“Free Fallin'” is a cover track by Stevie Nicks. It is Track 8 on the Music from Party Five (1996) television show soundtrack (Reprise 46431). “Free Fallin” also appears on Disc 3 of Stevie’s box set Enchanted (1998).
About the Song
Written by Jeff Lynne and Tom Petty, “Free Fallin’ is the title track from Tom Petty’s debut solo album Full Moon Fever (1989). As the third single from the album, the song reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart, Tom’s highest charting single (aside from his 1981 duet with Stevie Nicks, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” which reached No 3).
Tom didn’t write the song about any specific person. “I don’t know who the girl in ‘Free Fallin’ is. I was having to make this drive every day. The studio was in the valley and I was driving from Beverly Hills to the valley and back every day and on that drive I just used to look at Ventura Boulevard, and just life’s great pageant was going in up and down that street. And I tried to grab a little bit of these characters on the road and it was kind of how I saw it. It’s pretty true of that time and that era.” (Olson, 2016).
Full Moon Fever also contains the singles “I Won’t Back Down” (Pop #12) and “Runnin’ Down a Dream” (Pop #23), as well the completed version of “The Apartment Song,” which Tom and Stevie demoed together during Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ 1984 Southern Accents sessions. The session demo appears on Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ box set Playback (1995) and compilation An American Treasure (2018).
Stevie performed “Free Fallin'” at shows on her 2022 tour.
She’s a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus, and America too
She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too
It’s a long day livin’ in Reseda
There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard
He’s a bad boy, ’cause I don’t even miss her
He’s a bad boy for breakin’ her heart
All the vampires walkin’ through the valley
Move west down Ventura Blvd
And all the bad boys standing in the shadows
And the good girls are home with broken hearts
I want to glide down over Mulholland
I want to write her name in the sky
I want to free fall out into nothin’
I wanna leave this world for awhile
Yes, I’m free fallin’
Now, I’m free fallin’
Now, I’m free fallin’
Well, I wanna flow down over Mulholland
I wanna write your name in the sky
I wanna free fall, free fall out into nothin’
I wanna leave this, I’m gonna leave this world for awhile
I see bad boys standing in the shadows
I see the vampires walking through the valley
I wanna free fall out into nothin’
I wanna glide down over Mulholland
(Jeff Lynne/Thomas Earl Petty)
℗ 1996 Reprise Records © Gone Gator Music, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
|Electric and acoustic guitars||Michael Campbell|
|Rhythm guitar and harmonica||Stevie Nicks|
|Pump Organ||Benmont Tench|
|Acoustic guitar and drum loop||Adrian Gurvitz|
|Background vocals||Sharon Celani and Lori Nicks|
Olson, C.A. (2016). Tom Petty originally wrote ‘Free Fallin” just to make Jeff Lynne laugh. Billboard. Retrieved from https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/tom-petty-free-fallin-songwriters-hall-fame-7400181/