The Village Voice. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 11/27/71". Cashbox Magazine, Inc. Retrieved June 25, 2012.

References[edit]

  • Fisher, Joseph P.; Flota, Brian (2011). The Politics of Post-9/11 Music: Sound, Trauma, and the Music Industry in the Time of Terror. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 1409427846.

External links[edit]