Looking for Freedom (song)

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"Looking for Freedom"
Looking for Freedom (song).jpg
Single by David Hasselhoff
from the album Looking for Freedom
Songwriter(s)Jack White
Gary Cowtan
Producer(s)Jack White
David Hasselhoff singles chronology
"Life Is Mostly Beautiful With You"
"Looking for Freedom"
"Our First Night Together"

"Looking for Freedom" is a song by German music producer Jack White originally released in 1978 with German singer Marc Seaberg.[1] When performed later that year in German under the name 'Auf der Straße nach Süden' (On the road to the South) by Tony Marshall, it became a hit in Germany.[2]

Ten years later, White re-released the song with American actor and singer David Hasselhoff. In spring of 1989, the song held the No. 1 positions in Germany for 8 weeks[2] and in Switzerland for 4 weeks, becoming the best-performing single of 1989 in both countries.


The song is about a rich man's son who wants to make his own way in the world, rather than to have everything given to him.

The composer is Jack White, and "Looking for Freedom" is the original title, with lyrics written by Gary Cowtan (British). It was already finished before Jon Athan began writing the German lyrics. The German version sung by Tony Marshall was released some weeks after the original version sung by Marc Seaberg, who was a new artist in 1978, whereas Tony Marshall was already an established star. Both of these versions, recorded at Hansa Studio 2 in Berlin, used the same instrumental tracks and some of these were again used on David Hasselhoff's 1989 version, which was completed in Los Angeles. All three versions were produced by Jack White.

Performance at Berlin Wall[edit]

Hasselhoff performed this song before throngs of pro-German reunification activists at the Berlin Wall on New Year's Eve 1989, mere weeks after the wall had begun to be taken down. Wearing a piano-keyboard scarf and a leather jacket covered in motion lights, Hasselhoff stood in a bucket crane and performed the song along with the crowd. Recordings of the ZDF TV broadcast resurfaced in the late 1990s and nowadays can be found on YouTube.[3]

On a later tour of Germany in 2004, Hasselhoff would lament that a photo of him was lacking from the Checkpoint Charlie Museum in Berlin.[4]

Cover versions and uses in the media[edit]

Swedish dansband, pop and country singer Kikki Danielsson covered the song on her 2006 album I dag & i morgon.

In 2006, German basketball player Dirk Nowitzki joked that he sings the song before free throws.

In a commercial for Norwegian telephone company Telenor's "Djuice Freedom" subscription plan, David Hasselhoff is shown singing the song, with a voiceover that says, "David Hasselhoff is looking for freedom, Are you?"[citation needed]

The song plays on the car stereo in 2012's Cloud Atlas as Jim Broadbent's Timothy Cavendish flees a tyrannical nursing home in one of the segments directed by German Tom Tykwer.[citation needed]

Moone Boy's Martin Moone and his imaginary friend (played by Chris O'Dowd) dance to it on their own wall as the live transmission of the fall of the Berlin Wall plays on television, ending the episode "Another Prick In The Wall" also from 2012.[citation needed]

ESPN used this song in an ad advertising a Knicks vs Mavericks Wednesday night game, using Dirk Nowitzki as backdrop.

In Season 24, Episode 1 of the British television series Top Gear, co-host Matt LeBlanc buys an old Mercedes and finds a cassette tape of "Looking for Freedom" in the tape deck.

American professional wrestler Timothy Thatcher occasionally uses the song as his entrance music at events in Germany.

The song has inspired philosophical work on the theory of freedom, particularly the question as to what makes for a free life.

Track listings[edit]

7" single
  1. "Looking for Freedom" — 3:55
  2. "Looking for Freedom" (instrumental) — 3:55
CD and 12" maxi
  1. "Looking for Freedom" (maxi version — vocal) — 5:32
  2. "Looking for Freedom" (single version — vocal) — 3:55
  3. "Looking for Freedom" (single version — instrumental) — 3:55

Charts and sales[edit]


  1. ^ "Marc Seaberg - Looking For Freedom". discogs.com. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. ^ a b Bill Brioux (2008), Truth and rumors, pp. 94–96, ISBN 9780275992477
  3. ^ David Hasselhoff in Berlin 1989, 2015-04-20, retrieved 2018-10-01
  4. ^ BBC News, Did David Hasselhoff really help end the Cold War?, 2004-12-06
  5. ^ "Austriancharts.at – David Hasselhoff – Looking for Freedom" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  6. ^ "Ultratop.be – David Hasselhoff – Looking for Freedom" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  7. ^ "Lescharts.com – David Hasselhoff – Looking for Freedom" (in French). Les classement single.
  8. ^ "Musicline.de – David Hasselhoff Single-Chartverfolgung" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  9. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – David Hasselhoff – Looking for Freedom" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  10. ^ "Swisscharts.com – David Hasselhoff – Looking for Freedom". Swiss Singles Chart.
  11. ^ 1989 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  12. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 of 1989" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 6 no. 51. 23 December 1989. p. 6. Retrieved 17 January 2020 – via American Radio History.
  13. ^ 1989 German Singles Chart Offiziellecharts.de (Retrieved August 27, 2020)
  14. ^ 1989 Swiss Singles Chart Hitparade.ch (Retrieved April 20, 2008)
  15. ^ 1980-1989 Austrian Singles Chart Austriancharts.at (Retrieved August 27, 2020)
  16. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank ('Looking+for+Freedom')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved April 20, 2008.

External links[edit]