I'm Free

Album: Lovegod (1990)
Charted: 5 79

Songfacts®:

  • This is a reggae-infused version of an old Rolling Stones song. The Stones originally released it as a B-side to the United States version of their single "Get Off My Cloud" in 1965. It was also included on the albums Out Of Our Heads in the UK and December's Children in the US.

    The song isn't a pure cover, as it takes many musical liberties and alters the lyrics. But it's similar enough that Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the writers of the original, are credited as the only composers on the Soup Dragons version.
  • This features Junior Reid, the Jamaican reggae/dance hall artist who replaced Michael Rose as lead vocalist with Black Uhuru.
  • The band felt free to change the lyrics from the Rolling Stones' original, which was necessary because they didn't have them. Lead singer Sean Dickson sang what he could remember and made up the rest.

    Among the lines to come out:

    I'm free to sing my song though it gets out of time

    I'm free to choose what I please any old time


    Among the new lyrics:

    I'm free to be who I choose
    To get my blues any old time
  • The Soup Dragons were a Scottish band who were named after a character in the British children's TV show The Clangers. The guitarist Jim McCulloch was also a member of Thunderclap Newman. They originally had a pop-punk sound, but by 1990, they had embraced the Madchester scene and had adopted a fusion of acid house and rock that was popular in Britain at the time.

    "I'm Free" was their biggest single in the UK, but in America they had further success with "Divine Thing," which in 1992 peaked at #35. The band split in 1995.
  • The song first got attention when the 12-inch single version, running 8:05, took off in dance clubs. The 7-inch single (the radio version) is edited down to 3:45.
  • Matthew Amos directed the video, which got the band on MTV. Amos later became a top director of concert videos, with Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Maroon 5 among his clients.
  • Chase used this in a commercial television advertisement campaign to promote their credit cards. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • This was featured in the 1999 film The Other Sister.
  • This song foisted the Soup Dragons to fame, but five years later, they disbanded. Sean Dickson ended up coming out as gay in 2001 and embracing dance music, reinventing himself as Hifi Sean. In a Songfacts interview with Dickson, he said: "It was crazy times. It opened a lot of doors but also closed others. Sometimes the hits hurt."

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