Song Review: Tom Petty – “Free Fallin'”

“Free Fallin'” was the third single to be released from Tom Petty’s 1989 album, Full Moon Fever. The single was released on October 27, 1989; it peaked at #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in January 1990.

I was in the ninth grade when this song came out, and I really liked it at the time. Even though the topic of the song, which is about nostalgia and looking back, didn’t mean a lot to me back then since I was only 14 years old, there was still something about “Free Fallin'” that grabbed me. It probably helped at the time that this was the follow-up singe to “Runnin’ Down a Dream,” which is a song I really liked.

Now that I’m older, I’ve gained a much better appreciation and much better understanding of not only the meaning of “Free Fallin’,” but I’ve also gained a better understanding of the mood of the song. It’s been about 25 years since this song was released as a single, and it still ranks as one of my favorite Tom Petty songs ever.

I think what may have also helped me to like this song as much as I did in late 1989/early 1990s was the music video. While it seems rather simple on the surface, there are some interesting things going on visually with it. I sat down to watch the video before writing this up, and I think I may have picked up on a couple of things visually that I hadn’t seen before over the past 25 years.

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