Why Paul Rodgers Didn’t Sing the Free Hit “All Right Now” for Nearly 20 Years

When Free broke up in 1973, singer Paul Rodgers barely touched the band’s material again, including their 1971 hit “All Right Now.”

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“After I left Free, I didn’t play ‘All Right Now’ for many, many years because I thought, ‘I’ve gotta move on,’” said Rodgers in a recent interview. “I was doing the Bad Company thing, and then I did the Firm. We didn’t do much Free then.”

Released on Free’s third album, Fire and Water, “All Right Now” went to No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100. It took Rodgers 18 years before he performed the song again, which he revisited while touring for his 1993 Muddy Waters tribute album, Muddy Water Blues:Tribute to Muddy Waters.

“I had Jason Bonham in the band, and he was constantly [saying], ‘Let’s do some Free. Come on, let’s do ‘Mr. Big.’ Come on, let’s do ‘The Stealer,’” said Rodgers. “And I said, ‘No, no, no. This is a blues tour. We’re gonna just do blues.’”

Rodgers eventually acquiesced and performed Free’s classic. “One day we were in this club, a fabulous club somewhere, I can’t remember where, unfortunately, and he said, ‘Let’s do ‘All Right Now’” and he started it,” recalled Rodgers. “And the audience all picked up on that, and they all said, ‘Yeah, come on. ‘All Right Now.’”

He continued, “So it’s only me standing there. All the musicians behind me want to play ‘All Right Now,’ and all the audience is going for it. I went, ‘OK, let’s do it,’ and it was amazingly refreshing to play it. It really was.”

At first, Rodgers thought he had stayed away from “All Right Now” for only six years, he hadn’t performed the song in 18 years. “Eighteen years,” said Rodgers. “My God.”

Rodgers recently released the second single, “Take Love,” off his forthcoming album, Midnight Rose, out September 22. This is the first time Rodgers has released a recorded version of “Take Love,” which he often performed during his time as the singer of Queen, from 2004 through 2009.

[RELATED: Paul Rodgers Revisits Queen-Era Favorite on Solo Single “Take Love”]

Produced by Rodgers’ wife of 26 years, Cynthia, with Bob Rock, Midnight Rose was recorded at Roper Recording and The Warehouse in British Columbia, Canada. It also marks Rodgers’ first solo album of new music in nearly 25 years since Electric, released in 2000.

The album also marks Rodgers’ first time working with Sun Records, a label that played a critical role in some of his earliest music influences. “They introduced me to musicians Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Elvis Presley, and many others who set me on my musical adventures,” said Rodgers in a statement.

“My new album ‘Midnight Rose’ grew from sparks of ideas I had,” added Rodgers. “The sparks developed into a raging fire when the band and everyone involved brought their absolute ‘A’ game. I think it is my best album to date.

Photo by Mahkaila Lusch / Courtesy of The Press House

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