All Right Now – Free

THIS DAY IN MUSIC……………………………….on February 17th of 1973 The Rock ensemble Free, who reached #2 in the UK and #4 in the US in 1970 with “All Right Now”, play their final show at Florida’s Hollywood Sportatorium. Vocalist Paul Rodgers and drummer Simon Kirke will move on to form Bad Company. “All Right Now” 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. In the CD Molten Gold – An Anthology, Free drummer Simon Kirke 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 (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.” 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.