THE 1000 BEST SONGS IN THE WORLD EVER.
360-Free-All Right Now.
1970-Number 2 single.
It was a hit again in 1973, this time reaching Number 15. In 1978 as part of the ‘Free (EP’) it made Number 11, and in 1992 a remastered version reached Number 8.
Best Bit-At 3.36. In 1970 a Los Angeles DJ called Joe Benson told Paul Rodgers during an on air interview that ‘All Right Now’ is playing on the airwaves somewhere around the world once every 45 seconds.
‘Free’ were formed in London, England, in 1968, they were very young when they first performed together on April 19th, 1968, at the Nags Head, in Battersea, London. Andy Frazer (1952-2015) (bass) was 15, Paul Kossoff (1950-1976) (lead guitar) was 17, Paul Rodgers (lead singer) was 18, and Simon Kirke (drums) was also 18. Due to internal feuding the band disbanded in 1971, but they did reform in early 1972. Frazer left the band soon after, which led to the introduction of Tetsu Yamauchi, (bass) and John ‘Rabbit Bundrick, (keyboards) both new members appeared on ‘Heartbreaker,’ the band’s final studio Album. Free recorded six studio Albums between 1969-1973, and released 16 singles. In the States ‘All Right Now’ was their only charting single, reaching Number 4, but in the UK, three of their other songs also made the top 20. The bands name ‘Free’ had been given to them by the Blues musician Alexis Koerner (1928-1984) (see also best songs 864) who had helped to bring the group together. He named them after a short lived trio he had formed called ‘Free At Last’ in 1966.
The bands lead guitarist Paul Kossoff had been a drug user since the age of 15, on March 19th, 1976 while on a flight from Los Angeles to New York he died from a pulmonary embolism after a blood clot in his leg moved to his lung. After leaving ‘Free’ Andy Frazer formed the Rock band ‘Sharks,’ before going on to many other projects, including the release of four solo studio Albums. Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke both went onto form ‘Bad Company’ with Mick Ralphs who had been a member of Mott the Hoople (see also best songs 334.) Kirke is Bad Company’s one constant during the years they have been active, while Rodgers who left when the band first split in 1982 would go on to front the Rock bands ‘The Firm,’ then ‘The Law,’ and eventually ‘Queen,’ where they were known as ‘Queen + Paul Rodgers’ between 2004-2009.
‘All Right Now’ was co-written by Andy Frazer and Paul Rodgers, and appeared on the bands third studio Album ‘Fire and Water’ from 1970. Free had been playing a gig at Durham Students Union building, to a small audience, and when they walked off the stage after the last song they could hear the sound of their own footsteps, and realised that they needed a ‘rocker’ to finish their set. Frazer was sat in the dressing room, and within 10 minutes came up with this song.
‘All Right Now’ is about a guy seeing a girl in the street who he fancies, and after some persuasion she agrees to go back to his home with him. Once she gets to his place, she starts to have second thoughts, and he tries to put her at ease.
‘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.’