Cream

I Feel Free

Composed by Jack Bruce / Pete Brown

Song Review by

After an unrepresentative and obscure debut single ("Wrapping Paper"), "I Feel Free," Cream's second 45 in the UK, was the true unveiling of their originality. Though much of Cream's early repertoire was blues-based, "I Feel Free" marked their merging of blues-rock with pop and psychedelia, entering a less constricted, indeed freer realm. The song starts with a sustained clangorous chord, an aural equivalent to the table being cleared, before moving into a wholly unexpected segment of breezy a cappella vocals, almost like modern doo wop. The track then glides into a far crunchier full-out rock'n'roll tune, hard rock but not without pop hooks, and given a grace by Jack Bruce's light vibrato vocals. This was the first of the several songwriting collaborations between Bruce and non-Cream member Pete Brown to be recorded, and Brown's lyricism gave the tune the right touch of psychedelically-tinged buoyant optimism. The brief bridge detoured into a somewhat tenser, more dramatic rhythm while retaining the liberating feel of the lyrics. The song was decorated by a sweet bee-buzzing guitar solo by Eric Clapton that certainly felt right for the song's message of free-floating freedom. "I Feel Free" was a hit in Britain, stopping just short of the Top Ten, and a highlight of their first American LP release (which deleted "Spoonful" from the British track listing to make room for it).

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Fresh Cream 1966 Polydor
I Feel Free 1969 Polydor 2:54
The Super Groups 1969
Various Artists
Atco
No Image 1972 2:54
No Image 197? Polydor 2:48
Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream 1983 Polydor / Universal International 2:53
No Image 1986
Various Artists
Vestron
Our Generation 1989
Various Artists
Telly Disc 2:54
Classic Rock: Rock Renaissance, Vol. 3 1990
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:53
Strange Brew [Video/DVD] 1991 WEA International
The Ride [Original Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Ffrr 2:52
The Very Best of Cream 1995 Polydor / Interscope 2:51
Those Were the Days 1997 Interscope / Polydor / Universal / Universal Motown 2:53
Alternative Album 1966 1998 Records 3:09
The Alternative Album 1999 ITM 3:09
No Image 1999
Original Television Soundtrack
Playtone Records / Sony Music Distribution 2:51
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Cream 2000 Polydor / Universal 2:53
Sixties Jukebox Classics 2002
Various Artists
Universal International 2:53
BBC Sessions 2003 Polydor 2:54
Let It Rock, Vol. 2 [DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Classic Pictures
Gold 2005 Polydor / Universal Distribution 2:54
I Feel Free: Ultimate Cream 2005 Polydor 2:54
Hamburg Sound Beatles Beat und Grosse Freiheit 2006
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:49
Summer of Love: Hits of 1967 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:52
Flower Power [Time Life Box] 2007
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:52
The Boat That Rocked [Movie Soundtrack] 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury 2:54
Good Morning England 2009
Original Soundtrack
Mercury 2:54
Icon 2011 Polydor 2:52
Icon 2 2011 Polydor 2:52
The Singles 1967-1970 2015 Polydor
Joy [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] 2016
Original Soundtrack
ABKCO Records 2:53
Classic Album Selection 2016 Polydor
Disraeli Gears/Fresh Cream Polydor / Universal
Happy & Glorious
Various Artists
Universal Music TV 2:54
Pirate Radio
Various Artists
Island/Def Jam / Universal 2:53
blue highlight denotes editor's pick