"The idea for All Right Now came about on a rainy Tuesday night in some godsforsaken minor city 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. Afterwards 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.'" Andy Fraser
On this day in music history: May 25, 1970 - “All Right Now” by Free is released. Written by Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, it is the third single release and biggest hit for the London based hard rock/blues band from London, UK. Formed in 1968, the four members of Free, lead singer Paul Rodgers, bassist Andy Fraser, drummer Simon Kirke and guitarist Paul Kossoff are all still teenagers when they play their first live gig at a London pub in April of that year. The band are given their name by musician Alexis Korner, a pivotal and highly important figure in London’s blues/rock scene, with many future superstars including Rolling Stones members Charlie Watts, Keith Richards, Mick Jagger and Brian Jones, as well as future Cream members Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker pass through the ranks of Korner’s band Blues Incorporated. Within several months, Free are attracting big crowds to their live performances and are signed to Island Records in the UK (and A&M Records in the US). Their first two albums sell modestly and yield no major hits. In January of 1970, Free return to the studio to begin work on their third album. Paul Rodgers and Andy Fraser form a solid songwriting partnership over the previous albums, and write five of the seven songs for the new album. Fraser writes the music for “All Right Now” after a show at the Durham Students Union at Durham University in about ten minutes. Rodgers writes the lyrics while waiting for the rest of the band to pick him up for a gig. Band mates Kossoff and Kirke initially don’t think much of the song, but agree to record it. The basic track is recorded completely live at Trident Studios in London, with Rodgers overdubbing his lead vocal on the song at another session. Buried at the end of the second side of the “Fire And Water”, the five and a half minute plus track is edited for single release, and issued a month ahead of the album. Initially, the record attracts very little attention, but their fortunes change when US radio stations begin playing the song during the Summer. The turning point in the UK comes after Free play the legendary Isle Of Wight festival on August 31, 1970. From there, the record explodes, quickly rising to #2 on the UK singles chart. In the US, “All Right Now” enters the Hot 100 at #96 on August 15, 1970, peaking at #4 on October 17, 1970. The success of the single propels the “Fire And Water” album to #2 on the UK album chart, #17 on the Billboard Top 200, turning Gold in both countries. Now established as a classic rock anthem, “All Right Now” is covered by numerous artists, including versions by The Runaways, Rod Stewart, The Alarm and former Wham! background vocalists Pepsi & Shirlie. Steve Miller is inspired to write “Rock ‘N’ Me” (#1 Pop) in 1976 as a tribute to guitarist Paul Kossoff after his untimely passing. Free’s original version becomes one of the most played songs in the history of US radio, with more than three million plays by 2006.