The Story Behind “All Right Now” By Free
Free live in 1970 - Free Band / Youtube
Free’s “All Right Now” is one of the band’s strongest singles, hitting 2nd place on the UK singles chart and 4th on the US Billboard Hot 100 on its 1970 release. But do you know how the song came to be? Read on to find out.
Drummer Simon Kirke gives a glimpse into the single’s inception with a Molten Gold – An Anthology excerpt. He explained, “‘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 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.”
In a Mojo Magazine interview, bassist Andy Fraser digs deeper into the details of the song’s inception, saying, “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 godforsaken 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 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.”