I Feel Free

Song Review by Richie Unterberger

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 Island / Def Jam / Polydor / Universal 2:52
The Super Groups 1969
Various Artists
Pop History 197? Polydor 2:48
Story of Cream 1983 2:48
Story of Cream, Vol. 2 1983 Polydor
Strange Brew: The Very Best of Cream 1983 Polydor / Universal International 2:53
Closet Classics [Video] 1986
Various Artists
Strange Brew [Video/DVD] 1991 WEA International
The Ride [Original Soundtrack] 1994
Original Soundtrack
Ffrr 2:52
The Very Best of Cream 1995 Polydor / Chronicles 2:51
Those Were the Days 1997 Polydor 2:51
Alternative Album 1966 1998 Records 3:09
The Sopranos 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
Let It Rock, Vol. 2 [DVD] 2004
Various Artists
Classic Pictures
Gold 2005 Polydor 2:54
I Feel Free: Ultimate Cream 2005 Polydor 2:54
Icon 2011 Polydor 2:52
Icon 2 2011 Polydor 2:52
Various Artists
Universal 2:52
Listen to Rock
Various Artists
Universal 2:52
Pasaporte a los 90s
Various Artists
Universal 0:00
Peace, Love & Music
Various Artists
Universal 2:54
Viaje A 1966
Various Artists
Universal 2:52