Free

Songfacts®:

  • The dreamy, jazzy opener to Iggy Pop's Free album is a sparse piece in which the singer intones the phrase "I want to be free." The song was inspired by Pop feeling drained after touring in support of his 17th album, Post Pop Depression. He explained to the UK newspaper The Sun: "I was feeling as if I'd achieved quite a bit on the outside but I wanted more on the inside. When I say 'I wanna be free' for the first time, there's an edge of desperation. The second time, there's resolve."
  • The song was produced by the LA-based guitarist and composer Sarah Lipstate, better-known as Noveller. It is one of three contributions she made to the Free album. Pop first learned of Noveller while hosting his BBC Radio 6 Music show; afterwards he contacted her to express his appreciation. In 2016, Pop invited the musician to open for him during the Post Pop Depression tour.

    Noveller recalled their collaborations to Guitar: "Iggy is based in Miami and I'm based in Los Angeles, so it was the perfect digital age collaboration. I was sent the vocal track and they said, 'Do what you do.' I was able to compose and record my soundscapes at my home studio and just email it over to them, and it was as easy as that."
  • A longtime advocate for animal rights, Iggy Pop donated "Free" to PETA US to help end the psychological and physical suffering of monkeys while being kept in laboratory cages for testing.

    The song also soundtracks a video which shows difficult-to-watch footage of the painful and cruel experiments monkeys endure. "Anyone can see the pain and terror in these monkeys' eyes," said Pop. "No one should have to suffer like this. They deserve to be free."

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