Free Your Mind (song)

"Free Your Mind" is a song by American female group En Vogue. Released on September 24, 1992, "Free Your Mind" is the third single released from their critically acclaimed hit album Funky Divas. The anti-prejudice song became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 and a top 20 hit on the UK Singles Chart. AllMusic's review critic, Jose F. Promis, voted the single very favorable and rated the album its highest rating at five.[2] Billboard named the song No. 41 on their list of 100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time.[3]

"Free Your Mind"
Free Your Mind.jpg
Single by En Vogue
from the album Funky Divas
ReleasedSeptember 24, 1992 (US)
RecordedDecember 1991—January 1992
  • 4:52 (Album Version)
  • 4:10 (LP Edit)
LabelEast West
Songwriter(s)Denzil Foster & Thomas McElroy
Producer(s)Foster & McElroy
En Vogue singles chronology
"Giving Him Something He Can Feel"
"Free Your Mind"
"Give It Up, Turn It Loose"
Music video
"Free Your Mind" on YouTube

Song informationEdit

"Free Your Mind" was recorded between December 1991 – January 1992, composed and produced by Foster and McElroy.[4] The guitar and bass tracks for the song were written and recorded by San Francisco-based guitarist Jinx Jones. The opening line: "Prejudice, wrote a song about it. Like to hear it? Here it go!", is adapted from a line originally used by David Alan Grier's character Calhoun Tubbs from Fox's In Living Color. An alternate version of the song with different lyrics appears on the 1992 Summer Olympics compilation album Barcelona Gold.[5]

Critical receptionEdit

Billboard wrote about the song: "Third offering from quartet's platinum-selling "Funky Divas" opus takes in a more edgy direction than in the past. Placed within a driving, guitar-anchored pop/rock setting, the group attacks well-crafted lyrics on racism with unrelenting passion and its trademark harmonies. Will jolt many at first, but will ultimately open many eyes."[6]

The Gavin Report wrote: "Attacking prejudice head on, The Funky Divas offer advice to those who judge others by looks rather than action. Harmonies don't get any better than when these four incredible voices combine their talents."[7]

Commercial performanceEdit

"Free Your Mind" debuted at number 89 on the US Billboard Hot 100 the week of September 12, 1992. Within one week, it jumped to number 45, then to number 25, and continued to make impressive strides until it eventually peaked at number 8 the week of October 31, 1992. Altogether, "Free Your Mind" spent 16 weeks in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. It reached the top twenty in the UK, where it was released as a double A-side single with "Giving Him Something He Can Feel".

Music videoEdit

The song is known for its innovative, award-winning music video, directed by Mark Romanek with art direction by Nigel Phelps. On March 21, 1992, En Vogue performed 'Free Your Mind' on Saturday Night Live[8] for the first time to a positive reception. On January 21, 1993, En Vogue would perform the song on a sixth-season episode of the NBC sitcom A Different World (where they guest-starred as Vernon Gaines' nieces). It was certified gold by the RIAA in late 1992. It is one of several songs to feature all four members of the group on lead vocals.

Janet Jackson included the video in the Countdown of her twenty-five favorite videos of all-time at number eleven.[9]

Cover versions and other useEdit

The Band covered the song on their 1996 album High on the Hog, and by Sub7even in 2002.

The song was covered as part of a mash-up on Fox's Glee along with "Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes in the episode "Never Been Kissed".

Swedish band Slapdash covered the song, track 13 on the album Actual Reality.

The song was used on the show Modern Family in an episode titled "Manny Get Your Gun" during a flash mob scene.

Greek pop star Elena Paparizou who performed a cover of the song at the first MadWalk By Vodafone on February 2, 2011 along with her smash hit single "Baby It's Over", dressed by Apostolos Mitropoulos.

The track has been included in Les Mills' most recent BodyVive class. The song was used in the trailer for the Seth Rogen comedy The Interview.

The song was used in the 1994 film The Cowboy Way.

A theme tune was used for an early series of Rory Bremner, Who Else in 1993 that bears a strikingly similar beat and guitar hook.

En Vogue recorded a second alternate version in 2017 for the Netflix shows Orange Is The New Black and GLOW.

Formats and track listingsEdit

  • US CD Single
  1. "Free Your Mind" (LP Edit) – 4:10
  2. "Just Can't Stay Away" – 5:11
  • UK CD Maxi Single
  1. "Free Your Mind" (LP Edit) – 4:10
  2. "Giving Him Something He Can Feel" (LP Version) – 3:55
  3. "Free Your Mind" (Tommy's Spoiled Brat Edit) – 3:58
  4. "Time Goes On" (Dance Remix) – 5:45
  • US CD Maxi Single[10]
  1. "Free Your Mind" (Theo's Rec And Wreck Mix) – 5:41
  2. "Free Your Mind" (Tommy's Spoiled Brat Mix) – 5:00
  3. "Free Your Mind" (James' Club Mix) – 4:55
  4. "Free Your Mind" (Marley Marl Remix) – 5:27
  5. "Lies" (Eddie F Remix) – 5:43

Remix producers

Theo Mizuhara, Martin Van Blockson (UK CD Single)
Theo Mizuhara, James Earley, Marley Marl, DJ Eddie F, Dave Hall (US CD Single)

Awards and nominationsEdit

Grammy Awards, 1993Edit

MTV Video Music Awards, 1993Edit

Charts and certificationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Williams. Stereo (April 29, 2016). "Let Love Decide: Prince's 'Diamonds and Pearls'". Spin. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  2. ^ Promis, Jose F. "En Vogue – Funky Divas". AllMusic. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ "100 Greatest Girl Group Songs of All Time: Critics' Picks". Billboard. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Copyrights Encyclopedia. Don't Think I Make It By Denzil Foster and Thomas McElroy
  5. ^ En Vogue - Free Your Mind (Alternative Version) on YouTube
  6. ^ "Billboard: Single Reviews" (PDF). Billboard magazine. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
  7. ^ Sholin, Dave (August 28, 1992). "Gavin Picks > Singles" (PDF). Gavin Report. No. 1920. p. 68. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  8. ^
  9. ^ Janet votes "Free Your Mind" one of her top favorite music video. janet-xone
  10. ^ "Free Your Mind" (US, CD, Single at Discogs
  11. ^ " – En Vogue – Free Your Mind". ARIA Top 50 Singles. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  12. ^ " – En Vogue – Free Your Mind" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  13. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 1863." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  14. ^ "Eurochart Hot 100 Singles" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 9 no. 49. December 5, 1992. p. 19. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  15. ^ Nyman, Jake (2005). Suomi soi 4: Suuri suomalainen listakirja (in Finnish) (1st ed.). Helsinki: Tammi. ISBN 951-31-2503-3.
  16. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Free Your Mind/Giving Him Something He..". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – En Vogue" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved March 23, 2018.
  18. ^ " – En Vogue – Free Your Mind" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  19. ^ " – En Vogue – Free Your Mind". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  20. ^ " – En Vogue – Free Your Mind". Singles Top 100. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  22. ^ "En Vogue Chart History (Hot 100)". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  23. ^ "En Vogue Chart History (Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  24. ^ "En Vogue Chart History (Dance Club Songs)". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  25. ^ " – Sub7even feat. En Vogue – Free Your Mind". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved February 11, 2018.
  26. ^ "Billboard Top 100 – 1992". Longbored Surfer – Charts. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2010.
  27. ^ "R&B/Hip-Hop Songs – Year-End 1993". Billboard. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
  28. ^ "British single certifications – En Vogue – Free Your Mind". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved August 2, 2019. Select singles in the Format field. Select Gold in the Certification field. Type Free Your Mind in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.

External linksEdit