Saturday, August 28, 2021

"I Feel Free" by Belinda Carlisle

Song#:  3596
Date:  07/30/1988
Debut:  94
Peak:  88
Weeks:  4
Genre:  Pop

Pop Bits:  Carlisle's second solo album, Heaven on Earth, was a #13 platinum success thanks to three Pop Top 10 hits including "Circle in the Sand." After that song got to #7, it seemed logical to issue out one more single from the LP as a follow-up. This track was selected, but it apparently wasn't quite what folks were wanting. The song stalled low on the Pop chart after a minor month. It would be the last single released from the album in the US. Although the LP did well in the US, it did even better in the UK reaching #4. The three songs that went Top 10 in the US also made the UK Top 10, but then further singles were different for each territory. The US saw "I Feel Free" get released and not do well. In the UK, the fourth single was "World Without You," which got to #34. Then "Love Never Dies" was pushed out and reached #54.

ReduxReview:  This piece of mid-60s psychedelic rock gets an 80s dance-pop makeover from Carlisle and producer Rick Nowels. While I think the remake was a lark that was kind of fun and fit Carlisle well, I have no idea why the label chose it as a single. After three juicy pop confections that went Top 10, it was just odd to push out a rock remake. It was the wrong choice and indeed it barely scratched the Pop chart. The logical follow-up would have been the song the UK got, "World Without You," another Diane Warren track that had a lovely, sweet chorus. It make the Top 40 in the UK and I think it would of here as well. Still, I like what Nowels and Carlisle did with "I Feel Free" even though fans of the original (see below) may cringe. The remake of this tune that I like better is David Bowie's glam'd up version from his '93 album Black Tie White Noise.

ReduxRating:  6/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1)  This is a remake of a song originally recorded by the supergroup Cream. Written by band member Jack Bruce along with Pete Brown, it was released as a single in 1966 and it got to #11 in the UK. The song failed to make the US Pop chart (although it did "bubble under" at #116). The track was included on the US version of the band's debut album Fresh Cream and would later become a rock radio staple. To-date, Carlisle is the only artist to have reached the US Pop chart with a version of the song.  2) While gathering songs for Heaven on Earth, Carlisle did demos of two songs that she ended up not recording, but the tunes became hits for other artists. Originally pitched to Whitney Houston, Carlisle was given the chance to record "Waiting for a Star to Fall" written by Boy Meets Girl members George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam (who wrote two other Whitney #1s). The song didn't work for Carlisle so the writers recorded it themselves and it became a #5 hit later in '88 for Boy Meets Girl. Carlisle was also given the Diane Warren-penned track "Some Hearts." Again, it just didn't fit the bill for Carlisle and she rejected the tune. It was picked up in '89 by Marshall Crenshaw for his album Good Evening. It was released as a single, but it failed to chart. Nearly sixteen years later, the song got another chance when American Idol winner Carrie Underwood recorded it as the title track to her 2005 debut album Some Hearts. While it would not be officially released as a single, the song was circulated to adult pop stations and it would end up getting to #12 on the AC chart. Carlisle's demos of both songs can be heard on YouTube.


No comments:

Post a Comment