Sunday, October 26, 2008

Number 435 - Free

Number 435


"All Right Now"

Genre: Rock
Awwwww c'mon
Another classic song overlooked by Rolling Stone Magazine Greatest 500, I can only come to the conclusion RS do not like bands/artists classed as "One Hit Wonders", no matter how good the song is or how many units it sells. Norman Greenbaum's "Spirit in The Sky, Golden Earing's "Radar Love" & Mott the Hoople's "All The Young Dudes" all deserve a notable mention and sometimes Rolling Stone acknowledges it too, all but to infrequently, like Norman Greenbaum @ RS #333 & Mott The Hoople @ RS #253, but other than those certain artists, no other "One Hit Wonders" get a mention, unless you count "Outkast" [a silent hush]. I don't know what class/reason a classic song is to the Rolling Stone 500 list but as i said to one correspondant recently, surley you don't need to have all 500 songs of Beatles, Rolling Stones & Bob Dylan & a few other rock bands who ooze safety in numbers, not to mention a few of early Rock's History notables? Or do you?
You alright now?
Famed for their perennial "All Right Now," Free helped lay the foundations for the rise of hard rock, stripping the earthy sound of British blues down to its raw, minimalist core to pioneer a brand of proto-metal later popularized by 1970's superstars like Foreigner, Foghat and Bad Company. Free formed in London in 1968 when guitarist Paul Kossoff, then a member of the blues unit Black Cat Bones, was taken to see vocalist Paul Rodgers' group Brown Sugar by a friend, drummer Tom Mautner. After deciding to form their own band, Kossoff and Rodgers recruited drummer Simon Kirke (since Mautner was at university) and 16-year-old bass phenom Andy Fraser from the ranks of John Mayall's Bluesbreakers; with the aid of Alexis Korner, who also suggested the name Free, the fledgling band signed to the Island label, issuing their bluesy debut Tons of Sobs in 1968.
Free? Doubt it bro, $9.99
Free's eponymous 1969 follow-up expanded on their roots-based sound, incorporating rockers like Albert King's "The Hunter" as well as muscular ballads like "Lying in the Sunshine" into the mix. Although both of the first two albums fared poorly on the charts, 1970's Fire and Water became a tremendous hit on the strength of the primal "All Right Now," a Top Five smash powered by Rodgers' gritty, visceral vocals. After headlining 1970's Isle of Wight festival, the group appeared destined for superstardom, but the LP Highway did not fare nearly as well as anticipated, and after a grueling tour which yielded 1971's Free Live, the band dissolved amidst ego clashes and recriminations.
While Rodgers went on to form Peace and Fraser founded Toby, Kossoff and Kirke teamed with bassist Tetsu Yamauchi and keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick to record the album Kossoff, Kirke, Tetsu and Rabbit. When none of these new projects proved successful, the original lineup of Free re-formed to record 1972's Free at Last, which launched the hit "Little Bit of Love." However, drug problems nagged the group, as Kossoff's longtime battle with heroin continued to worsen; soon Fraser exited to form Sharks with Chris Spedding, leaving Rodgers and Kirke to record the majority of 1973's Heartbreaker while a drug-addled Kossoff watched from the sidelines. Soon, the group disbanded again, this time for good: while Rodgers and Kirke went on to found Bad Company, Kossoff formed Back Street Crawler before dying of a drug-induced heart attack on March 19, 1976. ~ [Jason Ankeny, [All Music Guide]

The Song: All Right Now Triv

Paul Rogers
"All Right Now" was a #1 hit in over 20 territories and was recognised by ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers) in 1990 for garnering 1,000,000 plus radio plays in the US by late 1989, and in 2000 an Award was given to Paul Rodgers by the British Music Industry when "All Right Now" passed 2,000,000 plus radio plays in the UK. The song has recently found a home as part of the encore set for Queen + Paul Rodgers. Before "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions", it offers the fans one more chance to sing along. Curiously, one of the engineers during the recordings of "All Right Now" was Roy Thomas Baker, who would later become Queen's producer (he mixed "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Don't Stop Me Now" among others).
Paul Kossoff
According to drummer Simon Kirke, "All Right Now" was written by bassist Andy Fraser in the Durham Students' Union building, Dunelm House. However, Paul Rodgers has stated unintentionally whilst performing with Queen that he wrote the lyrics to "All Right Now". This remark can be heard on the Queen + Paul Rodgers CD, Return of the Champions, when "All Right Now" starts. There are (at least) two mixes of Free's "All Right Now". The most popular version heard on album rock stations is 5:29 and a shorter mix is 4:13. On first glance, the shorter one appears to be simply a slickly edited version of the longer mix, but on closer inspection reveals that the lead-in, signature guitar riffs are slightly more complex. The difference appears in the first seven seconds of the two tracks before Rodgers' "Whoa, whoa, whoa". The jazzier riff is apparent throughout the entire recording; there are also several slight variants to the bassline. Furthermore, there are two mixes of the common 4:13 version. The first is the original '1970s' version; this was later remixed using exactly the same vocal track, but replacing the guitars and drums with heavier, rockier sounding ones. ~ [Source: Wikipedia]
For the Beatles see Number 489, #587, #894 & #947
For Bob Dylan see Number 491, #841 & #929
For Mott The Hoople see Number 457
For Rolling Stones see Number 689 & #767
For Queen see Number 539, #747, #799 & #805
What does Rolling Stone think of Free?
Nothing actually, but here is link from RS ... Free is primarily known for the hit "All Right Now," which sounds like a harder-edged, generic version of Rod Stewart and the Faces. The song, and the group itself, created something of a blueprint for the kind of hard rock that was typical of the 1970s: simple music, with prominent guitars and he-man vocals. Defined by Paul Rodgers' semi-soulful singing and repeated use of the words "baby" and "unh," Free's first two records are actually a pretty good combination of British blues and early metal -- sort of a Led Zeppelin that doesn't go to quite the same heights. ~ [Source: Rolling Stone]
For Led Zeppelin see Number 577 & #957
Rolling Stone magazine deemed their '435th Song of all Time' was "Beast of Burden" by Rolling Stones. Rolling Stones has appeared in The Definitive 1000 @ #689 & #767
Other songs with reference to Free #513, #747
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We don't like 1 hit wonders) and the Album ranked at ('cept that Outkast)
This song has a crowbarred rating of 77.5 out of 108
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z

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