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."
This is the first hit song with vocals by Paul Rodgers. He later joined Bad Company and also played with The Firm and Queen.
The song is about a guy who picks up a girl on the street and takes her home for sex. His opening gambit:
Hey, what's your name?
Maybe we can see things the same
Then he lays it on smooth:
Let's move before they raise the parking rate
Once they go back to his place, she gets a little suspicious, so he tries to put her at ease:
Don't you think that love can last?
Maybe mentioning "love" wasn't the best idea, as she retorts:
Now you're tryin' to trick me in love
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 the festival. 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.
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.
The album version is over a minute longer than the radio edit, which had a shorter guitar solo.
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.
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."
Andy Fraser recalled the writing of the song to Mojo magazine October 2012: "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 godsforsaken 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.
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.' 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."