“Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty (1989)

“Free Fallin'” is so descriptive. As I’ve said many times over the course of this series, I love evocative lyrics. “Free Fallin'” reads almost as well as a short story as it does as a song. Granted, in short story form it wouldn’t have Tom Petty’s dry vocal delivery or Jeff Lynne’s expansive production. I almost hate to make the comparison, and Tom Petty and Jon Bon Jovi are leagues apart as far as songwriting talent goes, but “Free Fallin'” almost plays like the Southern California version of “Livin’ on a Prayer”. It’s nowhere near as bombastic (and also hasn’t been ruined in my memory by awful karaoke versions and being played at every white friend’s wedding reception I’ve been to in the last fifteen years), but the songs are-at the very least-distant cousins.

“Free Fallin'” also has one of the best intro verses of any song I can think of…

+ props to John Mayer for his excellent cover.

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