Who – I’m Free

After reading the John Entwistle biography I’ve been listening to the Who for the past week and a half. Tommy is not my favorite Who album…but the album does contain a lot of good songs. Tommy did make a huge mark in pop culture…a movie and Broadway play has been made from the story.

The riff is simple and powerful. A very good song that adds to Tommy. Like some of the other songs…I’m Free was written before Tommy was thought of but Pete fit what songs he had with the new ones to make the story.

Tommy was the breakthrough album for the Who in America. A concept album about a deaf, dumb, and blind boy who…you guessed it…loves pinball. On the album the Who’s sound is subdued but on tour, they presented it loud and aggressive as only the Who could be.

The album peaked at #4 in the Billboard Album Charts in 1970. I’m Free peaked at #37 in the Billboard 100 in 1969.

Pete Townshend: ‘I’m Free’ came from ‘Street Fighting Man.’ This has a weird time/shape and when I finally discovered how it went, I thought ‘well blimey, it can’t be that simple,’ but it was and it was a gas and I wanted to do it myself.

The guitar sound in this version sends shivers down my spine. Compare it to the album version below this one.

I’m Free

I’m free
I’m free
And freedom tastes of reality
I’m free
I’m free
An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me

If I told you what it takes
To reach the highest high
You’d laugh and say ‘nothing’s that simple’
But you’ve been told many times before
Messiahs pointed to the door
And no one had the guts to leave the temple!

I’m free
I’m free
And freedom tastes of reality

I’m free
I’m free
An’ I’m waiting for you to follow me

How can we follow?
How can we follow?

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

34 thoughts on “Who – I’m Free”

  1. I like both versions, but the live version definitely has more bite. Like the previous commenter, man, I dig Pete’s SG.

    I never really owned a great guitar. For the most part, I played Ibanez – quite decent quality for the money.

    But ever since I was a young boy, I wanted to have the real stuff. Like a Les Paul, a Stratocaster, a Rickenbacker, the SG, a Telecaster…But I simply didn’t have the dough.

    Now I’m living the American dream with a wife, a son, a bunch of pets and a monthly mortgage!😆

    But papa hasn’t given up on getting himself a great axe one of these days – even though I’ve never gotten far on the electric!🎸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I like the Tommy album both studio and live but I never understood why it didn’t have more bite on it.

      The best guitar I own is a Telecaster but I want a Rick…I’m with you…I have a a wife, kid, and a Saint Bernard to boot and it’s hard!

      My family made guitars for George Jones and other country stars…I do have some custom made ones they did…one of them is essentially a Gibson 335.

      I have always liked Ibanez guitars. I played one a lot when I was younger…a friend of mine had one.
      I do have a lot of cheap guitars that I like.

      I do hope you end up getting what you want Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s like the Beatles with Sgt Pepper…I don’t think it’s their best album (to me anyway) but that is the most famous album.
      I still like it…it’s just so quiet and they were not like that.

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    1. You have heard most of Who’s Next on radio…that is for sure lol.
      I like Tommy…it’s in my top 3 albums by them. It amazes me though to listen to Tommy and then listen to Who’s Next with Going Mobile, Baba O’Rily and the recording quality is day and night…they were only 2 years apart.

      A new producer… Glyn Johns made all the difference. The sonic quality between the two is incredible. It doesn’t take away from the music though.

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      1. I like Quadrophenia as well… Their early British singles are really good also. Sorry John I’ve been in a Who mood lately.

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      2. I know…I read a book about John Entwistle last week…now I have a book on Bruce Springsteen coming up…so I guess I’ll trade my Baba O’Riley to Born To Run next week.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I have the video…but this song…who knows they might not have showed him.

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      2. Holy crap, Max! That was filmed on my birthday in 1970!!! I was four, exactly, when they played!

        I did see him that time. That outfit is crazy. Keith Moon is something. He didn’t just “play” drums, he became the drums.

        GAWD. Can you imagine being there with 600,000 other people?

        Liked by 1 person

      3. If only time machines were real…I’d be on one. Yea Moon was one of a kind. No one I’ve ever seen…duplicated what Moon did…now Bonham and Baker…I’ve see it duplicated.

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  2. I am a fan of the Tommy album and this is one of the few Tommy songs that I like both from the original album and the sountrack version (sorry!). Oh and if you think the sound is subdued on the original album, get yourself a copy of the remastered CD – it’s astonishingly good.

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