Set You Free (N-Trance song)

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"Set You Free"
Ntrance - Set You Free single.jpg
Single by N-Trance
from the album Electronic Pleasure
B-side Remixes
Released 20 April 1994
14 January 1995 (re-release)
Format Vinyl, cassette, CD
Recorded 1992, PWL Studios, London; 1994, Out of the Blue Studios, Manchester
Genre Eurodance
Length 4:22
Label All Around the World
Writer(s) Mike Lewis, Dale Longworth, Kevin O'Toole
Producer(s) N-Trance
N-Trance singles chronology
"Turn Up the Power"
"Set You Free"
"Stayin' Alive"

"Set You Free" is a song written and recorded by the English group N-Trance, featuring vocals from Kelly Llorenna. It was first released as a white label record in 1992, it was re-released in January 1995 and became a chart hit. Later it was remixed and re-released in 2001.

Writing and recording[edit]


During a show in early 1992, whilst a local DJ played 'Raving, I'm Raving' by Shut Up & Dance. Dale Longworth remembered an instrumental piano piece Kevin O'Toole had written a few years earlier whilst together at Oldham college (Higginshaw performing arts) & thought they could make a song based on that music. The instrumental piano piece he remembered had been two pieces of music written in 3/4, but with a breakbeat & the musical cheat of 'syncopation' the music to the track was born. Kevin O'Toole also plays bass, but the bassline to the song was played on keyboards. An additional piece of piano was written to create a bridge between the intro & main riff of the song, rather than transpose the intro key. The lyrics are written about a night out Kevin O'Toole had at the Hacienda in Manchester in 1989.

'At the end of the night the crowd chanted for one more record & when the demands of the crowd were met a very excited sweaty woman hugged me & I could feel her heart beating'. (K O'Toole)

This memory inspired the opening line 'When I hold you baby, feel your heart beat close to me'. The atmospheric thunder effects were added as vinyl records crackled after a few plays, so this would mask any future crackling... so a lyric had to be added to explain this 'As the storm beats down on me'. The lyrics are basically summed up in the first four lines of the song & the other 2 verses were franticly written when Dale & Kev only had 20 mins to write them when a singer was due to audition (elaborated below). Writing lyrics on a deadline became a way of working for Dale & Kev, & surprisingly their future collaborator Ricardo Da Force, also worked this way.

Dale & Kev returned to Higginshaw college to find a vocalist; a 16-year-old new student called Kelly was recommended, but she wasn't there the day they popped in. She was however available the next day to record the demo at Kevin O'Toole's parents' house.

John Barrett saw potential in the demo and the song was first recorded as Revolution studios in Cheadle with Andy Lee as mix engineer. The resulting record was then released as a 500 limited white label promo run in the summer of 1992.

Absolutely nothing happened and one year to the date of signing a contract with 380 records on the first of January 1993 the dream was over.


AATW instantly showed interest in N-Trance due to the remix work Kevin O'Toole had done for the Mix Factory, and they realised "Set You Free" needed rerecording. Signing a contract in 1994 the initial re-recording of Set You Free was rushed, with the only gem of that session being the now loved "Lost Soul Version". This version reached number 39 in the UK charts and was a turning point. 'Turn Up The Power' with Rachael McFarlane and T-1K was the next release hitting number 23 in the charts and the live shows were now 5 a week.

Set You Free was in demand again and the early white label copies were being sold at ridiculous prices,[clarification needed] and DJs still needed records to play. A recording session was set up at FON Studios in Sheffield. The vocals were then encapsulated in history as you[who?] hear them now, but the final mix of the record wasn't good. The multitrack was taken to Marcus Studios in London and mix engineer Tim Russell finally framed the song.

Music video[edit]

The music video was directed by prolific music video director Steve Price and shot in various locations in County Durham and North Yorkshire. The video comprises scenes of the band dancing and singing in a nightclub, in front of Cliffords Tower in York, England and travelling in a stretched limousine. The scene at Cliffords Tower was fortuitously or coincidentally shot on 3 November 1994,[1] which coincided with an annual Guy Fawkes Night Fireworks display organised by York City Council. The nightclub scenes were shot at Bianco's, Stockton-on-Tees.[1][2] It is claimed that the video cost around £5,000 to make.[citation needed]

In 2001, the video was re-edited for the Rob Searle Radio Edit.


  • N-Trance: Producer, Writer
  • Kelly Llorenna: Vocals
  • T-1K: Rap (Lost Soul and Pop Mix)
  • Tim Russell: Engineer


Original version
Chart (1994) Peak
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[3] 13
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[4] 39
Chart (1995) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[5] 11
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 75)[5] 61
Germany (Media Control Charts)[5] 44
Ireland (IRMA)[6] 4
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[7] 8
Scotland (Official Charts Company)[3] 2
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[5] 15
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[5] 18
UK Dance (Official Charts Company)[8] 5
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 2
Reissue version
Chart (2001) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[9] 4


  1. ^ a b "Set You Free (1995)". Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  2. ^ redbookboro1. "FMTTM Archive". 
  3. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1994-04-24". Scottish Singles Top 40. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "sc_Scotland_" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Archive Chart: 1994-04-24" UK Singles Chart.
  5. ^ a b c d e "Set You Free", in various singles charts (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  6. ^ Irish Single Chart (Retrieved April 10, 2008)
  7. ^ "Single top 100 over 1995" (pdf) (in Dutch). Top40. Retrieved 13 April 2010. 
  8. ^ "Archive Chart: 1995-01-08" UK Dance Chart.
  9. ^ a b "Archive Chart: 1995-02-05" UK Singles Chart.

External links[edit]