Paul Rodgers says every time he sings All Right Now, it feels like the first time.
The singer admits he didn’t play the hit song for 20 years after leaving Free, but that he will continue to play it as long as his audience still connects with it.
Rodgers tells Musicradar: “It’s amazing that I can still include that in the set now and it still has a vibe and a connection. I’ll keep it in the set for as long as it does. After leaving Free I didn’t play All Right Now for 20 years. It was 1996 when I returned to it. I was touring the Muddy Waters Blues album and had Jason Bonham in the band, and the band loved All Right Now. I’d be playing blues and they’d be behind me going, ‘Lets play All Right Now,’ and I’d say, ‘No, this is a blues tour.’
“Then the audience picked up on it and they were shouting for it. Eventually, I was standing in this club realising that it was only me that didn’t want to do All Right Now. We did it and it was amazing how fresh it had remained. It’s an old song but it’s brand new when you play it because of the energy you inject into it. It’s like the first time every time for me.”
Rodgers, who also fronted Bad Company and has sold more than 90 million records in a career spanning almost 50 years, adds that the success of the song took him and his Free bandmates by surprise.
“The funny thing was that at the time that we wrote All Right Now, Free regarded ourselves as an underground band,” he says. “That was the buzzword at the time and we were quite happy with that. Wherever we would go we would pack the place out. They weren’t big places, they were clubs of about 500 or maybe 1000.
“We went all over England and Europe and we wrote this song as an underground band that became one of the most commercial songs, and it took us all by surprise. We didn’t quite know how to deal with it. It was a shock to the system.”
Rodgers released his latest solo album, the Royal Sessions, in February.