The One-Hit Wonder File: “All Right Now”

(Via Culture Sonar) by Ellen Fagan

The year is 1968. Four enormously talented young men, all in their teens, form a band called Free. Paul Rodgers is the frontman with the growly croon, Paul Kossoff the prodigy rock guitarist. Andy Fraser is on bass and percussion chores are handled by Simon Kirke. They begin life as a soft-edged, bluesy band, perfectly listenable but not memorable.

Early in their tenure, they have a particularly dispiriting gig in Durham, England. Kirke describes the demoralization of playing to a tiny, checked-out audience.

“… 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.”

Backstage, the members of Free pondered their future options and decided they needed to come up with a powerful uptempo number that would keep audiences on their feet…

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