Baby, I Love Your Way/Freebird Medley (Free Baby)

Album: Will To Power (1988)
Charted: 6 1
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Songfacts®:

  • Neither Peter Frampton nor Lynyrd Skynyrd ever had a #1 hit, but Will To Power did with a medley of Frampton's "Baby, I Love Your Way" and Skynyrd's "Free Bird."

    Will To Power is helmed by the Miami producer Bob Rosenberg, who specializes in freestyle music native to the area. This mellow medley is an outlier in his discography, born out of necessity. In the summer of 1987, Rosenberg had a surprise hit with "Dreamin'," a dance track credited to Will To Power that got a lot of attention in South Florida and climbed to #50 on the Hot 100. It earned him a contract with Epic Records, who gave him an album deal. Just one problem: Rosenberg didn't have enough songs for an album, so he had to come up with some quickly. He spent a lot of time as a DJ mixing songs together, so when "Baby, I Love Your Way" came on the radio, his brain put it together with "Free Bird." He reworked the songs into a medley and recorded it for the album. Epic didn't think much of it, but when the Miami radio station Power 96 started playing the song, they released it as a single. The song earned lots of airplay on pop and adult contemporary radio, appealing to older listeners who were familiar with the original songs and content to listen to them repurposed as soft rock - perfect for workplace listening.

    Rosenberg returned to this this demographic when Will To Power covered the 1975 10cc hit "I'm Not In Love," taking it to #7 in the US. But his primary directive remained freestyle music - he stayed on that scene for decades.
  • Producer Bob Rosenberg did the male vocals on this track. The female lead is Suzi Carr. A photogenic couple, they portray lovers in the video, which got plenty of airplay on the recently launched VH1.
  • The three writers listed on this track are Peter Frampton (for "Baby, I Love Your Way), along with Allen Collins and Ronnie Van Zant, the Lynyrd Skynyrd members who wrote "Free Bird." The song gave Frampton a huge influx of both cash and motivation; he hadn't stopped making music, but couldn't get any airplay for new songs once the '80s rolled around. This medley proved there was still an audience for his work; he released another album in 1989.

    Lynyrd Skynyrd re-formed in 1987 following a 1977 plane crash that killed Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines. Collins was badly injured, and in 1986 got in a car accident that prevented him from re-uniting with the band (he died in 1990). This medley did goose interest in Lynyrd Skynyrd, but they didn't release another album until 1991.
  • The group name comes from Friedrich Nietzsche's concept of "The Will To Power," which states that humans are motivated by a desire for power to an extent that other attributes and virtues depend on it.
  • Somehow, this never got to #1 on the Adult Contemporary chart. It was held at #2 first by Anita Baker's "Giving You The Best That I Got" and then by Boy Meets Girl's "Waiting For A Star To Fall."
  • This wasn't the first medley to hit #1 in America: "Stars On 45 Medley" did the deed in 1981.

Comments: 1

  • Dondon from Tampa, FlI came here seeking information on why they used the wrong lyrics in the second verse of "Baby I Love Your Way". Since it is a medley of two different songs, I understand that quite a bit of artistic license should be allowed. But I don't really understand why they re-used the same opening line from the first verse in the second verse. "Shadows grow so long before my eyes, with the help of some fireflies" does not really make much sense. In the original version of the song by Peter Frampton, the second verse was "Moon appears to shine and light the sky, with the help of some fireflies," and that makes much more sense.
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