Free – All Right Now

Yes, this has been played to death but it still sounds good. No frills rock and roll from the early seventies.

I have a new appreciation for the song. The guys come over…well before the lockdown…and play music in my garage. Someone brought this one up and started to play it a couple of months ago and we started to play…it is a great song to play and hear live.

The song peaked at #4 in the Billboard 100, #4 in Canada, and #2 in the UK in 1970. It was featured on the Fire and Water album. In 1991, the song was remixed and re-released, reaching #8 in the UK again.

The song was written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers.

This topped a 2010 online fan poll by UK radio station Planet Rock for the “Greatest Rock Singles.” Said Paul Rodgers: “When I started writing ‘All Right Now’ the lyrics and the melody flowed easily. It felt special and it’s still special to me and the fans. It’s a ‘must play’ in my solo set.”

Simon Kirke (Drummer): “‘All Right Now’ was created after a bad gig in Durham, England. Our repertoire at that time was mostly slow and medium paced blues songs which was alright if you were a student sitting quietly and nodding your head to the beat. However, we finished our show in Durham and walked off the stage to the sound of our own footsteps. The applause had died before I had even left the drum riser. When we got into the dressing room, it was obvious that we needed an uptempo number, a rocker to close our shows. All of sudden, the Inspiration struck (bass player Andy) Fraser, and he started bopping around singing ALL RIGHT NOW… He sat down and wrote it right there in the dressing room. It couldn’t have taken more than 10 minutes.” 

Paul Kossoff was the guitar player and influenced a generation of guitar players before and after his early death in 1976.

From Songfacts

In the CD Molten Gold – An Anthology, Free drummer Simon Kirke explained: 

Andy Fraser (Free’s Bass Player): “We’d started work on our third album, Fire and Water and things were going well. The idea for ‘All Right Now’ came about on a rainy Tuesday night in some god-forsaken minor city – I can’t remember where – in England. We were playing a college that could have held 2,000 but had something like 30 people out of their heads on Mandrax bumping into each other in front of us. They didn’t notice when we came on or when we went off.

Afterward, there was that horrible silence in the dressing room. To break the intensity, I started singing, ‘All right now…come on baby, all right now.’ As if to say, Hey, tomorrow’s another day. Everyone else started tapping along. That riff was me trying to do my Pete Townshend. We listened to everything, though: The Beatles, Stax and Motown, Gladys Knight And the Pips was one of our main influences then.

Paul (Rodgers) said he wrote the lyrics while he was waiting for us to pick him up for another gig. We used to have a dressing room amp, so every night we’d do the song and add a bit until we tested it live.”

This is the first hit song with vocals by Paul Rodgers. He later joined Bad Company and also played with The Firm and Queen.

This song really took off after Free’s performance at the Isle of Wight Festival on August 31,1970 at the East Aftom Farm, Aftom Down, where over 600,000 people attended. Los Angeles disc jockey Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that “All Right Now” is playing over the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds. 

Free weren’t able to follow up this song with another hit, as the next single, “Stealer,” stalled at #49 in America and didn’t chart at all in the UK. In a Songfacts interview with Simon Kirke, he said: “It became a bit of an albatross around our necks, I have to say. Even though it elevated Free into the big leagues, it became a bit of an albatross because we couldn’t follow it. It became a huge hit all around the world, only because we wanted to have something that people could dance to, but then, of course, we had to follow it up, and Island Records were desperate for us to follow it up.

Really it was just a one-off for us, and when the follow-up to ‘All Right Now’ died a death – it was called “The Stealer” – and the album that followed, Fire and Water, from which ‘All Right Now’ was taken, when that didn’t do very well, we took it to heart and the band broke up. So, in an indirect way, ‘All Right Now’ was not very good for the band, I have to say.

But, by the same token, it’s been such a durable song. I play it in my solo shows, I played it with Ringo Starr and I think one of the highlights of my career.”

The song has soundtracked numerous commercials in the UK, most famously in 1990 when it featured in a TV ad for Wrigley’s chewing gum, which generated enough interest to return the tune to the UK charts. “I can’t keep track of where it’s turned up,” Paul Rodgers ruefully told The Independent April 7, 2010. “Island Records owned the publishing rights to all our songs in perpetuity. In theory, they’re supposed to call me and ask, ‘Can we use this song in this way?’ but they often don’t. I think if the money’s good enough, they just go, ‘Yes! Wrigley’s? YES!!'”

A less satisfactorily tie-in came when the song was used to advertise a foot-odor powder on television. “You use this stuff on your feet and the song comes on to signify that your feet are All Right Now, you see,” Rogers said acidly. “I rang Chris Blackwell about it. He had it taken off pretty smartly.”

The song has been covered by many bands and artists, including Mike Oldfield, Rod Stewart, Christina Aguilera, the Runaways and, ex-Wham! backing singers Pepsi & Shirlie.

When Paul Rodgers teamed up with Queen in 2004 to tour as Queen + Paul Rodgers, this was a regular part of their set list and a crowd favorite.

It’s Alright Now

There she stood in the street
Smiling from her head to her feet
I said hey, what is this
Now baby, maybe she’s in need of a kiss
I said hey, what’s your name baby
Maybe we can see things the same
Now don’t you wait or hesitate
Let’s move before they raise the parking rate

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

I took her home to my place
Watching every move on her face
She said look, what’s your game baby
Are you tryin’ to put me in shame?
I said “slow don’t go so fast,
Don’t you think that love can last?
She said Love, Lord above
Now you’re tryin’ to trick me in love

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

Yeah, it’s all right now
Oh yeah

Let me tell you all about now
Took her home to my place
Watching every move on her face
She said look, what’s your game
Are you tryin’ to put me in shame?
Baby,I said “slow don’t go so fast
Don’t you think that love can last?
She said love, Lord above
Now he’s tryin’ to trick me in love

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now

All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby,baby,baby it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now
All right now baby, it’s all right now
(All right now baby, it’s all right now) We are so happy together it’s alright,it’s alright,it’s alright
(Everything alright) all right now baby, it’s all right now