Monday, November 1, 2010

More Cowbell!!!

Well, well, well -- what have we here?

An a cappella vocal intro. Hand claps(!). A generally brisker tempo. A sort of James Brown-ian syncopation on the choruses. And that sublime middle guitar solo section conspicuous by its absence.

By Godfrey, from 1970 it's an early version -- completely finished, but ultimately shelved in favor of the track that became the hit -- of Free's epochal "All Right Now."

Sorry if this is old news to everybody (apparently it appeared on a Free box set a few years ago), but I just stumbled across it the other day and it blew my tiny mind. It's the same song, but so different; given that the beyond ubiquitous "official" version is so thoroughly imprinted in everybody's genetic makeup after all these years, it's really fascinating to hear how it was originally conceived.

They were trying for something verging on pop, from the sound of it; I suspect it would have been a hit as well, albeit not the classic rock icon the revised version quickly became.