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"
Released 1971
Format 7" single
Length 3:44
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Alvin Lee
Producer(s) Chris Wright
Ten Years After singles chronology
"Love Like a Man"
"I'd Love to Change the World"
"Baby Won't You Let Me Rock 'n' Roll You"

"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 most famous and popular song, as it was their only Top 40 hit, peaking at number 40 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Background and composition[edit]

The song was written and sung by Alvin Lee. The song reflects the widespread confusion concerning world events in the timeframe when it was written. The Vietnam War ended just three years after this song was released, hence the lyrics, "Them and us, stop the war." One interpretation of the song, with lyrics such as "Tax the rich, feed the poor/ 'til there are no rich no more," is that it is an ironic commentary on the standard countercultural position on social and political issues.[1]

The song features a folk-inspired chord pattern to support the melody.[2]

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.[3] When it was released, "I'd Love to Change the World" was staple of both FM and AM radio, a rarity for the time.[2]

The song was generally well received by music critics. Billy Walker of Sounds wrote that the "[a]coustic 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".[4] 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."[2]

Cover versions[edit]

The Accüsed on their 1988 LP Martha Splatterhead's Maddest Stories Ever Told.

Sister Red on their 1991 self-titled album.

L.A. Guns on their 1994 album Vicious Circle.[5]

Tesla on their 2007 EP A Peace of Time.

Cosmosound feat. Nekk. Release date: 30 November 2008. Label: D:Vision

Sampled by Chris Webby in his song "Change The World" on his 2012 mixtape "Bars on Me".[6]

English indie pop and rock singer Jetta in 2014.[7] This version was featured in the trailers from the films Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Nightcrawler, Terminator: Genisys, the season 4 premiere of Person Of Interest, the season 1 trailer of Outcast. The Matstubs remix was featured in the season 2 Christmas special of Sense8.

Sampled by the hard rock band King 810 in the song "I'd Love to Change the World" on the 2015 mixtape "Midwest Monsters 2" hosted by disc jockey DJ Drama.[8]

Song intro of movie Our Brand Is Crisis (2015)

Jordan Fisher covered "I'd Love to Change the World" in 2017 for the American docudrama miniseries When We Rise.


Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1971) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100[3] 40
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 Singles[9] 28


  1. ^ "I'd Love to Change the World". Retrieved March 8, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c Greenwald, Matthew. "I'd Love to Change the World review". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Ten Years After Awards". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  4. ^ Walker, Billy (28 August 1971). "Ten Years After Today". Sounds. Spotlight Publications. p. 6. 
  5. ^ "Vicious Circle review". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  6. ^ "datPiff". Retrieved September 23, 2014. 
  7. ^ "I'd Love To Change the World". Allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2014.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. ^ "datPiff". Retrieved April 9, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Cash Box Top 100 11/27/71". Cashbox Magazine, Inc. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 


  • 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]