No Freedom

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"No Freedom"
Single by Dido
from the album Girl Who Got Away
Released18 January 2013
FormatDigital download
Recorded2009–12, (RAK recording Studios, London), (The Green Building, Santa Monica), Ark Studios[1]
GenrePop, Folktronica
Dido singles chronology
"Everything to Lose"
"No Freedom"
"End of Night"
Music video
"No Freedom" on YouTube

"No Freedom" is a song by English recording artist Dido. The song was released on 18 January 2013 as the lead single from her fourth studio album Girl Who Got Away (2013). The song was written and produced by Dido Armstrong and Rick Nowels, while Rollo Armstrong co-produced it. "No Freedom" is an acoustic ballad, with folk pop influences.

Lyrically, the song reflects on the necessity of allowing people to have freedom within the confines of a relationship. "No Freedom" received generally favorable reviews from music critics, who praised the smooth, simple, but gorgeous sound. The song has peaked to number 51 on the UK Singles Chart, the song has also charted in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands and Switzerland.


"No Freedom" was written and produced by Dido and Rick Nowels, who has previously worked with her on the hit 'White Flag', while Rollo Armstrong co-produced it.[2] The song was written when Dido was pregnant at the time with her first son, Stanley, and recorded her vocals right up until the day he was born.[3] She recorded the song in Los Angeles, United States at Rick Nowels studio and finished the song at home with her brother Rollo Armstrong.[4]

Prior to the release of the single, snippets from the DJ COBRA Remix were leaked into the Internet. The melody is substantially different from the original. Later on, Dido explained on her official Twitter account that DJ Cobra - Peter Agyagos - was mistakenly sent an old demo to remix instead the final cut of the song.[5]

Lyrically, "No Freedom" talks about a painful story of heartbreak.[3] According to Dido, it is more about love in general, in all its forms.[4] The refrain, "No freedom without love", has been adopted by rebel groups in Syria. Dido told BBC News that after its release, she was getting many "letters from people who are in the middle of a war."[3] The song is a folky, acoustic guitar-based, reggae tinged,[6] midtempo song, featuring Dido's sleepy vocals.[7]

Critical reception[edit]

Critical reception was largely positive. Bernard Perusse of Montreal Gazette called it "simple, but gorgeous."[8] Elliot Robinson of So So Gay wrote that the song represents the album as a whole, calling it "pleasingly catchy and enjoyably smooth."[9] Caroline Sullivan of The Guardian was more negative, writing that "Guitars strum gently, the tempo is mid, and Dido has never sounded more listless as she wanly informs her man that their relationship can't flourish unless she's free to wander."[10]

Chuck Campbell of praised "Dido’s knack for gorgeous melody," writing that the song is a "simple, acoustic-driven opening track, that rolls out under her deliberate restraint as she sings."[11] Nick Levine of BBC Music called it "an odd soporific song."[12] Tim Ferrar of Recording Connection called it "one of the most subdued tracks on the record."[13]

Chart performance[edit]

On 3 March 2013 the song entered the UK Singles Chart at number 69 and climbed 18 places to number 51 the following week.[14] On 10 March 2013 the song entered the Swiss Singles Chart at number 47, climbing to number 28 in its second week.[14] On 16 March 2013 the song entered the French Singles Chart at number 64.[15] The song entered the German Singles Chart at number 64, climbing to number 59 the following week. On 9 March 2013 the song entered the Dutch Singles Chart at number 98, dropping to number 100 the following week.[14] The song has also charted in Belgium.[15]

Music video[edit]

A still from the music video "No Freedom".


A music video to accompany the release of "No Freedom" was first released onto YouTube on 4 March 2013 at a total length of three minutes and fifteen seconds.[16] The music video was directed by Ethan Lader and filmed in downtown Los Angeles on 9 December 2012. She is wearing a turquoise leather coat.[17][18]


The video shows Dido standing on an empty city street surrounded by confetti.[19] The video also features montage of old-fashioned footage from the United States and Dido sitting in the back of a vintage Chevrolet Bel Air convertible.

Live performances and cover versions[edit]

In February 2013 she performed the song live on American late-night talk show Jimmy Kimmel Live!,[20] where she also performed "White Flag".[21] On 1 March 2013 she performed the song live on Norwegian-Swedish television talk show Skavlan.[22] On 7 March 2013 she performed the song live on British daytime television programme This Morning.[23]

On 3 October 2017 Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler performed the song live on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as a tribute for the 2017 Las Vegas shooting victims.[24]

Track listing[edit]

Digital download[25]
1."No Freedom"3:18
2."No Freedom" (Benny Benassi Remix)6:01
3."No Freedom" (Tom Swoon Remix)5:48
4."Quiet Times" (Live Acoustic, Abbey Road)3:09

Credits and personnel[edit]

  • Written by Dido Armstrong and Rick Nowels
  • Produced by Rollo, Dido and Rick Nowels
  • Mixed by Ash Howes, Rollo and Dido
  • Engineering and recording by Kieron Menzies
  • Digital engineering by Mike Horner
  • Vocals recorded by Richard Woodcraft
  • Recorded at RAK recording Studios, London, The Green Building, Santa Monica, Ark Studios
  • Vocals by Dido
  • Guitar and keyboards by Rick Nowels
  • Programming by Rollo
  • Additional drum programming by UTRB
  • All strings arranged and performed by Davide Rossi
  • Mastered by Tom Coyne at Sterling Sound

Credits adapted from Girl Who Got Away album liner notes.[1]


Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (2013) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[26] 43
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[27] 18
Brazilian Singles Chart (ABPD)[28] 73
France (SNEP)[15] 64
Germany (Media Control Charts)[29] 59
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[30] 98
Russia (Billboard)[31] 30
Scottish Singles Chart[32] 61
South Korea (Gaon International Chart)[33] 30
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[34] 28
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[35] 51

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia[36] 18 January 2013 Digital download
United States[40] RCA Records
United States February 20, 2013 Hot AC radio[41]
Triple A Radio[42]
Austria[43] 22 February 2013 Digital download Sony Music Entertainment
United Kingdom[25] 24 February 2013 RCA Records


  1. ^ a b Dido Armstrong, Dido (2013). Girl Who Got Away (CD liner notes). RCA Records. p. 10. 88765442322.
  2. ^ Corner, Lewis (11 January 2013). "Dido premieres new single 'No Freedom' - listen". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Savage, Mark (26 February 2013). "BBC News - Dido interview: 'I am the sound of conflict'". BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Album Listening Party | The Official Dido Site". Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  5. ^ Dido [@didoofficial] (12 September 2013). "someone sent someone else the wrong parts to the wrong version of an old demo. i love it when mistakes make magic..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  6. ^ Newman, Melinda (25 March 2013). "Dido's 'Girl Who Got Away': Album Review". HitFix. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  7. ^ Copsey, Robert (4 March 2013). "Dido: 'Girl Who Got Away' - Album review". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  8. ^ Perusse, Bernard (23 March 2013). "New music review: Girl Who Got Away, Dido (Sony)". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  9. ^ Robinson, Elliot (4 March 2013). "Album Review: Dido – Girl Who Got Away". So So Gay. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  10. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (28 February 2013). "Dido: Girl Who Got Away - review | Music | The Guardian". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  11. ^ Campbell, Chuck (19 March 2013). "'Tuned In' review: Dido's calm, familiar voice stirs emotions". Knoxville. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  12. ^ "BBC - Music - Review of Dido - Girl Who Got Away". BBC Music. 22 February 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  13. ^ Ferrar, Tim (28 March 2013). "Dido "Girl Who Got Away" – Album Review". Recording Connection. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  14. ^ a b c "Dido - No Freedom - Music Charts". Music Charts. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  15. ^ a b c " – Dido – No Freedom" (in French). Les classement single.
  16. ^ Dido - No Freedom. YouTube
  17. ^ "Zangeres Dido maakt zich op voor comeback". 10 December 2012.
  18. ^ "Dido, English singer-songwriter, films a parade scene for an upcoming music video in Downtown Los Angeles". 10 December 2012.
  19. ^ Dido unveils 'No Freedom' music video. Digital Spy
  20. ^ Dido Performs "No Freedom". YouTube. JimmyKimmelLive
  21. ^ Dido Performs "White Flag". YouTube
  22. ^ Dido- No Freedom Live @Skavlan 2013. YouTube
  23. ^ Dido - No Freedom (Live This Morning). YouTube
  24. ^ Brandle, Lars (3 October 2017). "Miley Cyrus and Adam Sandler Perform 'No Freedom' on 'Tonight Show' to Honor Vegas Victims: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  25. ^ a b iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  26. ^ " – Dido – No Freedom" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  27. ^ " – Dido – No Freedom" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  28. ^ "Brazil" (PDF). ABPD. October 6, 2001. Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  29. ^ Single - Dido, No Freedom. Hung Medien.
  30. ^ " – Dido – No Freedom" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  31. ^ Радиоэфиры (in Russian). Billboard Russia. Archived from the original on 15 March 2013.
  32. ^
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 19, 2012. Retrieved July 3, 2012.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ " – Dido – No Freedom". Swiss Singles Chart.
  35. ^ Dido > UK Charts. Official Charts Company.
  36. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - Single by Dido
  37. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - Single by Dido
  38. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - Single by Dido
  39. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - Single by Dido
  40. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - Single by Dido
  41. ^
  42. ^
  43. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  44. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  45. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  46. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  47. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido
  48. ^ iTunes - Music - No Freedom - EP by Dido

External links[edit]